There are roles that you´ve got to work on and then there are roles which sort of grab you by the scruff of your neck, holding you in the vice-like grip of its sheer potential. Sridevi´s dual turn in Chaalbaaz is one such performance. Sure it´s an unabashed comedy-drama and it´s been done twice before once by Hema Malini in Seeta Aur Geeta and the male version by Dilip Kumar (Ram Aur Shyam) but Sridevi infuses a certain quirkiness that adds new sauce to the old as pasta formula.
While she plays Manju with a certain offhand madness, she portrayed Anju with a kind of neurotic quivery personality thus totally separating the two. Sridevi´s penchant for giggles and her ability to look distinctly tearful when required polishes these performances to perfection. Hell, she made Sunny Deol and Rajnikant look like sidekicks in the film. Also memorable are her bravura acts in Lamhe and Sadma.
|Sridevi and Sunny Deol in Chaalbaaz|