The first Hindi film of Sridevi - a remake of her own films made in South that were superhits, but failed miserably in its Hindi incarnation.
Solva Saawan was directed by Bharathi Rajaa, with cinematography by P.S.Nivas, starring Sridevi, Amol Palekar, Madhukar and Dina Pathak. The film score was composed by Jai Dev.
In her debut role as a heroine, Sridevi (herself 16 when the film was shot) plays the 16-year-old Mehna, who refuses the advances of a mentally challenged character played be Amol Palekar. Mehna falls in love with a city vet but refuses to commit to him, and finds herself being rejected in turn.
With this new perspective, Mehna begins to accept Amol Palekar's character and encourages him to defend himself against those who constantly mock him. But when an evil villager, played by Kulbhushan Kharbanda, attempts to rape Mehna, Palekar's character kills him by throwing a brick at his head. Palekar's character is arrested for murder, and the film concludes with Sridevi waiting in vain at a train station for his return.
The film, a remake of the South Indian hit Pathinaru Vayathinile filmed two years earlier with Kamal Hassan and Rajnikanth, did not perform very well at the box office in its Hindi incarnation - unlike its predecessors.
Sridevi was 16 while the movie was shot and released and her co-star Amol Palekar was 19 years older, age 35!
Sridevi on her first Hindi film, Solva Saawan.
Sridevi, "Solva Saawan was and still is a bad memory. I had earlier done the Tamil and Telugu versions of the same film, so by the time I got to the Hindi version, I was bored sick! Moreover, I didn’t know Hindi and I was most uncomfortable working in the alien atmosphere of Bombay. I was missing Madras terribly and I just wanted the film to be done and over with. One vivid memory of the film is my messing up the first take on the first day of shooting, which I’m very superstitious about. I knew then, that the film would be a flop. Secretly, I was quite happy because I thought that I wouldn’t have to work in the horrible place Bombay (laughs) anymore. I thought I’d go back, work for a couple of years more, get married, and go away. But God willed it otherwise. Only one thing worked in my favour. The first of my Tamil, Telugu and Kannada films were all terrible flops, after which I rose to the top in all the bilingual films. So Solva Saawan’s failure was in fact a good omen for better things to come.
Q: If Amol Palekar approached you for a film today, would you do it for purely sentimental reasons, considering that he was your first romantic lead in Hindi films?
A: Well frankly, I accept a film only on one criteria – the script and the quality of my role. If it was Amol Palekar, I’d definitely consider seeing his script and hearing him out. But further than that, it’s only my role that matters. But I am quite sure that if he approached me, he’d definitely have a very good script, because he’s a very fine actor. I remember his performances in Chitchor and Rajanigandha. I’ve also heard that he is a very talented director. And a good director can make the world of a difference to even a weak script.
UPDATE: At the launch party of Solva Saawan, a very young Sridevi with her co-stars.