Sridevi's attention to the finest details is not a surprise, at least not to her directors and colleagues. She pays lots of attention to many details that even sometimes the finest directors may forget to. Sri knows how to face the camera, position herself and light her face. These are some of the important details an actor should be able to focus on besides performing.
Today we will talk about two incidents or situations that clearly show why Sridevi is the perfectionist. The first was said by Raj Kanwar the director of Laadla. Everybody knows that Sridevi replaced Divya Bharti after she passed away and that Divya has shot many scenes. There is one scene that Sridevi had with Farida Jalal where she cuts her wrist with a knife. Raj Kanwar said that after the take where Sri cuts her wrist and before starting to shoot the following portion of the scene, Sridevi asked for water. He was thinking that she wanted to drink. but she wasn't. The empress poured few drops on her face and on her neck to show that she has sweated!. Raj Kanwar said that when he shot the same scene before with Divya Bharti neither himself nor the other actress even thought of this. He was very pleased to see Sridevi's contribution when he himself did not think about that. He said that is why she is his favorite.
The second incident is from another Raj Kanwar direction too. Sridevi's last film before her hiatus, Judaai. Urmila Matondkar was her co star in that film and Urmila has done a fabulous job with her performance. However, said that there is this scene that clearly shows Sridevi as the more experienced actor and the more paying attention to the finest details.
The scene is when Urmila marries Anil Kapoor and hands the money briefcase to Sridevi. Of course a big briefcase with a huge amount of money like that would be very heavy. In this scene when Urmila carries the briefcase she holds it with her fingers which gives you the impression that it is an empty one. Just look at the magic when the same briefcase goes to Sridevi's hands, the way she carries it, her body language and her facial expressions make sure that the viewer gets the idea of how heavy and loaded it is. Look at the below picture to see what we mean.
This whole thing might have slipped from the director's mind but our Empress Sridevi was there to show it. These are just few examples to show why Sridevi is the perfectionist.
The Kapoor family be it Sridevi, Boney Kapoor & Anil Kapoor have kept everything on hold including Sridevi's own home production film "Mother". The reason is Boney's mother has been admitted to hospital and the sons have been spending most of their time with her there.
For Anil it has been tougher as his mother in law is in hospital too. The Kapoors are going through tough times, but our prayers are with them for the well being of their beloved moms.
Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja was one of the most anticipated films in the 1980s because it had the team of Mr. India again. The film was launched at the Silver Jubilee success party of Mr. India in 1988. This was the second film with the same title. The first was starring Dev Anand & Waheeda Rehman.
Initially Shekhar Kapur agreed to direct the film but he then decided to leave the project. Satish Kaushik who was the assistant director of Mr. India stepped in and made his debut as a director with this film. The film started shooting in 1988. Some scenes and songs were shot. The movie was delayed so many times due to so many reasons. be it stars dates, reshooting some outdated scenes. lavish sets building etc. Even the opening credits of the film was very costly! It was at that time when Yash Chopra requested Boney Kapoor some of Sridevi's dates to be given in favor of his own film Chandni. Boney did not mind but again that added to the delay of the film.
Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja was at that time the costliest film ever made. Its budget has surpassed the Rs. 10 Crore & in our times that means over Rs. 100 Crore! Lots of efforts were put in lavish film sets and costumes, but unfortunately less in story building. The first half was fun to watch specially with Sridevi & Anil Kapoor competing each other in burglary, but in the second half the film started to feel rushed and lacking a solid story & dialogue.
The song Dushman Dil Ka Jo Hai Mere was shot in 1988 and it had a lavish setting. Sridevi was mind-blowing be it her dance, her look and her expressions, they were all something you expect from The Sridevi. Neeta Lulla has done all her costumes for the film and most of them were exquisite and grand. The premiere of the film itself was extraordinary and grand. It had many big names attending be it Amitabh Bachchan, Yash Chopra, Subhash Ghai, Rekha and many other stars. Trophies were given to the cast and crew of the film. Sridevi's trophy was given by none other than Rekha.
The film was released after a long delay in 1993 & opened to full houses but unfortunately could not sustain. The cost was too huge to recover. Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja's failure was due to its cost. If the film hadn't costed that much it would have definitely fared much better commercially. A film is usually considered a hit when its revenues are higher than its cost by a good margin. Some films that year were hit even though they made less money than Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja but they had the advantage of a much lower cost.
To the people who have the film on VHS they will notice that many of the outdated scenes and even some portions of the songs were chopped when the film came in DVD. All the DVDs released for the film from different companies lack some of the original footage. So if you have the VHS then keep it until a DVD that has the full content of the film is released which we doubt will happen.
Sridevi was the highlight of the film. Actually Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja has nothing else other than Sridevi be it her wonderful acting or superior dancing. She did the Madrasi comedy scene to perfection. The Japanese woman and so many other unforgettable avatars. The film has so many lovely moments that cannot be forgotten. At least this film to Sridevi fans will remain one of her carrier's many memorable films. Each one of us have his own reasons to like the film.
It is nice to see The Last Empress herself remembers the film today & tweets about it.
Below is the video of launching the film during the Silver Jubilee party of Mr. India in 1988.
& Lastly what the cast and crew of Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja say about the film
Heer Ranjha was one of Sridevi's films in 1992. This film was the last film where Sri was directed by Harmesh Malhotra. He was one of Sri's favorite directors and she was his favorite hero. Yes, not heroine! Sridevi used to be a hero in Harmesh Malhotra's films be it Nagina, Sherni, Nigahen, Banjaran or Heer Ranjha. Harmesh Malhotra even went on to say "Other directors make films for Amitabh Bachchan. He is their hero. I make films for Sridevi. She is my hero!"
When Jaya Prada rejected Nagina and Harmesh worked with Sri instead, he was highly impressed by her talent and professionalism that he made her his own hero. He worked with other stars too but he never gave any star the scope he gave Sridevi! He even once said in an interview that Sridevi's flops make more money than other stars hits! That is why having Sridevi as a hero was always a win situation for him. During the launch of Heer Ranjha he said he never lost money when he worked with Sridevi. That itself says a lot.
This legendary love tale has been made many times in the Indian cinema. The version that was released in 1970 starring Raaj Kumar and Priya Rajvansh was a huge success. Harmesh Malhotra remade this version. Sridevi was the perfect choice for playing Heer. However, the hero was a very challenging issue that faced the director. Harmesh Malhotra played it safe and chose Anil Kapoor to play Ranjha as he with Sridevi were considered a successful pair. Unfortunately Anil Kapoor was not the suitable choice here. The funny thing is that Anil himself considers this role to be one of his career's worst performances. But again who would have been suitable to play Ranjha then? We don't think any established actor would have been suitable and a new comer with Sridevi does not give equal balance to the film. So that was one of the biggest problems with the film.
The film music was top notch. Music Directors Laxmikant - Pyarelal composed some of the most melodious songs for this film. Their other hits that year were from Sridevi's other film Khuda Gawah. Songs like Rab ne banaya tujhe and Ranjha Ranjha were instant hits. Another enchanting music in the film is the background score, specially the title credits. It is so beautifully composed and pure delight to listen to. The background music serves the story and the overall theme of the film very well.
It is also worth to be noted that Sridevi's beautiful costumes and wardrobe for this film were entirely designed by herself! She excelled in choosing the right costumes that suited that period. Matching and mixing colors. Sri was always a fashion queen, a true fashionista and that showed in the film. If you watch the film today after 23 years her costumes are as beautiful as they used to be when the movie was released. Heer Ranjha is definitely one of Sridevi's most underrated films and goes as one of her beautiful performances.