Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Performance of the year: Sridevi

Famed film critic and notorious Hindi cinema-curmudgeon Raja Sen lauds Sridevi for the performance of the year. More at rediff

What. A. Return.

I've never been the hugest Sridevi fan, growing up decidedly on the Madhuri side of the fence, but this wondrous performance deserves massive, massive applause.

Gauri Shinde's terrific English Vinglish casts the once larger-than-life Sri as a mousy housewife struggling to establish her own identity, and the actress is superb as she deals with bratty children, a smug husband and, of course, the English language, without a grasp of which she is made to feel most inadequate.

It's a great character, one revelling in audience sympathy, and Sri plays it deftly and tenderly.

Her Shashi is flawless, sure, but Sri makes her an irresistible underdog who must be cheered on.

There is magic in the way she is spurred on by the minor victories -- like learning to negotiate a NYC subway turnstile -- and magic also in how believable she keeps things.

This is a simple film where things are credible, never melodramatic, and Sridevi -- in a range of well-picked cotton sarees -- always judges the tone right.

It's the sort of performance younger actresses, including the ones on this list, should learn from.

Hats off, Ma'am.

Image: Sridevi in English Vinglish

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