THE SAGA CALLED SRIDEVI
Evidently, they don’t make such actors anymore, nor does this sort of stardom exist. And I don’t remember the last time, the ‘aam’ Janta was so deeply affected by losing a star, so much so, that many feel it’s a personal loss. Why so? What is it that made Sridevi the story that she was? Here’s why we think Sridevi became the phenomenon she did…
The ability to connect
The thing about Sridevi was, she would connect to the audience, no matter what. Through her eyes, her smile, her dialogues or the way she portrayed her characters in the most real manner. Of course, ‘Sadma’ is her most memorable performance till date, and her vulnerability stayed with you but that’s wasn’t the only film where you rooted for her. She played a wife in ‘Judaai’ asking her husband to marry another woman for money, and yet, you adored her, you rooted for her by the end of the film. She played a dominating, headstrong woman in ‘Laadla’, and you still related to her. She had the guts to play these different parts and engage you with her, for that scene, for that moment, throughout the film. The reason why the aam janta today might feel it’s a personal loss, is for the fact that they’ve been engaged to her characters and lived those characters and some have even grown up on her films. Her ability to make people relate to her, probably was her biggest quality.
Her grace, charm
She was a lady and in every manner, behaved like one. Her grace, her charm, the way she spoke, or moved her eyes, all of it spelled grace and made her one of the most charming actresses one has seen. Not to mention, some of her roles, like ‘Chandni’ or ‘Lamhe’ defined how a Hindi film heroine should actually be and many dreamt to dress up like her, be like her. She made every character her own with her own style to pull it off, and made people believe that there’s a lot that actresses can bring into a film, in a usually male-dominated industry.
The style statements she made
While we’re now slowly moving towards the western culture and many youngsters today aspire to look western and modern – with the advent of short hair, black nailpolish, tattoos and shorter clothes ( yes all of that being damn cool), but seeing Sridevi in her earlier films made us believe the beauty that lies in being dressed in a saree, bindi, bangles and flowers in the hair. Not to mention, proving time and again, that a saree isn’t just the most dignified attire, but also pretty sexy (remember Kaante nahi katte’?) Her look in ‘Chandni’ is nothing less than a fantasy and certainly might make men go weak-kneed. At the same time, she’s been able to carry off western outfits with equal grace and made a style statement. She continues to inspire women to copy her style and dress the way she did, in her movies and real life.
While her initial films like ‘Himmatwala’ might see her wearing elaborate costumes and dancing. But slowly, Sridevi proved that she wasn’t just limited to that. Her elongated body of work which included a variety of films like ‘Lamhe’, ‘Chandni’, ‘Sadma’, ‘Nagina’, ‘Laadla’, ‘Judaai’, ‘Army’, ‘Gumraah’ and lately, ‘English Vinglish’ and ‘Mom’ proved that she could play different roles and seamlessly slip into all of them convincingly. Not to mention, carry a film on her shoulders. She tried different things, she dared to be different while also sticking to the formulaic route. She didn’t fall into any box, but rather, today, has created a space which might ever be taken by anyone else, despite the fact that she’s now gone. She built her space and now remains there…without being replaceable!