Monday, 17 April 2017

Sridevi dancing with Jaya Prada

Truth be told Maqsad is not a great film. And the grand finale number 'Naagraja' is a bit of an ear-sore on audio. But visually, its high drama. Pure spectacle. A dance-drama worth watching repeatedly just for the diva-off... 

Sridevi and Jaya Prada battle it out and its spectacular. The two dancing divas of Bollywood in the 1980s, in their shimmering sari-clad perfection match each other step by step, pose by pose. The contemporaries were competitors, who set aside all their differences to act in several films together. In this dance, you can see their famed arch rivalry with little ambiguity. Sridevi is as graceful as ever, Jaya Prada beautiful. It is purely a matter of opinion on who is better.

Sridevi went on to rule the box-office, get greater pay, have films written for her and was the unquestionable Queen of Bollywood as her ascent was undeniable. Jaya Prada... well, for all her accomplishments (she was beautiful, a fine actress and dancer), she didn't achieve the legendary status of her rival. The pretty doll in several movies where she was an accessory to the hero, Jaya Prada was wasted in several flop films throughout the '80s - with no single successful film that can be credited or attributed to her merits.

Whereas Sridevi led films with title roles, double-roles and committed herself to ensure that she was getting equal (if not higher) pay and a role equal to her male co-stars. To top it all, she had box-office clout. We can rattle off a number of films which were successful simply because of Sridevi's presence and aura, be it a title-role like Chandni or her penultimate film English Vinglish. In the later years, when Sridevi did a guest appearance in a film like Main Tera Dushman - where Jaya Prada was in fact the leading lady - the posters showcased Sri more than Jaya as she had a greater draw.

Both actresses rarely appear on screen now, but when the two ladies met in May 2016 at a wedding, they set aside their differences and history. For the camera at least.

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