The general life cycle of a heroine is – debut as a teenager, the next decade in all the big-budget movies, and then slowly fading out, only to make a comeback as a sister/mother. However, if we were to divide the heroines of Telugu cinema into ‘batches’, they would majorly fall into a few. First, came Savitri’s batch, followed by Jayaprada-Jayasudha’s batch, then Sridevi’s batch. What followed later was Soundarya-Ramyakrishna batch of heroines, followed by Simran & Aarti Aggarwal, and now to Samantha-Kajal’s batch.
In a way, the medium is unfair too. While men begin their careers early and reach their peak in their mid-30s, the life span of a heroine is short lived in comparison. By the time an actress reaches her mid-30s, the roles she bags begins to dry up. In a few years, a heroine is given roles of mothers/sisters.
In this article, we will be looking at Soundarya-Ramya Krishna’s batch of heroines who formed the crux of Telugu cinema from the decade of early 1990’s till 2000s. This was the last batch of heroines who actually belonged to the region. After this period, heroines were brought in from north India, and there was something artificial about it – since you knew that the heroine didn’t really understand a word of what she was saying.
While Sridevi was a class apart – ruling all across the nation, this batch took some time to come into the main arena. But thanks to our Heroes, since it’s a default quality to get bored of Heroines after a while, they have make path inviting the whole new lot.
Divya Bharathi came with a bang and took over the scene in Telugu and Hindi, unfortunately fate played an ugly game and we lost her at very early age leaving audiences and Heroes with no other option but search for even more girls. Ramya Krishna and Meena were the first of the lot to enter while Vijayashanthi and others were still quite active with the main leading men.
Soundarya entered in the early 1990s and went on to win everyone over with her charm and talent. She personified beauty. She along with Ramyakrishna occupied the throne with ease.
Roja, Aamani, Rambha and Indraja were the next entrants playing the next layer of Heroines. Kushbhoo and Gowthami were shuffling between Telugu and Tamil and managed to decently woo our guys and us, audiences.
THE IMPORTED DOLLS
The decade being the last of millennium, where modernization was slowly creeping in with few computers and technology here and there, it was also time for the dresses to get chopped from below to the thighs and between their shirts. It was around this time where mana Heroines started to take a back step and paved way for the non-Telugu Heroines who were genuinely exploding bombs. It saw Nagma, Tabu, Shilpa Shetty, Manisha Koirala, Sakshi Sivanand and Anjala Jhaveri etc to come into the scene.
Sanghavi, Ravali, Raasi were also of the same batch but were on the budget friendly side of the films while Laila, Heera, Deepthi Bhatnakar, Mahima Chowdary gave fewer appearances. Towards the last few years of the millennium, Simran was the one who came over and neatly made everyone else pack their baggage laying a platform for next generation of Heroines to take over.
However, if you ask any true connoisseur of Telugu cinema, there is one regret. That there are very less Telugu heroines doing the rounds at present. At one point, Soundarya and Ramyakrishna ruled the roost in Telugu cinema, winning hearts over with their charm and wit. Today, every heroine looks and sounds the same. You could replace any of them with another in any film, and it still wouldn’t make any difference to the scheme of things.