Sridevi died the 24 February las year. I don’t feel like posting this kind of review on either Valentine’s day or on her first year death anniversary so this will fit now in the beginning of the month. I first saw her in her film Nagina (1986) and my curiosity grew from there. She is so easy to love on-screen, so vibrant, so beautiful and so talented in both acting and dancing. There will never be anyone like her, thankfully we still have her films to celebrate her achievements, both in the southern industry where she began to the Hindi films that made her face recognisable in all of India.
Chandni and Rohit meet at a relative’s wedding in Delhi and fall in love. His relatives reject Chandni because of her lower status and caste, only Rohit’s brother-in-law Ramesh is kind to her. The two become engaged against his parents wishes, though with their reluctant blessing. Chandni and Rohit spend their honeymoon in Switzerland and finally live in her family house. To surprise Chandni he makes a romantic gesture that is so Yash Chopra it should be trope. After this Chandni meets Lalit Khanna in Bombay. Chandni has choices to make with both her heart and head in this one woman journey to ultimate happiness.
Now some context. This film came in the 1980s when Hindi cinema was at its worst phase since TV’s were now at almost any house and cinema’s were loosing audiences because of it. Amitabh Bachchan was also dominating star at this time so there was no space for a rising hero to rise to match him in action masala films, so Yash Chopra did the opposite. He returned to his roots as a pure romantic and instead of having a male lead he chose a woman as his leading character. The film would be pure escapism and romance and what do you know it became a hit!
Personally this is one of my favourite Yash Chopra films of those that I’ve seen. It’s so romantic and rose-tinted, but still it has the emotions and the trials to achieve happiness with the one you love. Everything is beautiful and perfect, but the characters we see and care for are real. And all the relationships are expertly done.
Sridevi as Chandni is strong, beautiful, independent and knows what she wants. She leaves only when pushed by the person she cared for the most if it makes him happy and then goes to pursue her own path in life apart from him. She is the lead and the two men in her life are merely at the level of a love interest. The choice in the end is hers which she will choose. Her inner strength is her greatest strength, if that makes sense.
Rishi Kapoor and Vinod Khanna, her two love interests, are actors who are past their prime. Rishi for one can still have the expressions of a young man, but he doesn’t have the body (which his bad sweaters try to hide). We still believe Sridevi loves him, but when you are up against Vinod Khanna, a man whose a little older, but who works as an older love interest with a melancholy weight on his shoulders. Needless to say I prefer the one over the other.
So as Valentine’s day comes nearer consider this a good watch to feel romantic with a glass of red wine in hand, a bouquet of roses and someone to snuggle with, be it a soft toy, a pillow or your partner or friend.
Thank you for reading!
One thought on “Chandni – Romance, Roses and Sridevi”