Sridevi: The flagbearer of charming versatility

Shiralie Chaturvedi | February 27, 2018 17:28 IST (0)

Sridevi was a phenomenon far away from something anyone saw coming. Indian cinema, across all states had its fair share of strong women actors who shaped the trajectory of movies beautifully. However no one rose to a singularly held position of absolute megastardom like Sridevi. And why wouldn't she have? This performer spoke of one of the strongest body of works that we have witnessed. From the innocence of merely a four year old to the maturity of portraying a mother -the path she traversed was nothing short of stunning. To that masterful navigation, we salute her. Especially for the following four.

The Performer Par Excellence: Having started her acting journey at the very young age of 4, Sridevi's first movie was the Tamil flm called Thunaivan in 1969. Her aura may have reached the glittering Bombay-wallahs only through Bollywood, but her talent was cemented far before due to the sheer extent of her exalting career in Tamil and Telugu cinema. Her last Tamil movie was Puli in 2005, and that was the endpoint of a legacy that boasted of a 50 year long stint of being multilingual, professional, and a passionate actor!


Impeccable Sense of Comedy: There is one particular scene in Chaalbaaz with Sridevi and Rohini Hattangadi -a scene that can be truly described as nothing more than being absolutely funny. With a heady mix of slapstick and witty, you truly understand the comic timing of Sridevi throughout the movie. Another example is that of a clueless and vulnerable Anju interacting with Rajnikanth's character. Whether it was Mr. India, Chaalbaaz, Lamhe -Sridevi wasn't your quintessential ditzy trope making you laugh, no. She was the genuinely witty character who had one too many quips.


Quintessentially Bollywood: The segue from regional cinema to mainstream Bollywood was a path tricky, especially if it was riddled with over the top dance sequences, and neon colours. However, come Chandni, come Lamhe -Sridevi donned the role of the quintessential Bollywood heroine. She was there in a chiffon saree, she was there with a bewitching smile, there with a mysticism about her completely attractive. She was there in the space of a dream girl jolting us from our realities and transporting us to a fantasy land.


The Glorious Second Innings: And finally, in the era of whateverly roles of actresses who reached a stereotyped age of irrelevance, came Sridevi in a truly empowering role. Not just for women in cinema, but for women. Period. Her character of Shashi and consequently her character in the movie MOM were cornerstones in understanding the plight of an everyday mother, the most unsung of all heroes. With the sheer elegance that she performed these roles really ran home the point that there was no age, no storyline, no role that could limit her infinite skill. And we are so glad that that was true.


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