She was reckoned the queen of Indian cinema. Her popularity is beyond boundaries and required no translation. Her smile had made everyone happy, and one would never felt she was acting as she was seamlessly natural. Her sudden demise has prompted shock across territories, and everyone in the showbiz has lauded her work and acknowledged her endeavors. As the reaction to the demise of Sridevi – the first female superstar of Indian cinema began to pour in, we dig out the anecdotes shared by her co-stars and filmmakers.
A star across generations
Sridevi acted as a bridge between the old and new generation and played a significant role in defining the careers of Nagarjuna and Venkatesh, who were making their strides as young actors back then. Her portrayal of Satya, a typical middle-class woman, who lands in a tricky situation in a crime story from Ram Gopal Varma’s Kshana Kshanam, was considered one of the best performances by a leading lady. Besides social dramas, her features also made filmmakers an obvious choice for portraying ethereal roles. It’s not an understatement that she is the only actress where her acting prowess and her beauty have garnered adulation. She was a director’s delight and would understand what her makers wanted from her. She would own any character and act accordingly with her trademark wit and always brought dignity to them with her nuanced performances. Sridevi was also remarkable in driving Chiranjeevi’s career to superstardom. Her impeccable performance in Jagadeka Veerudu Atiloka Sundari as an innocent celestial being also won critical acclaim. Her last Telugu release was SP Parasuram (1984) also starring Chiranjeevi.
According to industry sources, Sridevi was the initial choice to portray Sivagami’s character in Rajamouli’s magnum opus Baahubali franchise. It is being speculated that she had refused to be on board as the makers allegedly had not met her demands. On her last visit to Hyderabad, she had said that if Chaalbaaz is ever remade, starlet Alia Bhatt would fit the bill perfectly to reprise her double role.
Murali Krishna CH