India’s stars from the 1980s reunite

Held in Mumbai, the 11th edition of this reunion saw the coming together of many actors, including about 25 leading film personalities from South India

Held in Mumbai, the 11th edition of this reunion saw the coming together of many actors, including about 25 leading film personalities from South India

Every year, leading film stars from the eighties catch up for an evening to celebrate their decades-long friendship and camaraderie.

After a break due to the pandemic, this group reunited in Mumbai on Saturday evening to continue their annual fun-filled tradition.

About 25 leading film personalities from the South flew to Mumbai for the 11 th edition of this reunion, which was hosted by Bollywood actors Jackie Shroff and Poonam Dhillon. Chiranjeevi, Sarathkumar, Bhagyaraj, Suhasini Maniratnam, Khushboo and Ramya Krishnan were among those present.

Held at a venue decked out in Maharashtrian style and serving delicacies with a local flavour, the reunion saw many actors from the South performing to a medley while also participating in some fun games and quizzes put together by Poonam Dhillon. This included a segment with cards bearing names of songs that the stars who were present featured in; the original actor from the number had to shake a leg for each tune. A number from 1983 Hindi film Hero saw its actual on-screen stars – Jackie Shroff and Meenakshi Seshadri – coming together on stage.

Actors from the Hindi film fraternity, including Anil Kapoor, Anupam Kher, Raj Babbar, Tina Ambani and Madhoo, participated.

Keeping with the tradition, this year’s do had a colour theme; while the leading ladies sported silver and orange, the men sported grey and orange. Earlier editions of this reunion have also seen Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan and Mohanlal in attendance. 

Film stars of the eighties at their reunion in Mumbai on Saturday.

Film stars of the eighties at their reunion in Mumbai on Saturday.
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Suhasini Maniratnam, who introduced the concept along with actor Lissy back in 2009, told The Hindu, “There’s a lot of reason to celebrate now, with films doing well at the box office and audiences going back to the theatres. It’s time to revive and celebrate the power of cinema.”

Elaborating on this edition’s festivities, she added, “For all the stars present, it was overwhelming and joyous to see all of us under one roof. We all got a traditional Maharashtrian welcome, with the sound of a bugle heralding each actor’s arrival to the venue.”

Adding to the fun were the wacky awards that were presented at the event. While ‘The Long Distance Traveller’ Award was bagged by Saritha, Lissy won the ‘Hindi pandit’ award. The cutest couple award was bagged by Bhagyaraj and Poornima, while the best singer award was given to Sarathkumar and Sumalatha.

The group last met in 2019 during its 10 th year reunion at Telugu star Chiranjeevi’s residence in Hyderabad, a gala that saw about 40 stars in attendance.

They hope to carry this tradition forward in the coming years as well.

Suhasini said, “There is no agenda behind this re-union other than just being together and celebrating our friendship. We also exchange information and ideas about projects in our respective film industries; Poonam Dhillon, for instance, was telling us that it’s time she did a Tamil film at some point of time. I kept thanking Padmini Kohlapure for my career itself; she was the original choice for 1980 Tamil film Nenjathai Killathey, which I subsequently debuted in!”

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