With her evocative eyes and sly grin that lit up movie screens, Sridevi became Bollywood’s first female superstar. The actor dominated commercial film in the 1980s and 1990s, breaking the pattern of a predominantly male-dominated industry with her exceptional acting skills. Her distinguished five-decade career ensured that just having her name attached to a film was enough to ensure its success.
Here are a few of Sridevi’s roles as powerful feminine characters:
Sridevi and Anil Kapoor’s on-screen chemistry in the film Mr. India was simply electric and remains unforgettable to this day. Sridevi’s character, Seema, a journalist who unwittingly becomes involved in a plot to save India, was played to perfection, adding to her legacy as a versatile and talented actor. The film itself has become a beloved classic, adored by audiences for its action, humour, and iconic music.
Sridevi’s elegant performance in the film Chandni stole the show, even though big names like Rishi Kapoor and Vinod Khanna also appeared in it. The film depicts Sridevi’s character, who is torn between the love of two men. When her current fiancé Lalit invites Rohit home for dinner after his recovery from paralysis, she finds herself in a difficult situation.
Sridevi’s portrayal of an amnesiac in the film “Sadma” showcased her exceptional acting skills and cemented her status as a cinematic icon. The story follows her character, who is abducted and brought to a brothel where she is saved by a kind man. He takes her to his home in Ooty where her amnesia, caused by a severe accident in childhood, leaves her unable to recall her identity or seek help. Despite her mental condition, she forms a deep bond with her caretaker, making for a moving and unforgettable performance by Sridevi.
English Vinglish (2012)
In this renowned film, Sridevi portrays the multi-dimensional character of Shashi, a simple woman who is belittled by her family due to her inability to speak English. Despite being ridiculed, Shashi refuses to be defeated and eventually learns the language during a trip to Manhattan for a wedding. With over 300 films to her credit, Sridevi was the epitome of a versatile actress whose performances stayed with the audience long after the film had ended. Her impactful roles earned her the nickname “Lady Amitabh” in recognition of her talent and stature in the Indian film industry.
Sridevi’s final film, Mom, was a fitting tribute to her illustrious career, as she delivered a powerful performance as Devki, a mother seeking justice for her stepdaughter’s rape. This was her 300th film, and a departure from the romantic roles she was typically associated with, demonstrating her versatility as an actress.