'Stree' Review: A film that's genuinely scary and funny in equal parts

A Potpourri of Vestiges Review

By Murtaza Ali Khan

Featured in IMDb Critic Reviews
Rajkummar Rao and Shraddha Kapoor in Stree
Rajkummar Rao and Shraddha Kapoor in Stree
Stree is a horror comedy film that marks Amar Kaushik’s debut as a feature film director, having previously assisted noted filmmakers like Majid Majidi, Onir, and Raj Kumar Gupta. Co-written by Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K., Stree stars Rajkummar Rao, Shraddha Kapoor, Pankaj Tripathi and Aparshakti Khurrana in major roles. The film is produced under the banner of Maddock Films. Interestingly, as revealed by Kaushik in a Facebook post, he had come to Mumbai exactly twelve years ago with the hope of becoming a filmmaker and finally his efforts have come to fruition. The film is inspired by the Indian folk legend ‘Nale Ba’ about a witch who knocks on people's doors at night and takes away the man of the house.

Stree is genuinely scary and funny in equal parts and has something for everyone. Rajkummar Rao and Pankaj Tripathi succeed in rekindling the Newton magic. Shraddha Kapoor proves to be the film’s X factor through the enigmatic character that she essays in the film. Her chemistry with Rajkummar Rao in the film is definitely something to watch for. Another memorable performance in the film comes from Aparshakti Khurrana who yet again manages to make his presence felt. There film also features a special cameo appearance from Vijay Raaz who never really acts badly.

There is a scene in Stree towards its climax when the hero is supposed to romance with the evil spirit to keep it at bay. And what does he do? It is really a no brainer! He simply starts imitating Shah Rukh Khan. It’s a quintessential Bollywood moment. If it’s romance it’s SRK. So what if it’s a horror movie. The maker is aware that his audience is aware that if it’s romance it simply has to be Shah Rukh Khan. And, to his credit, Rajkummar Rao does a decent impersonation of SRK that the obvious becomes even more obvious for an audience which traditionally likes to be spoon-fed. But, truth be told, there is nothing wrong with a filmmaker trying to meet his/her audience’s expectations. And so full credit goes to director Amar Kaushik and his team of writers for playing to the gallery!
Aparshakti Khurrana and Rajkumar Rao in Stree
Aparshakti Khurrana and Rajkumar Rao in Stree
Nicely wrapped within Stree has a strong message that no one can ignore. If the film has any major weakness it is the ending which somewhere fails to match the film's overall brilliance. Also, it leaves the viewer high and dry. Nonetheless, Stree has enough to keep everyone engaged until the very end. Also, the clever blend of horror and humor is expected to provide a much needed push at the box office.

Rating: 6.5/10

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Stree Trailer (YouTube)

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