If well made Horror movies are exciting and well made Comedy movies are fun, imagine how much excitingly fun would a Horror Comedy be! I believe ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa’ is the only bollywood movie which truly belongs to this genre. ‘Go Goa Gone’ was a Zombie movie and ‘Golmaal Again’ doesn’t qualify as a horror movie. So yeah! ‘Stree’ was special already!
I was eagerly waiting for ‘Stree’ since the day I had seen the trailer! Story & screen play by Raj & DK, Stree is Amar Kaushik’s directorial debut. The plot looked highly interesting and one of the major reasons to watch the movie were Rajkumar Rao and Pankaj Tripathi! Rajkumar Rao was absolutely badass in ‘Bareily ki Barfi’ and I totally enjoyed Pankaj Tripathi’s performance in the Fukrey Franchise. Apart from both the brilliant actors, there is Shraddha Kapoor, Aparshakti Khurana, Abhishek Bannerjee, Vijay Raaz (in a tiny role) and Asha Saini as the ‘Stree’! (Too late for spoiler alert, eh?) I don’t dig the kind of movies Shraddha Kapoor does, so this was the first of her movies that I saw. Aparshakti, brother of Ayushmaan Khurana is the same guy who convincingly played the half naive – half dumb Phogat brother in ‘Dangal’.
I had been wanting to watch ‘Karwaan’ for a long time but Ram was just too busy to take me out for it and the plan with my girl gang did not work too! So when I asked him to come along to watch ‘Stree’ he just couldn’t say no. We had a couple of close friends who also happen to be a couple, joining us for the movie. The girl is a true ‘shriek-er’ and the guy is an absolute ‘Ghost Story’ lover! Yup! Perfect match! We booked tickets for First Day First show!
A man in the middle of the night goes out to take a leak and a woman whispers his name stopping the piss out of him! He tries to walk into the house quickly and the lady whispers his name again, making him break into a run, that’s when she says it the third time! Apparently, no man can just not look when ‘Stree’ calls him the third time! So the guy turns, looks at her, his eyes flashes the color of red and you hear eerie crackling sound! The guy tilts his head too and screams! (This is where our friend, the girl shrieked too!! And man! I love it when someone does that! Just feels like you are getting extra ‘special effects’ absolutely ‘muft, muft, muft!’)
It is a village set up, where you see “O Stree, Kal aana” written outside all the houses on the walls. I found “O stree” for some reason very funny! It could be just ‘Stree Kal aana’ but ‘O Stree’ almost sounds like calling someone lovingly or someone familiar! Well, the starting was a bit slow, building up the story and all. But as it builds up, it gets so much more interesting and fun. Thanks to Sumit Arora’s dialogues which were most of the time, absolutely hilarious! (No surprises there! Sumit was dialogues writer for 34 Episodes of CID!) Especially, loved the scenes when Vicky’s father describes him as ‘Bhagwaan ka Tailor Avataar’ or when he preaches ‘Swayamsevi bano’! It definitely makes you crack up big time! (And looking at Ram laugh is a pleasure in itself!)
For some reason, looking at the trailer, I was pretty convinced that the makers were trying to mislead the viewers into believing that Shraddha Kapoor’s character, which is unnamed through out the movie, is ‘Stree’ but eventually she would turn out to be the protector or the ghost hunter of sorts. And the time when she saves Vicky from ‘Stree’, I almost said it out loud, ‘Told Ya!’. But as the story progresses, it takes crazy twists and turns! The ‘Tawayafzaada’ angle was just so bizarre and the scenes where the gang analyze ‘stree’ and deduce stuff like, she is literate and ‘Aagyakaari’ Or the time where they try to control the possessed Jana were just epic! With each passing second, the movie got super intriguing and hilarious at the same time!
Then there was that scary angle! As the movie progresses, you get to see ‘Stree’ closely and damn! It was exciting and terrifying! Honestly, I really wanted to see her, like her pre-ghost-look. May be in a flashback or when Vicky sets her free eventually! None of that happened unfortunately. So, when Vicky says he did not want to kill ‘Stree’, Shraddha Kapoor’s character asks him to cut off her braid to rip her off her powers. And when he does that, Stree loses her powers and that sets all the naked men of the village free! (Imagining all the naked men of a village stuck in a single room for days is wickedly hilarious!) So, now ‘Stree’ is not really dead nor is she free! Pretty unsatisfying, that part. But then, they are coming up with ‘Stree 2’ in 2019, so hoping to find some closure there! (Yup! I take movies pretty seriously!)
A few of my favorite moments were, when Vicky comes face to face with ‘Stree’ after the ‘Suhaag Raat’ fiasco. The way Vicky was sympathizing with her, it almost feels like ‘Stree’ and Vicky share some kind of bond! (Almost like mother-son. Vicky’s mother was a prostitute too remember? But quickly had to trash the theory as his father was pretty much alive in the movie!)
Okay! Here it goes! NO! Shraddha Kapoor was not ‘Stree’! She was a power hungry ghost from another village, who visited during pooja to acquire Stree’s powers but had been unsuccessful. The book from Rudra’s bookstore had a few very important pages missing remember? That is how she figured that Vicky is the only guy who could really kill ‘Stree’ and help her in attaining Stree’s powers. So, she befriends him, under pretense of getting a Ghaghra stitched and that is how the story begins. In the end, she gets what she wanted and literally vanishes!
It was paradoxical and entertaining when they showed how scared so-called-mighty men were or how they asked their wives to come home sooner or how they started wearing sarees just to be safe! Bottom line, women don’t have to become scary for you to respect them! In the end, you see that when Stree returns the next year, there is a huge gate with a statue of ‘stree’ with words, ‘O Stree, Raksha Karna’. So, I guess, that is how Stree gets the respect she so badly wanted. (BUT DUDE! SET HER FREE!)
Find yourself a ‘Shriek-er” and just GO! It is not everyday you find something as kick-ass awesome as this!
P.S.: For me, the movie had two heroes: Rajkumar Rao and Sumit Arora!