Friday, 5 October 2012

Sridevi before English Vinglish

A chirpy starlet, who once was the heartbeat of the nation, is better known as Sridevi to one and all. Growing up in the video cassette culture, it was impossible to not love her, be it for her smile, her feminine charm or effortless dancing skills.

With English Vinglish releasing today in India, I cannot help but write about one of the most gorgeous female actors the Indian film industry saw through the 80s and 90s.

Here is a list of my favorite Sridevi movies, which I have loved through both childhood and adolescence, for her powerful roles and memorable dance performances.

  • Sadma (1983) - One of the early movies with her as a protagonist, the movie will make you laugh and cry. The movie traces a path of a woman, who having lost her memory in a car accident, ends up in a brothel. Rescued by the hero, he brings her into his life wholly, falling for her, little each day. The end is ironic, when Sridevi regains her lost memory, forgetting the events during her   illness, including the hero and their relationship. Everyone I know who has seen the movie cries in the last scene. If you have by chance missed watching it, do add it to your list. Here is a lovely song from the same movie. 

  •  Nagina (1986) - A purely fictional tale of a snake, who can change into a woman at will, set out to avenge her husband’s death. While you can miss the movie if you have still not happened to watch it, do catch a glimpse of the snake dance performance by Sridevi in Mai Teri Dushman. It became a rage in its time, with the fancy dress competitions in those years having at least one dress up to match it.

  • Mr. India (1987) - Playing the tenant turned lady love to the film’s protagonist Mr. India, Sridevi was kids’ favorite in her Hawa Hawaiii number, and the subsequent scene. She proved her versatility playing the funny, yet warm girl to children in the movie, a young reporter who cannot stand her boss’s unreasonable working style, and the sexy diva against the hero. Did the sultry performance in Kaate nahin kat-te ye din ye raat slip out of your mind? I hope not.

  • Chandni (1989) - Every marriage you went to from 1989 onwards till at least half the decade from then on had one of the girls performing to this song. A girl’s journey through the ups and downs in uniting with her love she finds at a wedding, Chandni is the best work of Sridevi, and the peak of her as a star. Just in case you were interested, some of my favorite romantic songs belong to this movie, listen to Aa meri Jaan, Tere Mere Hontho pe, and Lagi aaj saawan ki.

  • Chaalbaaz (1989) - Playing separated at birth twins, Sridevi acted in her first double role, one as a docile, sweet girl and the other as a chirpy, brave girl who lives life on her own terms. Things get funny when they end up living each other’s lives by a strange twist of so Bollywood fate. She won her first best actress award from the Hindi cinema for her performance in this role, where she looks truly adorable.

  • Lamhe (1993) – This is the last superhit Sridevi gave her audience before taking a break from Cinema to tend to her personal life. Sridevi plays a teenager, whose world revolves around the person she has loved since her early childhood days, a man much senior to her. Unaware that the same man had once loved her mother, her world changes once she steps on that truth. Not a movie anyone can miss, a very simple storyline, and excellent performances by all its stars. Also known for its music, “Kabhi main kahoon” from this movie is one of my favorite romantic duets.

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