Since the era of British colonization, the English language has been an intrinsic part of Indian culture and society. In the country as a whole, English is one of only two “official” languages in a nation that boasts well over thirty commonly spoken and written forms of communication. In some Indian states and cities, English is the definitive and preferred language of choice. The lucrative tourist industry (and entertainment sector) requires a knowledge of all the world’s languages, but what is it about English that has indoctrinated itself so closely to Indian culture.

Starting off dryly academic with a nearly ten minute long talk about linguistics that feels more like a lecture than a set up for anything, Baherjee frustratingly never settles on a tone for the rest of English India.

Baherjee’s look at the use of English in India from the perspective of tourists and tour guides is a novel one, but he goes on so many stylistically and theoretically dissimilar shifts that it becomes impossible to find what he’s trying to say. Does he want to be academic, analytical, or artful? Does he want to be a passive observer or try to get to the heart of what he’s questioning?

None of this is answered and nothing interesting gets brought up. And when the film takes twenty minutes to say what it’s trying to do and then wastes another forty not doing anything with it, there are some serious problems.