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Stree Review

U/A Comedy, Horror 2 hrs 10 mins Aug 31, 2018
Excellent
3.3

Critics

3.2

Users

3.5

Stree Review & Rating

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Stree Review: A Delightful Genre-Bender Gets A Little Preachy

O Stree Kal Aana

Anyone remember the 1990s horror fad of O Stree Kal Aana? Yes. The same thing. The same haunting. In its original place of origin. But this time it’s not for the real. It’s the film Stree starring the charismatic Duo of Shraddha Kapoor and Rajkummar Rao. Though horror movies are not new to Bollywood, it has become a rut of a genre with filmmaker’s dishing out cheap thrills exploiting the ghosts themselves in the regional, especially the South Indian films.

So, when Stree was touted as a horror comedy, it’s a bit refreshing through the Bollywood lens. With the main leads right out of the A-list actors, Stree is not at all an exploiting cheap horror. Rather it’s a proper horror comedy the likes of the multiplex audience expect. A class act. Stree is a real class act. Literally and figuratively. But there is a problem with such films which we can discuss in the latter part of Stree review.

The legend of Stree

The quaint town of Chanderi is haunted by a unique legend as in the real-life Madhya Pradesh town of Chanderi. The spirit of an angry woman stalks young men during a festive period (some say it is during the winter). During these four nights, the spirit simply referred to as the Stree, calls out to men when they’re alone in a mesmerising voice. If the men turn around, Stree whisks them away, leaving behind only their clothes.

In Stree,  Rajkummar Rao’s Vicky is a well-known tailor and a well-loved youngster. He comes across a mysterious but enchanting girl played by Shraddha Kapoor. He falls for her obviously. But whenever she says Vicky please, he feels all the love in the world.  There is a comedy scene regarding this in the movie with Rajkummar Rao and his friends. She disappears after the said four days. Her disappearing act gets his friends suspicious and they start believing that she could be the Stree haunting the city for long.

Right intentions

Stree does fairly well with the comedy. But even with several laugh-out-loud moments, the film feels a little bit lengthy. Towards the end, the movie drops the horror comedy treatment and becomes a little too serious as with a complete horror genre film. Also, it doesn’t add up that a film trying to advocate respect for women, has a song called Kamariya, where men dance around a skimpily clad Nora Fatehi. Unfortunately, our filmmaker’s are unable to find a better role for the Moroccan actress.

Misogyny and chauvinism are prevalent in both first and third world societies. Whether you’re educated or a nishaani as they call the differently educated or civilized, women have always had to play second fiddle with even the most liberal suddenly turn to things like you’re a woman/girl. Accepted. The society is still skewed towards the dominant males. And the other half of the sky still prone to Attacks of sexual violence.

The world would certainly, do well to give women far more respect. To see such a pertinent conversation unfold in a horror-comedy like Stree is a unique experience. But things get too preachy at one point. When a film that pokes fun at horror film ideas and entertains the audience with its quips, suddenly bursts out into a comment on feminism, the audience finds it amusing. But it’s not a wrong thing to be socially relevant even with a means of entertainment.

Top-notch performances

So, to the question of how the film Stree is as a weekend entertainment? The small-town setting and the digs the director took at horror film legends are hilarious. The funniest character in the film is Pankaj Tripathi’s Rudra, a bookshop owner and the quintessential Mr. know-it-all ( someone has to be well informed to save the day. No?), who guides Vicky and his friends on how to cope with Stree and her haunting act. Tripathi’s comic timing is extraordinary and one of the biggest highlights of the film. Rajkummar’s performance is, well do we need to say it loud again? He is fantastic. He handles the many shades of comedy, horror, and romance with great ease. There’s even a subtle reference to Shah Rukh Khan. Aparshakti Khurrana and Abhishek Banerjee as the friends offer good comedic punches too. Shraddha Kapoor’s character is a bit of an enigma. Even though the role is problematic, the actress does a fine job of maintaining an air of mystery. And she has the X-factor to keep such characters tick.

The director

Amar Kaushik’s direction is quirky. He did a brilliant job as long as he stuck to the genre. But when things turn preachy, the proceedings went out of his hand. Nevertheless, he did a fine job with the setting and making a genre bender. The narration flows smoothly for the most part and the screenplay is similarly good. The way he created the small town atmosphere is exemplary and the scenes when Stree call out and the men wet their pants are handled with aplomb.

The crew

The music, especially the background score is extraordinarily good. The sounds themselves create an atmosphere of their own. It filled in the gaps in the narration. The songs are: of course for commercial entertainment and are decent. The cinematography by  Amalendu Chaudhary is first rate. The lighting schemes and Color palettes add a mystery element to the proceedings alongside the music. 

Finally

All in all, Stree is a film what it promises to be barring the final half hour. It is a horror comedy which takes digs at other horror genre films and legends and has its intentional in the right areas. A very good popcorn entertainment this weekend, if you can bear with the preachy scenes.

Stree Critic Reviews

Stree User Reviews

  • Sidharth

    1 Sep 18 @ 10:07 AM

    Very good film,a different film with a blend of comedy and horror.The comedy makes horror enjoyable. Laughter Riot Loved it ❤️💯

  • Banwari

    20 Sep 18 @ 10:55 AM

    best

  • Ganesh Tandi

    16 Sep 18 @ 8:18 AM

    exllents

Stree Live Updates & Public Talk

Shraddha Kapoor as the eponymous Stree has come to thrill/frighten the audience to our nearby theatres. This horror-comedy is based on an urban legend of O Stree Kal Aana about a ghost/spirit which haunted the Indian towns during the 1990s. Though the legend is fairly an old one, the O Stree Kal Aana or Nale Ba (come tomorrow) or O Stree Repu Raa (O woman come tomorrow) has become a sensation during the 1990s.

It is in the town of Chanderi in Madhya Pradesh that the story has a lot of connection to. Stree hits the screens today and is receiving a generally positive response from the audience with the praise going to Rajkummar Rao's Vicky and Pankaj Tripathi's Rudra. Stree is a superb blend of horror and comedy. 

Stree is backed up by a well-written screenplay, rib-tickling comedy, and fun one-liners. Not to say the least, all the major players including Aparshakti Khurrana and Abhishek Banerjee as the friends of the hero offered a great support act. Rajkummar Rao shows once again that he is the man for all seasons. He comes up with an impeccable flawless act and is just the perfect actor for the small town character that he plays in the film. He is hilarious in comic scenes and also does well at a dramatic point.

The film, Stree, is an innovative blend of horror and comedy that brings a new dimension to the genre. The casting is just perfect and the pace is good. The narration is said to be quite entertaining. Shraddha Kapoor is superb as the eponymous Stree. Rajkummar Rao is in a zone while playing the role of Vicky. His scenes with his friends and the scenes he gets frightened add value to the proceedings. 

Now, with the early shows completed and the morning shows coming to an end, the innovative mixture of horror with comedy captured the attention of the audience. The combination of horror and humor worked surprisingly well and out of the box plot created wonders. Though the story of the film is based on an urban legend, the narration is refreshing. Gripping screenplay, eerie moments, terrific one-liners, and superb performances make Stree the movie of the week. 

Watch this space for more Stree public talk and live updates. 

Stree Preview

What is Stree about?

Shraddha Kapoor! Simple answer. Fun aside, the latest Bollywood horror is based on the urban and folk legends about a woman who comes to every house every night to take away the men of the house usually the bread-earners of the family. Every year at a certain point of time and for a certain duration she comes to the town/village/city. Her sightings are heard by everyone. She is seen by no one as once anyone sees her, they will be disappeared. And how?

The remedy to all this is: a writing on the wall literally! O Stree Kal Aana! (Oh woman! come tomorrow). Nale Ba! (Come tomorrow). Oh Stree Repu Raa! (O woman! Come tomorrow). The legend says that she reads the writing on the wall and goes away. She goes again tomorrow and the circle goes on for eternity. 

Numerous stories are told about this. A few films came about this. But a mainstream Bollywood film? Yes. With A-list actors for the first time. Shraddha Kapoor as the Stree and Rajkumar Rao as the man who loves the Stree without knowing who she is. She says to him (as we have seen in the trailer) that she comes to their town during a certain festive season. She also says, Vicky, please. For what? His soul?

What to expect from Stree?

Thrills

Every horror story is meant to frighten, thrill and sometimes emotionalize the audience. But when the movie has a seemingly real-life story at its base, it will be an added advantage for the film. Just like the Conjuring films which are based on the adventures of the real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorrain Warren. Add to it the advantage of having top stars, Stree promises a lot of what we expect from such a film. 

Shraddha Kapoor as the Stree

Shraddha Kapoor has played the mysterious Stree in question. Whether she really played the devilish woman in the movie or not will be known when the first of the shows pen in the theatres tomorrow. But until then, a funny small town romance is also in the offering with Stree. The iconic O Stree Kal Aana also appear in the trailer where the earlier part is about a Vicky, his friends and Vicky, please love story. Then suddenly, the trailer took a sudden turn once one of heroes friends uttered the inevitable. That Vickey's lady love is a demon!

Rajkummar Rao

Raj Kumar Rao is one of the most happening stars of these days. Time and again he has shown how talented he is with his histrionics in the movies released in recent times. His lead role in a horror/comedy promises that the movie is not just another horror film. It has substance. 

Music and cinematography

For any horror movie to click, music, especially the background score, should work well. It's not just about the screams. If the songs are good, they will catch up quickly. If an emotional and innocent love story is in the blend, the music is a must. Songs composed by Sachin-Jigar are good and are generally well received and the background score by Keta Sodha is terrific in the trailer. 

Watch this space for Stree review, rating, and complete analysis. Be right back!