Within the world of Bollywood, comprising essentially mass-produced cheap entertainment, Sridevi was – some years ago – a light that shone out from a somewhat mediocre (at the time) movie industry, and was a very good comedy actress in particular.
Sure, good direction was also a vital part of the equation, but the end result was genuinely very good, and way above the general standard of Bollywood back in the 'nineties.
When we had a couple of Indian channels on cable TV back then (along with Deutsche Welle, Rai Uno, JSTV and several other overseas channels) it was fascinating to be able to dip into those other cultures and – if one were to pay proper attention – to learn some interesting and worthwhile things about those others.
I certainly did; and have touched on a few of them previously (especially a police detective series from Japan and the delightful Domenica In from Italy). Most of Bollywood at the time was, frankly, very poor (though 'Mr India' from that era was fun if a little disappointing overall) but Sridevi genuinely raised the quality-level of the experience when appearing in one of the productions, especially when afforded the opportunity to utilise her comedic talents.
The new film is called English Vinglish, and seems to be her first since (would you believe) 1994!
Her return is something to be celebrated!