Veteran and versatile actress Sridevi passed away at the age of 54 in Dubai, where she was attending a wedding with her husband Boney Kapoor and younger daughter, Khushi. It is unfortunate that she wouldn’t be there to witness the debut of her elder daughter, Jhanvi Kapoor in Dhadak.
Sridevi is often regarded as the first female superstar of Bollywood. Not many know that her real name was Shree Amma Yanger Ayyapan who began her career as a child artist in Thunaivan (1969) – a Tamil film – when she was only four years old. She is also said to have played a role in Nam Naadu, another Tamil film in the same year.
Today as the film industry and India grieves her sudden death, let’s remember her through the five roles she has played in the span of her career which we will never be able to forget. It is difficult to choose only five movies as she has acted in dozens of Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Hindi films, but the characters she played in these five are timeless:
1. Sadma (1983):
Nehalata Malhotra, a beautiful young girl suffers a head injury in an accident due to which she behaves like a little girl. The film, that has made millions cry in the end, saw Sridevi at her best. With music by Ilaiyaraaja and direction by Balu Mahendra this movie was a masterpiece. Sridevi’s acting was appreciated in this movie of love, pain and joy.
2. Chandni (1989):
Most women still connect with the character of Chandni Mathur, essayed by the elegant Sridevi. Chandni is truly in love with a man who loses his mobility in an accident. Despite of her best efforts to soothe his pain and build his confidence, they end up going different ways. Chandni finds love once again but her old lover returns – what does she do? Sridevi could camouflage in her character’s skin so well that no one could say that she was acting.
3. Lamhe (1991):
Pallavi Bhatnagar, a beautiful Rajasthani woman knows how to live life truly. Viren (Anil Kapoor) falls in love with her – she is a generation elder to him. Beautiful, free-spirited and gracious, her heart is ripped apart when she loses her father. Soon after she marries Siddharth, the love of her life, but tragedy strikes as the couple dies in an accident, leaving their young daughter Pooja, in the care of Viren. When Pooja (also played by Sridevi) grows up, she falls in love with Viren who is a generation elder to her. This saga of love was intense, musical and unforgettable.
4. Khuda Gawah (1992):
This movie is a classic – known for its portrayal of love, longing and loyalty. Badshah Khan (Amitabh Bachchan) travels to India to kill a man Habibullah who killed the father of Benazir (Sridevi). Badshah Khan returns with his head and gets married to Benazir but has to go back to India to do his time in prison. Benazir is left behind with a baby in her womb who is later born and named Mehndi (also played by Sridevi). Mehndi, once grown up, sets out in search of her father while Benazir loses her mind waiting for the man she is in love with. The acting of every character in the movie is what makes it an eternal masterpiece.
5. English Vinglish (2012):
One of the most recent movies of Sridevi, she played the character of Shashi Godbole, a mom who struggles with English but has to go to the United States Of America to attend the wedding of her sister’s daughter. She faces ridicule from her daughters and husband and often feels hurt. But when she is abroad, she decides to take a crash course in English which makes her meet people from different nationalities and boosts her self-confidence. Soon her family joins her in the United States and she is torn between her dream and her duties of being a mother and a wife. This emotional drama is simple yet impactful and shows how powerful a woman can be when she sets her mind to something.
Sridevi will forever be remembered in our hearts. Her contribution to the world of films and to Indian culture is priceless.
It is disheartening that just like Arjun Kapoor who lost his mother and Boney Kapoor’s first wife, Mona Kapoor before his first film, Jhanvi Kapoor lost her mother and Boney Kapoor’s second wife before hers.
This is the last picture posted by Sridevi: