Childlike innocence, female allure, Sridevi went from charming kid to Lady Superstar

There has been no dearth of beautiful women who have graced Hindi films down the ages.

Mumbai: There has been no dearth of beautiful women who have graced Hindi films down the ages. Women with abundant talent as well. But not since the time of Mumtaz has one seen an actress who managed to bring together that heady combo of childlike innocence and female allure.

Sridevi was unique in that sense. Add to it her flair for drama and comedy and one had an intoxicating screen presence. No matter if you liked her or not, she was impossible to resist. She would draw you in with her expressive eyes and her spontaneity. She was an all-round actress, one who slid smoothly into the role of mainstream Hindi cinema's quintessential heroine. Whether it was a Himmatwala or a Sadma, a Khuda Gawah or a Laadla, she was always bang on, hitting all the notes in perfect harmony.

Her debut in Bollywood with Solva Sawan (1979) hardly created any waves. But it all changed in 1983 when Himmatwala stormed the box office. Riding the ‘south’ wave which struck Bollywood in the '80s, Sridevi had arrived, thunder thighs and all. The year also saw the release of Sadma, which gave us an altogether different Sridevi. A lesser actress would have made a hash of that role. But Sridevi walked that perfect balance as the young woman with amnesia and created poignant magic on screen with Kamaal Hassan.

But she stayed true to script and lived out most of ’80s prancing through roles gleefully as the coy saree-clad Hindi heroine in films like Tohfa, Mawaali, Aulad, Suhaagan, Ghar Sansar, Dharam Adhikari, Maqsad, Masterji, Justice Chaudhury, etc. But Nagina (1986) was a bit of a game changer of sorts, catapulting Sridevi to the No. 1 spot among heroines. With Nagina, she was able to successfully shed a certain phase of her acting career. Films like Karma and Janbaaz (1986) with makers like Subhash Ghai and Feroze Khan followed.

After her marriage to producer Boney Kapoor, Sridevi settled down to play housewife and bring up her two daughters. But she made a resounding comeback in Gauri Shinde’s English Vinglish (2012) with a muted but powerful performance as a housewife trying to rediscover herself. She went on to star in her home production Mom last year. Like the best of them, Sridevi is now the stuff of memory.

The body of late actor Sridevi, is expected to arrive in Mumbai on Monday morning according to a press note released by the Yash Raj Films communications late on Sunday night.

Good night sweet princess. And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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