Remembering Chandni – A tribute to the eternal Diva

Some actresses create a generation, style, trend in their era that the world is swept in their charisma. Very few manage to achieve that cult status of ‘Diva’. One such actress was the legendary Sri Devi. Her unexpected demise sent waves of shock to Indian cinema and her fans worldwide on 25th Feb 2018. Her daughter Jhanvi Kapoor will be making her debut in Karan Johar’s upcoming movie – Dhadak which is a remake of Marathi blockbuster movie – Sairat. Sadly her mother’s dream to see her debut movie will remain a dream. I remember same situation happened with Sanjay Dutt during his first movie – Rocky. His mother, the popular actress Nargis had aspirations to see Sanjay Dutt on silver screen. Sadly, she died due to cancer before the release of Rocky. A seat was left vacant at premiere of Rocky in memory of late Nargis Dutt. I hope there will be seat left vacant in memory of Sri Devi in cinema hall at the screening of her daughter’s debut movie.

I recollect the memories of watching Yashraj Films – 1989 movie ‘Chandni’ a romantic yet woman-centric movie. I was too kiddie to watch that heart-warming romantic movie about a woman torn between two men. It was an author-backed, matured performance that won her lot of accolades and appreciation for role of Chandni. From that time, Chandni became synonymous of Sridevi. People began identifying her as Chandni. As Amitabh became popular for his onscreen name ‘Vijay’, Chandni stuck to her persona for a lifetime. Chandni means a cool moonlight in Hindi. Chandni was memorable for one more actor – The legendary star Vinod Khanna. He played the role of a charming businessman who loses his heart to Chandni. Though his role comes post-interval, he made a memorable presence in his limited screen time. Chandni was released in 1989, a year when action movies were in demand. It was a break-through movie that rekindled the romance genre again.

Sridevi made her comeback in 2012 movie – English Vinglish, a refreshing movie on a housewife’s goal to learn English in the corporate world. Even her last movie ‘Mom’ was a vengeance story of a mother. From ‘Solava Saawan’, Sadma to Himmatwala, Chaalbaaz and countless movies, her role was an inspiration for aspiring actresses in Bollywood as well as South Indian cinema. From Karishma Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Kajal Aggarwal to Alia Bhatt, every actress looks towards her as their inspiration. A legacy has ended. As far as Indian cinema is alive, Sridevi will never be forgotten.

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One Reply to “Remembering Chandni – A tribute to the eternal Diva”

  1. Sridevi was one of those utterly real and overwhelmingly larger-than-life stars of the silver screen whose real talents were often sidelined by her sheer charisma and star-power. Your words have showcased those talents, evident in her everlasting signature role in ‘Chandni’ and in the numerous other films in which she left an indelible impression on us all. Considering the dazzling range of her performances (and forgetting, for a moment, the variable quality of the films that she has worked in), it is also perfect that you should also choose to talk about ‘English Vinglish’ in the same sense as that romantic classic. It just goes on to prove that the lady gave us enough to admire and love in every shade and color possible.

    As for me, it is now after her tragic and untimely demise that I realize just what we have lost. We have lost a sensational actress, a performer who could embrace gamely schlocky masala fare, who could be sparkling and stunning in Yash Chopra romances, who could make us giggle and titter with just the right amount of cheek and who could make us root for her woes. Not to forget, an actress who did not have to shed clothes to be a sizzling siren on the screen in a saree drenched in the rain.

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