Sridevi’s glittering career spanned over five decades and three hundred films. Her legacy will live on through her iconic songs that shaped a generation, but also through the powerful messages she left in her work.
Her final films ‘Mom’ (2017) and ‘English Vinglish’ (2012) truly showed how brave she was as an actor and woman, rising above the political conflict of the subcontinent and making a stand for South Asian Women.
2017 gave light once again to conversations around the supposed ‘ban’ on Pakistani artists working in Bollywood, unfortunately backed by politicians and supported by influential names in the industry. It was this year that Sridevi proudly shared the screen with Pakistani actors Adnan Siddiqui and Sajaj Aly, who affectionately called the star ‘Mom’.
‘The people in Pakistan will miss her as much as the people in India’. – Adnan Siddiqui
‘English Vinglish’ (2012) is the story of an Indian woman in the US, unable to speak the language. Sridevi beautifully portrays the resilience and resourcefulness that can be seen in many first generation South Asians coming the UK, trying the assimilate while keeping a firm grasp on their culture. Sridevi embodies the female, South Asian drive and reminds the audience to celebrate this.
Condolences have poured in from all over the globe, but the messages of love from Pakistan show how art and culture have the strength to unify.
Shridevi, ‘The Meryl Streep of India’, was not just an actress but a champion of a movement for strong and powerful women. Her films serve as a reminder for the industry that a female lead is sufficient for box office success, and the role of woman is not to prop up any male character; a reminded Hollywood and Bollywood both need.