She was a rough diamond and this film was replete with rough edges. But still, this Madras family drama cum taming of the shrew was a commercial blockbuster which put Sridevi firmly on the map.
Flaring nostrils and with a whip in hand, the swim-suited Thunder Thighs drew massive sighs from the masses. During the Ta-thaiya-ta-thaiya number, she had the audience literally drowning the song with wolf-whistles at her jhatkas amongst the matkas.
But she was always more than just a sex doll. A Niagara of energy, she had a jazzy insouciance. Moreover, she played with a child's ease with an awesome array of expressions.
Sridevi: "After the failure of Solva Saal (co-starring Amol Palekar) when I was doing Himmatwala, to be honest, I was not at all interested. Matlab [I mean], i was like Solva Saal is a disaster, now I can never make it in Hindi cinema'. In fact, when Jeetuji agreed to work with me, I was shocked that he had agreed to work with a flop heroine. Though my character in Himmatwala is of a very loud and proud girl, I was unusually quiet on the sets. For one, I was not confident of my making it big. Two, there were all these heavy-weights like Amjad Khanji, Kader Khanji, Shakti Kapoor and Jeetuji, who I had to do scenes with (during Solva Saal, the whole unit had been from the south itself). My feeling was like… jo pehle din school main bacchi jaati hai na [like when a girl goes to school on her first day], like that. Once or twice Jeetuji even asked me, 'Aren't you interested in working in Hindi films? Why are you so quiet?' What could I tell him?
When within days of its release I came to know that he film is a super duper hit, I just couldn't believe it!"