But it was her performance in films like Sadma, Mr India, Chandni, Chaalbaaz, Nagina and Lamhe that eventually made her a superstar.
That was down south in a Malayalam film called Oonjaal, where Keralites identified her as what they would always call naadan.
As mentioned above, she was a recipient of the Kerala State Film Award as well. I know they loved her very much and how Sridevi loved her daughters.
Oonjaal, a Dravidian word, connotes the swing.
Hassan shared insights from his days alongside Sridevi in Sadma and wrote how he is now being haunted by the lullaby from the film.
She had acted with actors such as Madhu, Sheela, Adoor Bhasi, Jayan, Kaviyoor Ponnamma and many others.
It couldn't have been otherwise. In Malayalam, Sridevi had another laundry list of films with Kamal Haasan - a pair that was probably signed on before thinking of a script - and films with IV Sasi and Bharathan.
Sridevi passed away on Saturday night in Dubai due to cardiac arrest. She has acted in nearly all languages.
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No wonder, the patriarchal Keralite tended to believe that Sridevi was actually a Malayali.
Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu is synonymous with fireworks.
In fact, the same year Oonjal was released, Malayalam saw the release of another movie titled Sreedevi. She broke out at a time when not only Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan were breaking out but also when Mahendran, Balu Mahendra, K. Balachander and Bharathiraaja were making a splash.
In 2012, Sridevi returned to films after a 15-year-long hiatus with Gauri Shinde's movie English Vinglish. Haasan was honored with a National Award for one such movie: Moondram Pirai. She had no major disease of any kind which could have been life threatening and hours before the cardiac arrest she was dancing in the wedding and having a great time with her extended family. She was very selective about her roles and turned down several projects, which went on to become blockbusters, just because she felt that the roles did not deserve her.
After Tamil cinema, Sridevi switched to Bollywood. Once she made the move to Hindi, the nation saw a different side of her. Sridevi's last full fledged acting job was in "Mom" in 2017, where her character chose to take vendetta from the rapists of her daughter.
Known for her versatility, Sridevi had started her acting career as a child artist in M.A. Thirumugham's Thunaivan when she was just four.
A year later, in Telugu's Vidhi Vilasam, he is far less ethereal, playing as a chirpy little girl in a rich bungalow that also has a pet dog. Take, for instance, her role in Gurudev as the street-smart cookie, with a toothpick hanging out of her mouth even as her wit takes off from it. Watch her in that hospital scene where she convinces the watchman, pretending to be her cutesy version and says "jawaani ki nishani ka pani", glinting her eyes, one of which she makes seem lighter than the other. But they still have a career and even if they had made the same thing again and again (one of them did that for a long time), people would have thronged to cinema halls. "It feels like the two of us studied in the same school".