Tuesday, 25 January 2022

Rare pics: TBT: The only film Rekha and Sridevi were together in. Briefly.

Tamil dramedy Meendum Kokila (1981) was originally directed by Mahendran with an all-star cast of Sridevi, Kamal Haasan and Bollywood actress Rekha, marking her Tamil cinema debut as a leading lady. Rekha was the original choice for the role of Kamini, the 'other woman' causing havoc in the martial bliss of a Brahmin couple (Kamal and Sri). 

Several scenes featuring Rekha were shot and rare pics from the archive are slowly emerging on the net - some of the best ones we found are below (and in the archives here). 

As the film progressed Rekha pulled out of the film - citing no official reason. However, rumour has it that Rekha's father, legendary Tamil actor Gemini Ganesan, claimed he told Rekha not to play "second fiddle" to the rising star Sridevi. Rekha was replaced by Malayali actress Deepa - and several scenes originally shot with Rekha were re-shot, frame by frame.

Sridevi went on to win the first of her many Best Actress awards for the film. Working on average in 11 films a year, in three languages, Sridevi was not only the hardest working actress of her time, her steady stream of hits made her a top star in all the southern states. Either she worked in the regional industry and/or her films were dubbed in several languages garnering her pan-Indian fame early on. By the time she worked in her first Hindi film in 1979 (in the flop Solva Saawan) or made a return to Hindi in 1983 in the blockbuster Himmatwala, every cine-goer was already familiar with the famed Indian beauty. 

Released on 14 January 1981, Meendum Kokila was a commercial success and praised by critics. 

In hindsight, wonder if Rekha regrets leaving the film that made so much money. A supreme loss to cine fans that the two grand dames of Indian cinema - Rekha and Sridevi - were not seen on screen together ever. Legend has it, in the early '90s, a remake of All about Eve, as suggested by Rekha to several producers, was in discussion but nothing came into fruition. Pity. Only these stills of the two leading ladies on set remain from what could have been... 

Hey Sridevi!


Sridevi on the sets of Laadla

Sridevi on the sets of Laadla
More pics from this look in the archive here.

Monday, 24 January 2022

Sridevi in the mid 80s in Bollywood

Sridevi in the mid 80s in Bollywood 

Sridevi's 90s look trending

One of these images is touched up by Instagram filters, the other is the original published in the 90s in many a film magazine. 

Hmm. There isn't much of a difference but if you know, you know... 

You can see dozens of pics from this sensational shoot by Rakesh Shreshta in the archive here. The outfit was designed by Neeta Lulla, a fav of Sridevi, Juhi Chawla and Aishwarya Rai - among a million others. 

Sunday, 23 January 2022

20 year old Sridevi in Inquilaab

20 year old Sridevi in Inquilaab. 

Released in January of 1984, Sridevi was just 20 years old when the movie released with her superstar co-star, Amitabh Bachchan, who was about to turn 42!

She said that she was so in awe of her tall hero that she barely spoke to him and observed. They finally got comfortable working together by the time they shot Khuda Gawah years later. 

Meanwhile, working the fashion of the time, Sridevi looked ultra glam in the early 1980s in Bollywood. 


Sridevi, "Hits and flops don't affect me."


Sridevi, "Hits and flops don't affect me." 

If you scroll through the archive of many of her interviews, Sridevi had a zen, middle-path approach to success and failure of her film - be it commercial or critical. Its a quote that comes up often - even when English Vinglish was releasing, when reporters asked her if she was nervous, she alluded to the fact that the state of box-office wasn't up to the benediction of her opinion or stress. She was confident of the good film and hoped it found an audience. Similarly be it after a big hit or a commercial fiasco, Sridevi wasn't too perturbed. Having been in the industry for long - well, her entire life really, hits and flops didn't sway her much.