Sridevi’s Iconic Double Roles: A Peak into Mrs India’s Versatility!
By Neha Jha
Feb 28, 2018
None of her grieving fans can ever forget Sridevi’s iconic double roles. The strong, versatile actress that she was, Mrs India’s Versatility and enigma would light up the screen, her expressions taking the audience in awe and her electric dance moves impressing the audience. No wonder, she could pull the crowd to the theatres only with her presence.
Manju in ChaalBaaz:
ChaalBaaz (1989) was one of the 6 movies in which Sridevi played double role. A remake of Hema Malini’s superhit film “Seeta Aur Geeta”, Sridevi played the role of twins with strikingly opposite personas. Like Geeta, Sridevi played Manju with such comic timing and elan that the audience and the critics were blown away! What surfaced now post her demise was an example of her grit, determination, and professionalism while shooting for the song ‘Na Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai’. She was suffering from high fever and the song demanded a rain sequence. She shot for the song, distributed money to the unit and only after everything was complete, did she leave. Who can say that the girl in overalls and raincoats, dancing in perfect sync to the beats and emulating those expressions and making the audience laugh?
Mother-Daughter Roles of Sridevi:
In the two other iconic movies, Lamhe and Khuda Gawah, she played mother-daughter roles. And it was equally difficult to separate the two. How can one forget how Pooja (Sridevi’s character in Lamhe) dances with utter innocence and joy in the song “Meri Bindiya” all the while unaware of the fact that the man she’s in love with actually longs for her mother. Sridevi had a very brief appearance as the mother Pallavi in the film. Yet the magic she brought onscreen in both these distinctive roles impressed the audience and, to this day, Lamhe is touted to be one of her finest films. The same magic was recreated in Khuda Gawah opposite Amitabh Bachchan and there was no way the audience could relegate the two characters. That was how Sridevi made her impact on the roles she performed, in particular, her double roles.
Sridevi’s performance as Manju in ChaalBaaz won her the fourth place in the Filmfare list of `80 Iconic Performances of Hindi Cinema` and rightly so. After all, did we ever see Sridevi needing a male actor to support her movies? She was all that was needed!
Double roles have dramatically reduced in Hindi movies of late. And to portray such different characters requires the kind of strength and poise rare to see these days. Maybe, that’s another reason why Sridevi will be sorely missed.