Sridevi was a magical legend. Her voice, her beauty, and her quirky mannerisms are only a few traits that made the whole world weak in their knees. Her performances have been timeless and iconic, and BizAsiaLive.com looks at five of her mesmerizing performances, on what would have been her 55th birthday.
‘English Vinglish’ (2012)
It had been 15 years since Sridevi officially graced Bollywood screens, and her performance in ‘English Vinglish’ proved nothing had changed. She emitted nothing but poise and perfection in her role of Shashi Godbole, a mother of two children, and a wife, who ran her own sweets business from home, but was also continuously ridiculed by her husband and older daughter. Leaving her family behind, Shashi flew off to New York for her niece’s wedding, but was distraught when her inability to speak fluent English got the betterment of her. She enrolled in an English speaking class, where she morphed into a confident, take-over-the-world Shashi, and that is who Sridevi gave us. From the quivering lip to the chin-up success, Sridevi took you into Shashi’s world, making you weep, and then cry tears of joy at her character’s success.
It is very evident that Sridevi was a hands-on mother, cherishing her two daughters Janhvi and Khushi and in the thriller-drama ‘Mom’, she was no less. Sridevi played Devki, a step-mother to a teenage daughter, a wife, and Biology teacher who was out to avenge the brutal rape of her daughter. She confirmed the identity of the rapists and started her journey to seek justice for her daughter. As ‘mom’, Sridevi was undeniably expressive. Whether it was taking her stand as a mother, researching a murder plan for the attackers, or even avoiding the cops, Sridevi’s body language, her eyes, and even the way she spoke only proved that she was a natural, and was doing what she did best, act. You are rooting for this ‘mom’ and hoping that she is able to crush every avenue that stands in the way of her avengement. In the final moments of the film, Devki has her gun pointed at the final assailant, and you can feel Sridevi’s aura, the strength she possesses when completing Devki’s mission.
‘Judaai’ was Sridevi’s last film before her fifteen year sabbatical from films, and is still remembered as one of her top performances, and why wouldn’t it be. Sridevi was playing a materialistic, egoistic, gold-digger, a role that was unlikely to be synonymous with her name. She played the selfish Kajal, a woman who was only interested in being wealthy, even marrying for it, not into it. Kajal, only looking at her husband’s profession as an engineer, failed to realize that engineering didn’t come with the cars, jewelry, and stature she longed for. In turn, Kajal agreed to ‘sell’ her husband to another woman to achieve all that her husband couldn’t give her. What a pleasure it was to see Sridevi scheming, screeching, and being just plain arrogant. While watching this movie, you know you have to hate Kajal, but you can’t help but fall in love with Sridevi’s effortless portrayal of her. She’s the woman who you know will realize her faults, and come to terms to who she has become, and Sridevi blends and becomes that Kajal, even before you can blink an eye.
The song ‘Chandni O Meri Chandni’ still rings in the ears of millions, with many romantics dedicating this song to their beloved. This romance filled musical drama invigorated director Yash Chopra after a stage of flops, and it was Sridevi’s titular role as Chandni that brought him that much needed oxygen. Chandni falls in love and is soon to be married, when the man she loves becomes paralyzed. Much to her dismay, this accident divides her from her true love and while she finds love once again, she comes face to face with the man that ruled her heart, ultimately reuniting with him at the end. In ‘Chandni’, you witness this painful heartache mixed with the beauty of Sridevi’s sheer innocence. From the first moments of love, to the tear jerking pain that rattles your heart, Sridevi reminds you that love in its purest form is innocence.
‘Chaalbaaz’ gave us a double dose of Sridevi. Just when you thought Sridevi couldn’t get any better, she gave the audience two vastly different characters, a shy, weak Anju, and a fearless, don’t-boss-me around Manju. Sridevi brought countless shades to these two distinct characters, whether it was her comedic timing as Manju, or gut-wrenching tremor as the ill-treated Anju, she kept you glued to the screen and calling for others to join you. Sridevi was the definition of versatility, which no actor could compete it, and she was quite charming at it.
BizAsiaLive.com remembers the actress on her birth anniversary. She will live in people’s memories and forever be remembered in the hearts of millions.