Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sridevi and the Snake Dances

While I decide which Bollywood horror film to watch next, I thought I'd put up a quickie post because I am being paid by quantity, not quality - sort of like Toyota.

Here are two pictures of Sridevi from the coffee table book, Bollywood - Popular Indian Cinema. It has loads of great photos inside and is a great fallback for me when I have nothing else to put up here. Sridevi was enormously popular in the 1980's but one has to wonder whether she would have a chance in today's lean mean Bollywood with thighs that would be at home on the offensive line of the New York Giants. She really didn't have the classical looks, but she sure had energy and personality and that won her hordes of fans and great affection. She could do straight romance, but was always best as kind of kooky and lovable. Like in Mr. India where she goes undercover in this scene to steal a secret. Beware of Indians in blackface and note the villainous white fellow - he is Bob Christo, one of the very very few Caucasians to actually have a career in Bollywood, always playing a mean spirited rotter of course. But the most astonishing thing about Mr. India is that the director, Skekhar Kapur, was to later go on and make two Queen Elizabeth films starring Cate Blanchett. I may be mistaken but I don't recall there being anyone in blackface in those films.

The creepiest film she made, though totally unintentionally, had to be Lamhe, where Anil Kapoor (who also was her co-star in Mr. India) falls in love with her as her much older guardian because she is the spitting image of her mother who he loved but never won and is now dead. It is considered a great romance but made me queasy as hell. Yup, he wins her love in the end. Even creepier than Nagina, where Sridevi plays a snake woman, you might ask? Actually, I'd love coming home after a hard day's work and having my wife do the snake dance for me. And then asking "What's for dinner honey?". The baddie blowing the big pipe with the crazy eyes is Amrish Puri, the psycho priest in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Of course, Indiana hated snakes so I am not sure how he would take to Sridevi's dance. Weird how she gets smacked at the end of both songs.

For some unexplainable reason, I have not seen the film pictured below - Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja and my DVD is sitting in Bangkok taking in the warm weather while we are expecting more snow tomorrow. Get the shovel out. Maybe I'll have to watch a Carmen Miranda movie instead.


Steve said...

Ah, Sridevi, India's best actress had the misfortune of working during the worst years of Bollywood.

Pictures really don't do her justice. Watch her in Mr. India or Judaai (or many others) to see her magic at work.

"The creepiest film she made, though totally unintentionally, had to be Lamhe [...]"

Lamhe was pretty creepy, but given her extensive filmography, I somehow doubt it was the creepiest, given she filmed scenes such as this when she was ~15.

Brian said...

You got me beat! I had to turn it off after 30 seconds - creepy doesn't even begin to describe it - more like criminal? Ewwwwww. I'd never have recognized her.

Steve said...

The nosejob/skin whitening did transform her looks quite a bit.