Sridevi — the full story

No two views: ‘Mayil’ was one of a kind

Indian film actors Sridevi (C), Kamal Haasan (L) and Rajinikanth attend the music launch of new film 'Shamitabh' in Mumbai on January 20, 2015. 'Shamitabh' is scheduled for release on February 6, 2015. AFP PHOTO / PUNIT PARANJPE   | Photo Credit: PUNIT PARANJPE

Hailed for memorable performances in Moondru Mudichu, Meendum Kokila, Johnny, Sigappu Rojakkal, Varumaiyin Niram Sigappu and Moondram Pirai among many other Tamil films, Sridevi’s contemporaries and other members of the Tamil film fraternity said that her acting prowess, dedication and commitment were inspiring.

“She was like fire, a bolt of electricity in front of the camera,” said actor Rajinikanth on Sunday, shocked at his colleague and co-star Sridevi’s sudden demise. Mr. Rajinikanth said that he had known her for over 40 years and that they had been acting together since his second film Moondru Mudichu in which she had her first full-fledged role as a lead actor. “She’s been a very good friend and I have always greatly admired how effortlessly she acted in Hindi films as well,” the actor said.

While strains of Kanne Kalaimane dominated social media when the news of her death broke, actor Kamal Haasan, who starred with Sridevi in 27 films, said that the song was ringing in his ears as well. “I think that’s a lullaby for the talented and beautiful Sridevi. Her astounding talent was no luck and she worked for it right from her childhood,” said the actor in an emotional video message.

Recalling how she had come to work with him and late director K. Balachander at a very young age, Mr. Haasan said that he was astounded by how she evolved in the profession every day. “I used to correct her acting and even used to help her out with dance steps. She was very fond of me and I was very fond of her,” he said.

Noting her popularity as a child artist, music director Ilaiyaraaja recalled in a video tribute about how he had visited the sets of a mythological movie in which she had a role. “Every time we used to visit the sets, the technicians and crew members on the sets would speak very highly of the actress even as a child,” he said.

“A memorable experience for me was when Kamal Haasan and Sridevi came to my studio to record a few lines for a song in Moondram Pirai. Even though I’ve known Sridevi since she was a child artist, it was amazing to see her talent and how she and Kamal learnt the nuances from Balu Mahendra and delivered their lines,” the composer recalled.

The search for Mayil

Following a number of successful movies in Tamil, Sridevi’s shift to Bollywood only made her more popular. “There have been so many actresses who have gone from the south to the north but none have been as successful as Sridevi,” said director Bharathiraja, whom the actress had regarded as one of her favoured directors.

Mr. Bharathiraaja, who gave her one of her most memorable characters Mayil in 16 Vayadhinile said that he had initially searched a lot for the perfect actress to essay the role.

“At every place we shot, she used to cry and I’ve never seen an artist being sentimental about the shooting places. I was hoping I could write a script for her as memorable as this movie in the future but her demise has immensely saddened me,” the director said.

Rajini leaves for Mumbai

Actor Rajinikath has left for Mumbai to attend Sridevi’s funeral which will be held on Monday.

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Printable version | Oct 21, 2021 3:53:10 AM |

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