Monday, 14 August 2017

TBT from the Filmfare Archive: Unquestionably No.1

For a Throwback Tuesday, a look at a feature that ran as a cover story in Filmfare magazine back in July 1984! 

Every five years or so, an elaborate ritual takes place in Hindi moviedom. The reigning glamour queen abdicates her title in favour of a younger tinsel goddess. Such a transition took place recently. When Rekha was replaced by another actress from the South - Sridevi. The sensuous bombshell has grabbed the limelight.

Profiled by Nikhil Lakshman.

“Sridevi,” says Rekha. “is number one. Give her six months more and she will redefine the rules of the industry.” The erstwhile glamour queen is not the only one. From movie moguls to top screenplay writers, from directors to superstars, the view is unanimous. A Greek chorus.

For less than eighteen months, this captivating gamine from NTR territory has clearly demonstrated her unbelievable box-office potential. And the price is Rs 12 lakhs.

No actress has ever shot up so swiftly. It took Hema Malini nearly four years to make the ascent. Rekha even with Mr B’s help took an identical period. And neither faced the cut-throat competition that Sridevi faces. Today, there are so many actresses in the race; Rati Agnihotri, Jaya Prada, Padmini Kolhapure, Dimple Kapadia, Meenakshi Seshadri, Moon Moon Sen.

July 16-31, 1984
So what makes Sridevi run? And number one?

The present power and glory is a far cry form the humiliation five years ago, when “Solva Sawan” was released. Though it was a good remake of that fine Tamil Film “10 Vayadinile”, the movie flopped. As for Sridevi, despite a tantalising show of thigh - immortalised in that enchanting freeze frame when she wades across a river - and an on-par performance, the film’s failure instantly banished her from the Hindi movie scene. At about the same time, another actress from Andhra Pradesh was delighting audiences with her zest in “Sargam”. Ironically, that super-hit had little impact then on Jaya Prada’s career, which, thanks to her refusal to learn Hindi, and badly-conceived projects, like “Los Parlok”, and “Bawri”, went into limbo.

Meanwhile, deeply hurt at the “Solva Sawan” episode, Sridevi worked hard at her craft in Hyderabad and Madras. As a child actress she had her debut at 5. As an adult, she zoomed to the top in the South. She could hold her own both in corny song’n’dance extravangzas like “Bobbulipuli” and “Premabhishekham” as well as serious well-made films like Balu Mahendra’s “Moondram Pirai”. A Raghavendra Rao, the Telugu producer who is widely given credit for ‘creating’ Srievi, recalls the sensation that “Bobbulipuli” was. “Whenever NTR - you must remember she was 16 and he was near lying 60 - and Sridevi came tougher on screen, a strange electricity passed…”

Sadly - that's all we have from the scan. Hope to find the original to type up the rest.
Meanwhile, see an archive of all the Filmfare magazine covers Sridevi has graced over the past three decades here.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic! Hope you are able to trace the rest of the article.