After seeing hundreds of films, I’ve concluded that no one can ever predict which movie will become a cult classic. Unless the film has Sridevi.
Sridevi’s acting prowess never failed to enthrall fans and critics alike. The actress, who made a comeback in the 2012 film English Vinglish, was also praised for her work in Mom. Sridevi was one of the first female performers to be labeled as a superstar. And, based on her body of work, she deserved it completely. Sridevi began her film career in 1969 with Thunaivan and went on to become the most sought-after actress in the industry, and she is still one of the few actors who have attained popularity in both Bollywood and regional cinema.
Consider this: the woman, who began her acting career at the age of four, has the most number of cult classics in the history of Indian cinema. Since today is the late actress’s birthday, let’s take a trip down memory lane and look at five of her most memorable performances.
On the occasion of Sridevi’s birthday on August 13, here are some lesser-known facts about the Bollywood actress
Facts about Sridevi
- Thirumugham’s devotional film Thunaivan launched her career at the young age of four (1969). Julie was a child actor in the film (1975). In 1979, Sridevi made her Bollywood debut as the lead actress in Solva Saavan.
- Few people know that she was down with fever and had a 103-degree temperature while filming Chalbaaz’s iconic song Na Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai (1989).
- Indra Kumar wanted Sridevi to play Saraswati (who was played by Madhuri Dixit) alongside Raju (played by Anil Kapoor) in the 1992 film Beta. However, the actress declined to appear in the film because she had already appeared in several films with Anil Kapoor at the time.
- Sridevi’s fiercest rival was Jaya Prada, with whom she had a tense relationship. During the filming of Maqsad (1984), Rajesh Khanna and Jeetendra decided to break the ice between them by locking them in a room in the hopes of reaching an agreement. When they opened the door, however, they found Sridevi and Jaya sitting quietly on opposite sides of the room.
- Sridevi supposedly had a love affair with Mithun Chakraborty in the 1980s. It was even rumored that they married in secret in a temple. She was unaware, however, that Mithun was married to Yogita Bali, who attempted suicide after learning of Mithun’s second marriage. Sridevi later fell in love with filmmaker Boney Kapoor while nursing her shattered heart. Boney’s then-wife, late Mona Kapoor, was unaware of the affair. Sridevi and Boney Kapoor, who were married in 1996, have two children together: Jhanvi and Khushi Kapoor.
Sridevi was, at the time, the highest-paid actress in the world. However, few people are aware that she spells her name Sreedevi and that she turned down Steven Spielberg’s offer to work on Jurassic Park (1993). On the occasion of her birthday, we’ve compiled a list of interesting facts and our favorite movies of the actor.
Our favorite films of Sridevi
1. Sadma (1983)
Director: Balu Mahendra
After acting alongside Kamal Haasan in Mahendra’s Moondram Pirai, Sridevi worked with Mahendra again for the movie’s Hindi adaptation. It presented the narrative of Nehalata Malhotra, who develops the mental age of a kid after sustaining a brain injury in a vehicle accident that results in retrograde amnesia.
She winds up in a brothel, where she is rescued by Somu (Kamal Haasan), a schoolteacher who falls in love with her. Sadma won three nominations for Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Story at the 31st Filmfare Awards.
2. Nagina (1986)
Director: Harmesh Malhotra
Bollywood, we now say, has never nailed the fantasy genre. That’s because this Sridevi-led film did it long before we were born.
Nagina was not only a great box-office triumph, being the second-highest-grossing Indian film of 1986, but it was also hailed as a historic landmark in Indian cinema since, despite being a woman-centric film, it was a commercial and critical success and was considered to be Sridevi’s finest performance.
3. Mr. India (1987)
Director: Shekhar Kapur
Science fiction is another genre in which Hindi cinema has failed to capitalize. And they should take notes from Sridevi and Anil Kapoor’s film, which is the perfect blend of everything that makes Bollywood work, and top it all off, the weird elements that are associated with science fiction.
Furthermore, if you aren’t singing “bijli giraane main hoon aayi, kehte hain mujhko, hawa hawai” at the end of the film, were you even paying attention.
4. Chaalbaaz (1989)
Director: Pankaj Parashar
It’s not easy to compete with Rajnikanth and Sunny Deol, two of the most popular actors of the 1980s, but Sridevi made it look easy. Chaalbaaz was the fifth-highest-grossing film of 1989, thanks to her dual roles as Anju and Manju, which caused viewers and critics to burst out laughing.
Apart from Sridevi’s high-octane performance, the film received so much praise for its story and music that it became a cult classic in Hindi cinema.
5. Mom (2017)
Director: Ravi Udyawar
Before her demise on February 24, 2018, Sridevi made her 300th and final major film appearance. It told the narrative of a woman who becomes a vigilante to avenge her step-daughter, who was raped by some of her classmates.
It sought critical and commercial acclaim, winning two National Film Awards for Sridevi and A.R. Rahman, for Best Actress and Best Background Score, respectively.