From a 5 year old girl who made her debut as a child artist in a mythological movie, to an empress of Indian cinema, Sridevi proved the fact, being given a correct opportunity can raise one to dizzying heights in cinema.
Sridevi rose to fame as a brilliant child artist and literally lived her whole life as a part of cinema. CNN IBN conducted its annual poll in 2013, during the centenary year of the Indian film industry and Sridevi was voted the greatest actress ever in India.
August 13th, 2019 is Sridevi’s 56th birth anniversary. On this occasion, we look at her five iconic performances, not only in Telugu cinema, but also in other industries.
1. Moondram Pirai (1982) [Tamil]
The Balu Mahendra movie is easily the most difficult role any actress could dream of playing and Sridevi gave a memorable performance as Bhagyalakshmi, who suffers an accident and loses her memory. She is rescued by a school teacher Srinivas (a fantastic portrayal by Kamal Haasan) and given shelter. However, when she regains her memory, she forgets the man who gave her life and she leaves him in total despair.
Sridevi is still remembered by her ardent admirers as the innocent woman she played in the movie.
2. Chandni (1989) [Hindi]
The role she played, a young girl torn between the love of her estranged husband and her lover, is a tight rope’s walk for any actress to portray. Sridevi knew the nuances of playing the role of a lady with poise involved in a love triangle, without making it vulgar or giving a hint of inelegance. Sridevi and her style statements in this Yash Chopra movie are remembered fondly by her millions of fans.
3. Kshana Kshanam (1991) [Telugu]
The hilarious comedy caper about a mysterious death in the apartment of Satya (Sridevi) is one which every Telugu movie goer will cherish forever as her memory. Sridevi’s impeccable comic timing came to the fore in this Ram Gopal Varma directorial. She also won the year’s top awards from the State and Filmfare for her portrayal of a working woman who falls in love with a thief.
4. English Vinglish (2012) [Hindi and English]
The Bollywood film, in which Sridevi made a much anticipated comeback after a hiatus of 15 years, reasserted her popularity and brand value in the Indian film industry. In fact, her sensitive portrayal of a Indian housewife who is chastised for her lack of English skills by her own family members, won her international plaudits. She was also given the title of being the ‘Meryl Streep of India.’ The great actress won many awards for her role in the movie the following year.
5. Mom (2017) [Hindi]
The great swansong of Sridevi, which earned her the National Film Award for Best Actress from the Government of India, was a movie about the vigilante role a mother plays when her adopted daughter is brutally raped in a moving car. The movie is inspired by the Nirbhaya case in New Delhi. Sridevi won all the awards for best actress that year, across various platforms.
As Sridevi became a memory in February 2018, one remembers the body of work she gifted to her millions of fans across the globe.
Sridevi can easily be considered the most accomplished actress of her times in India.