Tuesday 4 October 2022

Sridevi with Rajinikanth appeared in 18 films together: The definitive listicle of these film super-duper stars!

13 years her senior, Sridevi and Rajinikanth grew up in the Indian film industry and have been working together from a young age - when Sridevi herself was just 13! She was a child-star and Rajinikanth, a Marathi export, a struggling actor trying to make it in Tollywood. Starting from many a villainous role, we all know what an absolute legend he became quickly. 

Rajinikanth and Sridevi's mother were good friends. In fact, Sridevi and her family and Rajnikanth's remained close till the very end - their long association dated back about 40 years on and off films. 

The first film they both acted in was the classic Moondru Mudichu. Its such a mature and dignified performance by the teenaged Sri - I'm sure you've seen the 'Did you know Sridevi was just 13 when she played Rajnikanth's mother?' meme! Context is everything - if you see the film, you recognise that one line and image trending on social media, does no justice to the plot, theme, the twist in the end.

As with most memes, the trending line doesn't say anything of the complexity in the Tamil drama Three Knots (the literal translation of Moondru Mudichu) - how and why she played the part with such precocious elegance. 

Below the listicle of Sridevi and Rajinikanth films together (let us know below if we are missing any). 

  1. Moondru Mudichu (1976)
  2. Gayathri (1977)
  3. Kavikkuyil (1977)
  4. 16 Vayathinile (1977)
  5. Vanakkatukuriya Kathaliye (1978)
  6. Priya (1978)
  7. Dharma Yuddham (1979)
  8. Thaayillamal Naan Illai 
  9. Johnny (1980)
  10. Ranuva Veeran 
  11. Pokkiri Raja (1981)
  12. Thanikattu Raja (1981)
  13. Adutha Varisu (1983)
  14. Naan Adimai Illai (1986)
  15. Bhagwaan Daada (1986)
  16. Gair Kanooni (1988)
  17. Chaalbaaz (1989)
  18. Farishtay (1991)

Memories of superstar Rajini and Sridevi films: 

‪‪‪‪‪‪‪Moondru Mudichu (22/10/1976)
Rajini's first full fledged role and first as a villain with this now-iconic cigarette holding style. The promotions for the leading lady switched for the first time from from 'Baby Sridevi' to just Sridevi. It's hard to believe but true, Sridevi was just 13 years-old when she played this mature role, where she had to be heroine to Kamal Haasan and - spoiler alert - by the end of the film, play step-mother to Rajinikanth! 

Kavikkuyil (29/7/1977)‬
The only Tamil film where Rajini and Sridevi were seen as brother and sister. The film was released during the ill-fated emergency period. 

16 Vayadhinile (15/9/1977)‬
The film that changed the course of Tamil cinema; the holy trinity of Kamal Haasan, Sridevi and Rajnikanth were established and they proved that they were here to stay. The film made Sridevi immortal and she was referred to as Mayil (her on-screen name). Rajini as Parattai became a craze among masses as a star villain. It was also the first silver jubilee film for the trio.  The first film in color for Rajinikanth and Sridevi!

Gaayathri (7/10/1977) 
Rajini & Sridevi in Sujatha's novel made as a film! 

Vanakathukuriya Kadhaliye (14/7/1978)‬
The first film where Rajini had an introduction song 

Priya (23/12/1978) 
The first big budget commercial film of Rajinikanth and the first overseas shoot for both the leading stars. The second novel of Sujatha made into a film that starred Rajini and Sridevi. First stereo songs in Tamil cinema and Rajini's first silver jubilee as a hero. 

Dharmayutham (29/6/1979) 
After nearly a year's hiatus (unheard of in those days as actors did an average of a dozen films), Rajnikanth returned to the screen that became a super duper hit. Agaya Gangai song became an instant classic. 

Johnny (15/8/1980)‬
A classic film which portrayed double roles in a unique manner. Rajini's first on screen double role!. 

Ranuva Veeran (26/10/1981)‬ 
Sathya Movies' comeback film after MGR left the film industry (for politics!). 

Pokkiri Raja (14/1/1982)‬ 
Remake of Sridevi's Telugu film Chuttalunnaru Jagratha and her only film as heroine in AVM Productions.  

Thanikattu Raja (12/3/1982)‬
The first film of Rajini to have political undertones. The song Santhana Kaatre remains an all-time classic. 

Adhutha Varisu

Adutha Varisu (7/7/1983)‬ 
The second time Sridevi reprised a Hema Malini role. (The first being the Tamil film Guru (1980), the Indianised version of Anastasia is a fun caper. 

Naan Adimai Illai (1/3/1986)‬ 
The last Tamil film of Sridevi with Rajinikanth, the failure of this drama and the exorbitant salaries of the two superstars meant, most producers could no long afford the combination of the two superstars. 

Bhagwaan Dada (25/4/1986)‬ 
Hrithik Roahan as a child artist, sharing screen space with Rajinikanth and Sridevi. Their first Hindi film together. 

Chaalbaaz (8/12/1989)‬
Essentially an extended cameo for Rajnikanth, he did the film just for Sridevi as she went on to give a career-defining and award-winning performance. 

Farishtay (22/2/1991)‬
The last time Rajinikanth and Sridevi worked together. Though the film opened huge, it flopped badly at the box office. Rajini's name in the film was Shivajirao Ranajirao Ramojirao Arjun Tange! 

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