Sridevi’s exceptional contribution to South cinema will always be revered – looking back at her best films
We are still reeling under the shocking death of Sridevi– one of the most celebrated, talented , versatile actresses of India. On February 24th, following a massive cardiac arrest the actress breathed her last. The film industry is beyond shocked over her unexpected demise. Today, as we try to come to terms with her demise, we want to pay an ode to this fantastic actress who left us in awe for several years across multiple languages. We want to talk about her exceptional contribution to South that in a way revolutionized the industry. For those who don’t know, the actress began her career in cinema with Thunaivan, at the age of four. She played Lord Murugan. The film featuring Sowkar Janaki and A. V. M. Rajan in the lead was huge commercial hit. Several films followed – Kandan Karunai, Poomputta, Nam Naadu, Bala Bharatham, Babu, Sabatham to name a few. Her journey as the lead actor began in 1976 and thereafter there was no looking back.
Moondru Mudichu – Renowned director, K Balachander was the one who offered SriDevi this film. At the age of 13, she starred alongside Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth. The film was about two men vying for her love. When K Balachander had passed away, the actress had revealed how this director had changed her life when he gave her, her first break. “One day he decided to cast a child artist as a heroine. MOONDRU MUDICHU changed my life forever. Tamil Cinema & all people involved in it including me have grown in his shadow. Condolences to his family. He shall always live in our heart.” the actress had tweeted.
Gayathri – This was her second movie opposite Rajinikanth, directed by R.Pattabhiraman. In this mvoie, she played wife to Rajiniaknth who happened play the role of a manipulative, adult filmmaker. He would film scenes with his wife and sell them. However, before she could be faced with the real truth, her teacher passes away.
Kavikkuyil – In 1977, she starred along side Sivakumar, Rajinikanth. This time she played Rajiniaknth’s sister. The film was a simple story about a couple who love each other but are faced with a challenge later in life.
16 Vayathinile – Then came along this romantic drama directed by P. Bharathiraja, that changed the face of south cinema. The movie was about Maya (Sridevi) and the challenges she faces. The film on release was critically acclaimed for its direction, music and its credible performances by Sridevi, Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth. The film went to run for 175 days in the theatres.
Sigappu Rojakkal – Starring Sridevi and Kamal Haasan.in lead roles, this psychological thriller was about a disturbed man, who after being screed by his experiences with women in life, would murder them after having sex with them. Another gem by by P. Bharathiraja that won several accolades.
Priya – In 1978, the actress was seen in Priya also starring, Rajinikanth, Ambarish and Aznah Hamid.The mvoie based on a novel went on to become a blockbuster.
Kalyanaraman Kalyanraman was another of her hits starring Kamal Haasan. The movie went on tobecome a big hit. The movie was also remade i Hindi as Ghazab and in Kannada as Sriramachandra .
Thaayillamal Naan Illai – Yet another film, with Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth that went to become a big hit. Owing to its success, the film was dubbed in Telugu.
Guru – This Tamil film was a remake of the hit Hindi film – Jugnu. Starring Kamal Haasan and Sridevi yet again, the movie went on to become a big hit and witnessed a 365 day run at the box office.
Johnny – The movie starring Sridevi and Rajiniaknth was a success on its release owing to its moving story that struck a chord. Reports suggest, the film at first disappointed the audience because they were expecting a action entertainer.
Varumayin Niram Sivappu – This was another K Balachander film that starred Kamal Haasan. The movie was also remade in Hindi as Zara Si Zindagi,.
Vishwaroopam – This was another hit in 1980 starring Siva Ganesan, Sri devi and Sujatha. The movie was a remake of Adalat.
Meendum Kokila – Directed by G. N. Rangarajan, the movie starred Sri Devi, Kamal Haasan and deepa. The movie went on to become a box office success.
Ranuva Veeran – This Tamil film starred Rajinikanth and Sri Devi. The movie went on to become a huge success. The mvoie also starred Chiranjeevi as the main antagonist.
Vazhvey Maayam – Although Sri Devi was aprt fo this film, it starred Kamal Haasna in the lead role. The movie was a major hit and witnessed a 200 day run at the BO.
Moondram Pirai – A 1982 film that revolutionised cinema owing to mature performances. The fiolm was about school teacher who decides to a protect a girl who suffers form retrograde amnesia. The film talks aboiut how she eventually recovers aher memory because of the teacher’s help.The movie on its release garnered critical acclaim. It witnessed a 329 day run at the box office. The movie was directed by Balu Mahendra, The also won several accolades, from state awrads to national Awards. The movie was also remade in Hindi with the same cast.
Thanikattu Raja – An action film that starred Rajinikanth and Sri Devi in lead roles. The movie was a declared a hit.
Naan Adimai Illai – This was Sri Devi’s last Tamil film in the 80s before she moved on to Bollywood. This film also starred Rajinikanth.
Puli – This film marked her comeback to Tamil cinema after nearly two decades. The movie starred Thalapathy Vijay, Shruti Haasan,
The industry is now a dimmer place as it has lost an irreplaceable gem.