|Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 133 min.|
|FSK:||From 0 years|
Shashi Godbole (Sridevi) is tired of being reared by her husband Satish (Adil Hussain) and her children because of their lack of education. Especially her daughter Sabna (Navika Kotia) finds it very funny that her mother doesn't speak a word of English. When Shashi is asked by her sister Manu (Sujatha Kumar) to help her with the preparations for the wedding of her niece Radha (Priya Anand) in New York, the housewife is a bit scared at first. Because travelling to the USA without any knowledge of English will certainly not be easy. But when she arrives in the foreign land, she decides without further ado to make a virtue out of her misery. Secretly she attends a language course, with which she finally wants to fight for the respect of her family again. And indeed, not only their English improves, but also their self-esteem. But what Shashi didn't expect is the interest that another language student, the French cook Laurent (Mehdi Nebbou), has in her - and that she also likes it…
The idea behind "English for Beginners" is really very nice and full of comedic, dramatic and romantic potential. The mixture of Bollywood drama and Culture-Clash comedy has many charming approaches that not only Bollywood fans could enjoy despite the inevitable dance and singing interludes. But unfortunately, at the end the sometimes really bad clichés and the predictable plot elements dominate over wit and charm, which is intensified by the much too long running time of more than two hours.
Bollywood icon Sridevi, who celebrates her comeback after a long family break with this film, gives the intimidated housewife, who suffers from the constant teasing of her family and above all seems to be afraid of everyone in a foreign country, without any form of subtlety, whereby her portrayal fits perfectly to the staging of Gauri Shinde. Especially in the moments when Indian and American culture meet, Shinde is beating around with the cliché hammer, which finds its almost embarrassing climax in the drawing of the gay language teacher. Of course, somehow not only the teacher, but also all participants of the language course are very likeable and you feel like spending more time with them. But this pleasure is hardly granted to the viewer. Instead, Shashi has to escape the incomprehension of her family again and again or deal with rude Americans, always with the frightened gaze of a deer shocked by the spotlight.
The whole thing culminates, how could it be otherwise, in a speech and colourful dance dripping with morality. All conflicts that would have led to a completely different resolution in real life then dissolve more or less into nothing. Surely, those who like Bollywood cinema will also experience a real feel-good cinema here. It was not for nothing that "English for Beginners" 2012 was one of the most successful Indian films ever. But for Bollywood-untried viewers, the numerous clichés and the almost complete lack of subtlety of the actors' staging and play make it very difficult to get carried away by this language course. Therefore: only worth seeing for fans!
Ein Artikel von Frankfurt-Tipp