The Oscars pay homage to Sridevi and Shashi Kapoor

Even as India comes to terms with the loss of their beloved superstar, the Hollywood fraternity paid its tribute to Sridevi at the 90th Academy Awards. The actress along with veteran actor Shashi Kapoor was among the deceased artists remembered in the ‘Memoriam’ montage at the Oscar ceremony. The tribute film was accompanied by Eddie Vedder’s moving performance of Tom Petty’s Room at the Top. Other artists honoured this year included actor Roger Moore, director Jonathan Demme and horror legend George Romero.

The charming and multi-faceted Shashi Kapoor struck a chord with the international film audience over many years. Regarded as the first international star to come out of Bollywood, he starred in many Merchant-Ivory films including The Householder, Heat and Dust, Shakespearewallah and one of his last movies In Custody. An actor, producer, theatre enthusiast and visionary, Shashi Kapoor excelled in all these roles and shaped Indian cinema over the course of four decades. His non-conformist choices as producer of films like 36 Chowringee Lane and New Delhi Times proved that he was ahead of his times. Shashi also played an active role in reviving and rejuvenating Prithvi Theatre and popularizing it among a larger audience. He passed away in December last year after prolonged illness.

Sridevi’s loss is more recent and is something that neither the film industry nor her fans have come to terms with. There were many moist eyes in the live audience and the thousands of viewers watching the Oscars at home as the images of their screen idols flashed before them. Sridevi was also remembered with an audio-visual presentation at this year’s edition of FICCI Frames, a global convention of media and entertainment held in Mumbai. It has barely been a few days since the sudden passing of the beloved actor and the Oscar tribute was another painful, though graceful, reminder of her absence.