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Mon, 18 Mar 2013 14:45:00 GMT | By Priya Bala

Gauri Shinde: Hers is a sensitive take on women

In her very first film, English Vinglish, Gauri Shinde impressed audiences and critics alike, making a subtle, but strong statement about ordinary women and their inordinate strength

Gauri Shinde: Hers is a sensitive take on women (© Priya Bala)

Among the recipients of the Laadli Awards given away last month was filmmaker Gauri Shinde who was honoured for her debut feature film, English Vinglish which was held up as an exemplary work for the cause of gender sensitivity.

Gauri’s work stands out also because at a time when Bollywood is virtually bristling with machismo stories, she chose to tell the tale of a middle-class woman who makes laddoos and struggles to speak English. The effort she makes to overcome the handicap which makes others, including her own family, look down on her and her triumph made for a heart warming story women across the country could identify with.

Speaking about the storyline, Gauri has said it was, in a way, an apology she was making to her Marathi-speaking mother who was in a similar situation and was subjected to embarrassment on several occasions on account of that.

Gauri’s superb directorial skills, lauded by critics, have been honed through the making of some 100 ad films while she did work for agencies such as IBW, Bates Clarion and Lowe Lintas which is where she met her filmmaker husband R Balki. The then creative director at the agency has films such as Cheeni Kum and Paa to his credit.
Obviously, they make a winning team, though English Vinglish was entirely Gauri’s work. “I’d rather run a boutique than pass off my husband’s film as my own,” the talented filmmaker has said. She has declared with confidence that she has better directorial skills than Balki, whose writing skills are better, she has added.

The 40-year-old filmmaker also maintains that her husband’s liberal views and his unstinting support have allowed her to exercise her creative talents to the fullest.

Gauri says she has no desire to have kids of her own, preferring instead to love other people’s children and animals. Meanwhile, audiences wait for her next film...

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