Movie Review – Stree

Stree is the best movie of 2018. #moviereview
Movie Review – Stree

I am a big Rajkummar Rao fan. He never disappoints as an actor and delivers more than his viewers expect. So whenever a new movie of his releases, I make it a point to watch it in theatre.

Last Sunday, we went to watch Stree – it’s a horror, comedy. Now, the last horror movie that I had watched on the big screen was Ram Gopal Verma’s Bhoot, which I am sure you will admit is one of the last movies of RGV that proved genius of that man. I am not a big fan of horror movies and mostly close my eyes and cover my ears while watching them. But a horror with comedy plus Rajkummar Rao was too much for me to ignore.

So, about the movie – Stree. In a small town of Chander (famous for its Chanderi silk), outside every home it’s written in bold red paint – O Stree, kal aana (O Woman, come tomorrow!). This town is held captive by a mysterious woman called Stree who is actually a hag, who in the night calls men by their name and when the man turns abducts them leaving nothing their clothes behind. The funny part is she makes a visit only during the four days of an annual religious festival. No man is safe during those nights and are forbidden from venturing after dark all alone .

Rajkummar Rao aka Vicky is a brilliant ladies tailor. He pooh-poohs the whole Stree thing calling it nothing but a small town superstition. The next day, he is met with a mysterious girl (Shraddha Kapoor) who asks him to stitch some clothes for him. Vicky is spellbound by this beautiful girl wanting to be friends with him. On the 2nd night of the four day festival, a very close friend of Vicky is abducted by the hag. Vicky and his other friends (Aparshakti Khurana, Abhishek Bannerjee and Pankaj Tripathi) including the beautiful girl (who has some knowledge of witchcraft) vow to find the hag. They make a clever plan to defeat the hag and release all the men she has abducted.

Will they be able to overpower the hag? Who is this mysterious girl who is seen only during the four days of festival? Will the town ever be free from the curse?

Find out by watching Stree.

Of late, stories about small towns are doing well. Stree is also based in one such small town with its typical local dialect that is bound to tickle your funny bones. For instance, you will step out of the movie remembering and chuckling at the terms like ‘swayam sevi’ and ‘naye Bharat ki chudail’. But, don’t forget that it is primarily a horror movie with its nerve wrecking moments. So there will be moments when your heart skips a beat or two and then there are some where you will laugh so hard as to literally pee in your pants.

However, in the climatic moments, the movie does wobble a bit and spreads itself a little too thin. Also, the same age-old tips and tricks of stabbing a ghost in the heart do disappoint you some.

Stree between the scares and gags touches upon a few gender related issues, especially misogyny and chauvinism. A woman is often objectified and doesn’t receive the same respect in the society as a man does. In this story, the roles are reversed – when the men are abducted, they feel the same fear of safety and suffocation that a woman experiences in her day to day life. However, for being a film emphasising on gender equality, the item song ‘Kamariya’ with Nora Fatehi seems hypocritical.

For Rajkummar Rao I have only one word – Brilliant. He is a talented actor and keeps you on the edge of the seat with his focused yet effortless performance. Shraddha Kapoor, though in a limited role, has not only matched her co-actor’s skills but has also proved she is one of the finest actresses in the B-town. Apart from these, Aparshakti Khurana, Abhishek Bannerjee and Pankaj Tripathi give a performance to remember in their own uniquely droll ways.

The excellent lighting, the camera movements, the sound and the editing swing between spine chilling and absurd moments and keep the viewers on the edge of the seat.

This movie will make you sit forward, jump back in your seat and shudder with cold fear. And then will make you laugh with its deadpan comedy.

Verdict – Stree is the best experimental horror cum comedy movie of 2018. Watch Stree even if it is the only movie you will watch this year.

Image credit: DNA India