The horror comedy starring, Rajkummar Rao and Shraddha Kapoor, has made over Rs. 17 crore in two days of release.
Trade analyst Taran Adarsh has predicted that the film could be looking at a weekend total of Rs. 30 crore, hopefully. The critics of the Times Of India gave the rating of 3/5, however the ratings given by Mumbai Mirror was 2.5/5.
The story of Stree opens up with the quaint town of Chanderi. The town is haunted by a unique legend. The spirit of an angry woman stalks men during a festive period. During these four nights, the spirit, simply referred to as Stree, calls out to men when they’re alone. If the men turn around, Stree whisks them away, leaving behind only their clothes.
Chanderi’s wonder boy and tailor extraordinaire, Vicky (Rajkummar Rao) falls in love with a mysterious girl (Shraddha Kapoor) who appears only during the four days of the festive season as well. Her disappearing act gets his friends suspicious and they start believing that she could be the Stree haunting the city for long a period of time.
Whether you’re educated or civilized, women have always had to play second fiddle in the male-dominant system. The world would certainly be a better place if they give women far more respect. But to such a relevant conversation to unfold in a horror-comedy like Stree, it is a unique and unknown experience.
Stree is ambitious as it also attempts taking a stab at patriarchy and tucks in subliminal messages about the unfair treatment done to women in general. But, it feels a bit jarring, 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.
Good intentions aside, the writing for this genre-bender is very good, especially in the dialogues department. Hindi cinema follows the traditional/conventional manner of making cinemas. In this regards, horror comedies are a rare offering. The small-town setting and the many jibes at horror film legends are hilarious.
Rajkummar’s performance found to be good. He handles the many shades of comedy, horror and romance (in a brilliant throwback scene to Shah Rukh Khan) with great ease. 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.
Stree does fairly well with the comedy, but even with several laugh-out-loud moments, the film feels a little too long. Towards the end, the movie drops the horror comedy treatment and becomes a little too serious about the conventional stabbing-the-ghost-in-the-heart kind of ideas that often play out in horror flicks.
Such films are a risky affair as drawing horror and hilarity simultaneously isn’t easy or practical. They’re inversely proportional emotions and being effective in evoking one can be detrimental to the other.
Despite all its flaws and ambiguous ideas, Stree is still an entertaining film. This is an experimental comedy, that creates an eerie atmosphere and it manages to be funny and scary at the same time. Writers Raj and DK (who have directed films like Go Goa Gone, 99 and Shor In The City) bring in their trademark humour. The film has its absurdities, it also has its moments but the final act let’s it down.