Book Review: ‘Sridevi: The South Years’ by Amborish Roychoudhury

Remembering Super Star – Sridevi!

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Book Title: Sridevi: The South Years
Author: Amborish Roychoudhury
Publisher: Rupa Publications India
Number of Pages: 216
ISBN: 978-9357024624
Date Published: Aug. 05, 2023
Price: INR 337

Sridevi: The South Years by Amborish Roychoudhury Book Cover

Book Review

Sridevi, an actress widely regarded as one of the most exceptional talents in the history of the Hindi film industry, graced the screens with her brilliance for more than four decades. Across genres such as comedy, action, romance, and drama, she infused her roles with an indelible energy that rendered her dialogues and movements unforgettable.

Authored by the distinguished writer, biographer, and film historian Amborish Roychoudhury and published by Rupa Publications, Sridevi’s biography celebrates her stature as an iconic actress in the Hindi film industry. The book, “Sridevi: The South Years,” was released to commemorate the birth anniversary of the luminary who illuminated screens for over forty years.

Born on August 13, 1963, to a Telugu mother and a Tamilian father, Sridevi embarked on her acting journey as a young child artist in South Indian cinema. These formative experiences laid the foundation for her eventual ascent as the first female superstar. On the occasion of Sridevi’s 60th birth anniversary, we extend heartfelt tributes to her departed soul here at Storizen.

This book delves into the early stages of Sridevi’s career and chronicles her rise as a prominent actress in South India. Enriched with interviews of prominent figures in Southern cinema—Baradwaj Rangan, Mohan Raman, G. Dhananjayan, and Chithra Lakshmanan—the book presents glimpses of Sridevi’s illustrious journey. Additionally, it features photographic insights from her early collaborations with stalwarts like Kamal Hasan, Rajinikanth, MGR, NTR, and the Ganesans.

Sridevi: The South Years” is divided into two parts: the first part encapsulates her life journey from her parents’ narrative to her untimely demise. This section unveils the lesser-known side of Sridevi, an off-screen warrior, and challenges the perception that she was solely a diva. Her passing, though shocking, occurred at the age of 54. She had already acted in nearly 200 films across Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada languages—most before she gained fame in Hindi cinema.

These films marked her artistic growth, where her acting prowess blossomed. The book urges her followers, particularly those in Bollywood, to check out her work in South Indian languages, as many of these films are now available with subtitles on websites like YouTube. Such a tribute would be a more genuine approach to remembering her and commemorating her legacy.

Sridevi: The South Years” thoroughly examines her early career, from her beginnings as a child artist to her evolution as a leading lady before she became a household name in Northern India. It offers a window into Sridevi’s evolution as India’s first female superstar, woven with insights from celebrated directors and journalists who collaborated with her.

The second part features interviews with eminent film critics and journalists, including Baradwaj Rangan, G. Dhananjayan, Chitra Lakshmanan, and Mohan Raman. While Kamal Haasan and Baradwaj Rangan contribute the foreword, the afterword is penned by Ram Gopal Varma.

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Ultimately, “Sridevi: The South Years” is a tribute to the celestial being that Actress Sridevi embodies, as eloquently stated by Ram Gopal Varma and her admirers from around the world and the nation. On her 60th birthday, we extend our heartfelt wishes to the beloved “Athilokasundari.”

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