‘Sadma’ to ‘Mom’, 8 Sridevi Films You Must Watch
Sridevi was a consummate performer through and through.
How do you describe Sridevi, the actor? A consummate performer, she would light up the screen in every scene. Few can parallel her ability to emote on reel and even fewer can match her moves. As Shekhar Kapoor, who directed her in Mr India, had said in an interview, it was a huge dilemma for him when he was filming the iconic Hawa Hawai song. He didn’t know whether to take close-ups of her face to capture those incredible expressions or long shots to capture her dance moves.
Here’s looking back at some of Sridevi’s finest performances:
Her last performance is also one of her best. Playing a woman who is out to avenge a horrific crime against her daughter, Sridevi infused Devki with a vulnerability and rage that made Mom so much more than a revenge saga.
English Vinglish (2012)
Sridevi made a comeback to the big screen after a hiatus and blew away her fans once more with a delightful performance in English Vinglish. She played Shashi, a homemaker who, mocked by her family for her poor English language skills, enrolls for a course and discovers the power of self-worth. With minimal make-up - a far cry from her “heroine” days - and playing a very real character, this was a Sridevi we had barely seen before.
Yash Chopra’s Lamhe had Sridevi in a double role and won her a Filmfare Award for best actress. Portraying both mother and daughter in this generational love story, Sridevi, showcased her formidable acting chops to give her all to this ahead-of-its-time film.
One of her most iconic roles in another Yash Chopra film, Sridevi played the titular role in Chandni with a vulnerability and vim that was rarely seen on screen during that period of Hindi cinema. Transforming from a bubbly girl to a spurned, hurting woman, she aced it every bit of the way. And the ‘Chandni look’ set several fashion trends.
Another double role and as different from her Lamhe act as chalk and cheese. A classic comedy-drama around twin sisters - the traumatised, timid Anju and the swashbuckling, street smart Manju - Chaalbaaz won Sridevi a Filmfare Award. The Filmfare magazine ranked her performance at 4th in its list of '80 Iconic Performances of Hindi Cinema', saying: “Sridevi’s penchant for giggles and her ability to look distinctly tearful when required polishes these performances to perfection. Hell, she made Sunny Deol and Rajnikanth look like sidekicks in the film.”
Mr India (1987)
What can one say about Mr India? Sridevi played a journalist in this iconic sci-fi/ superhero film and she was a delight through and through. The film showcased her skills as a comic actor like no other and her imitation of Charlie Chaplin is perhaps one of her most remembered scenes in Hindi cinema. Sridevi won a Filmfare special award for her performance in Mr India and Nagina.
A cult classic, Nagina saw Sridevi playing a ‘nagini’ who takes human form to avenge her partner’s death. It became the biggest blockbuster of the year and was probably one of the first to prove that female stars too could ensure a hit on their own. Remember the iconic Main Teri Dushman dance?
Sadma was truly Sridevi at her very, very best. A path-breaking performance in the role of Nehalata, a woman who regresses into childhood after a head injury, Sridevi infused her character with incomparable love, innocence and vulnerability. It’s probably one of the very few films in which one is forced to look away from co-star Kamal Haasan. The performance won her another Filmfare.
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