Indian Film Reminds that Family is Key in Angrezi Mein Kehte Hain

Poster Banner for Angrezi Mein Kehte Hain

Written by Tristan Olav Torgersen
Originally posted on IndieEntertainmentMagazine.com
November 11, 2017

India is home to over 1.2 billion people. That is nearly 17% of the world’s population. It is no wonder that in such a populous and diverse country that film would be hugely successful and hold a major share in the worldwide market. If you’re unfamiliar with Bollywood, feel free to catch up here, here, and here.

Director Harish Vyas brings a film forth from Bollywood that feels so unlike the Western perception of Bollywood films. In Angrezi Mein Kehte Hain, Vyas brings culture, tradition, financial woes, family, and love into a film that crosses language and social boundaries to create a movie so relatable it captures your attention to the very end.

While the film doesn’t officially release until 2018, it is in post-production and we got to take an exclusive first look at it. This is our first Bollywood film, and we were excited!

I saw many familiar discussions and points in the film, and it brought the family story to the screen perfectly.

The father of the family is Yashwant Batra, played by Sanjay Mishra. He is the narrator of the film.

Father in Angrezi Mein Kehte Hain (2018)
The face of a father wrought with sadness. Or hunger. Or honestly missing his wife’s cooking before they tried that ‘Paleo’ thing. I can’t be certain.

The story focuses on the relationship between Yashwant and his wife Kiran, played by Ekavali Khanna. His daughter Preeti, played by Shivani Raghuvanshi, adds another piece to the familial puzzle in this story.

Kiran in Angrezi Mein Kehte Hain.
Kiran here sits opposite her husband’s gaze in this photo. It brings back other such scenes like Luke and Leia in Empire Strikes Back. Or Spongebob and Mr. Krabs after their ‘This Grill is Not a Home’ duet in Season 2.

I won’t give away any spoilers, but I will say that I enjoyed this film thoroughly. When Yashwant asks his daughter, ‘When will you get married? When there [is no one] left?’

I heard a little echo of my own parents right then. Other scenes like when he attempts to use Google to the dismay of his daughter gave me flashbacks of helping patrons use the computer at a library job I used to have.

Needless to say, Angrezi Mein Kehte Hain captures the human experience perfectly.

The story centers around love, and around family. These two focal points are what capture the audience. We all can relate in some form to the idea of family, no matter if ours differed in size or culture.

Angrezi Mein Kehte Hain brings the question to the table: What is love? What is responsibility and does it differ from love? What is the difference between love and duty?

Kiran cleans the ancestral house they live in. She makes the food each day. She keeps everything in order. Is that love? Is everything done out of love, or duty?

Does Yashwant even care about his wife? Do they ever just sit and talk? Was their arranged marriage devoid of love from the start?

Still from Angrezi Mein Kehte Hain (2018).
The lighting: spectacular. The colors: drearily exciting. The Compaq PC monitor: outdated. Chuck that thing Yashwant!

I was transported to a world not my own, a culture not my own, and lives not my own. Yet, I saw in this film the same questions asked of so many around me in Western culture. I hear the same statements and complaints of marriages and families all the time.

“Did I marry the right person?”
“Do we really love each other? or am I just scared to leave them?”
“Is my spouse even there for me? Or for our children?”

For Yashwant, he has to learn how to say ‘I love you’ and really mean it. For a man whose marriage was arranged and whose life is closer to its twilight than its sunset, such a task is not easy.

I won’t spoil Angrezi Mein Kehte Hain, but the director allows the narrative to play out in a unique way. I was pleasantly surprised in fact at how unpredictable it was.

Yashwant is the hero of his story. The audience is the benefactor of a well-told story with purpose, a moral, and visuals befitting of any well-produced film.

Angrezi Mein Kehte Hain delivers a film for all, and one I thoroughly enjoyed. I hope you keep an eye out for it, and see it!

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