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Stree Review – Satire

Stree (2018)

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Directed By: Amar Kaushik

Cast: Rajkummar Rao, Pankaj Tripathi, Shraddha Kapoor, Aparshakti Khurana

Language: Hindi

In today’s world women are not safe. They can’t venture out alone during night time and sometimes they are not safe even inside their homes. Imagine a world where everything is vice-versa. Stree presents the mythical world where the men fear women or in this case, a woman. Stree is a horror comedy by debutante director Amar Kaushik which works well as a satire but has gaping flaws in execution.

Every year, the town of Chanderi is haunted by a folk legend during its four day festival. A subtle menstrual reference from the director. The legend is Stree: a vengeful female ghost which kidnaps men who venture alone during night and leaves their clothes behind. She is promiscuous but knows consent. She doesn’t venture inside those houses which have Jao Stree, kal aana (Go, Stree. Come tomorrow) message on their wall. Also she calls out the person’s name thrice and will abduct only if you respond. A clear satire of the people who believe a woman’s way to dress is her consent! What happens with the abducted men forms the rest of the hilarious plot.

Stree works brilliantly as a satire, the references are a slap to all the chauvinists of the world. The women have an upper hand and men are on the run. Its so funny yet stark that men roam around in saris to escape kidnapping. Not just that, they even beg their women to come home early, venture only in groups and make a run if their name gets called out.

The movie packs a punch through its witty one liners. Pankaj Tripathi is a boon to Indian cinema. He has some funny dialogues, watch out for his scenes where he explains the legend to Vicky (Rajkummar Rao). Aparshakti Khurana as Bittu and Abhishek Banerjee as Jaana have some funny but important moments. But the ace of the pack is Rajkummar Rao. He has carried his charm from Bareilly ki Barfi and built up from his village boy act. He is an ambitious tailor who doesn’t need a measuring tape, one glance is enough to catch all the measurements.

Stree has its flaws- the first half is a drag, Pankaj Tripathi has only one dialogue till the interval. The movie takes the entire first half to come to the point and by that time people have forgotten about the deeper meaning and are just laughing at the comedy. There are meaningless songs- three to be precise in the first half which slow down the progress. I really don’t get why Stree was dubbed as a horror flick, yes there is a ghost but instead of the screaming you end up laughing.

The biggest flaw is Shraddha Kapoor, we all knew from the first scene that she is not the ghost (or is she?). The entire first half is powered by that angle and the idiotic love story and song between Vicky and the “Mysterious Girl”.

Nevertheless, watch Stree for it dialogues and the comedy. It was a pleasant surprise for me, you’ll have a nice time. And while watching the movie if, for a second if there is a thought in your mind to take responsibility, and make the world a safe place for women I think Amar Kaushik has won. Its a noble thought which deserved better execution. Watch it and share your rating above.

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