wogma rating: The keen must watch on screen; else TV/online (?)
The comedy and social take work, even while the horror and romance are just about ok as a side. Put together though the genre mix gives the film a unique flavour making the smartly written script quite enjoyable.Read more
I am a excited, a little, but excited nevertheless. I liked a horror film. Ok fine, Stree can hardly be called a horror-horror. Even so, when you list the genres that the film falls in, horror will surely feature and that’s good enough, right? More importantly though, it is what the writers have done with the genre that has stuck a smile on my face.
The humor is not only in the dialogue.
Yes, it has decent humor. Yes, it weaves in a social message subtly enough with just a couple of lines of explanation for those of us who might not have “got” it. And the combination of these two is good enough for us to forgive the ordinary romance and horror. It is almost as if even the makers know there is nothing new left to do in the latter two departments. Which is why the play within what is left – the humor and the message – receives more attention. This focus has made the film better than what I had thought it would be.
Even as the film declares its own premise as “ridiculous”, the setting of a small town in India feels quite real. The people, the houses, the language, the thought processes seem like they could very well exist in real life. This could very well be because the social issues in this super-natural premise are as close to real life as can be.
It is not just the obvious comment on gender stereotyping or even the subtler impact of making the men in the film as scared as women are in some streets of the country. Stree has s a lot more going on. From parents being unexplainably unhappy with their child’s capabilities1 to a ludicrous real-life news item sliding into a dialogue2 to prostitutes right to insist on condoms – Stree goes along smoothly while touching upon all these day-to-day events. It even has a good laugh at the parent-child “bees and birds” talk!
The humor is not only in the dialogue. It is weaved in to the lyrics of the songs through creative analogy, even if only for a couple of lines. It is brought into it’s music. Watch out for the film to break into a popular English film’s theme music with a great fusion twist. It is also in just the way the characters are written.
Of course, it takes the talent of Pankaj Tripathi who can make a list of bullet points sound funny while making a caricaturish actor seem absolutely normal. On the other hand, Vijay Raaz could have filled in the requirement for the cartoon-ish character, but thankfully has a tiny even if important bit to play. Also, it helps that just when you are about to get worried about Rajkummar Rao’s repetitive performance across films, his character yanks his father’s chain and you can’t stop giggling with him even if it as the expense of the father’s obvious discomfort. Aparshakti Khurrana might not have had great variety in his character within this film, but he surely makes you look forward to his next film. In this mix, Shraddha Kapoor is the only one who seems rather ordinary.
Stree does feel like it is a well-rounded effort. Of course, it does drag for a bit in the first half. Of course, it could have spared us a bit of the crass toilet and sexual humour. And despite this, it makes the clear indication of a sequel something worth looking forward to. Which was the last series of Hindi films you could say that about?
Even as the film declares its own premise as “ridiculous”, the setting of a small town in India feels quite real.
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1what else can explain Vicky’s dad’s unhappiness with Vicky’s work in their first scene together?
2the peacock essay
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs up, by Murtaza Ali Khan, apotpourriofvestiges.com : ...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.... full review
Thumbs up, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks Cinema.com : ...On the whole, STREE still turns out to a highly entertaining film which successfully manages to maintain a fine balance between horror and comedy like rarely seen before in this particular genre. So do go for it and have a great time with Rao-Tripathi and friends finding the secret behind the scary STREE taking away the men leaving their clothes behind.... full review
Thumbs up, Bollywood Hungama : ...Amalendu Chaudhary’s cinematography is ideal and sans any vague camerawork that certain horror films often have in Bollywood. He also has shot the locales of Chanderi beautifully. Madhusudhan’s production design is authentic. Manohar Verma and Gulzar Amin Khatib’s action is nothing special. Prime Focus’ VFX is upto the mark. Hemanti Sarkar’s editing is simple and works well.... full review
Thumbs up, by Ankita Chaurasia, Bollywood Life : ...Stree certainly deserves a watch for its funny content and the concept that will keep haunting you for long. By the end of it you might also figure out as to what is it that women actually want. Also, what’s more delightful than watching good actors on screen!... full review
Thumbs up, by Meena Iyer, DNA : ...If you're in the mood for some humour, go for 'Stree'. When things get scary, just close your eyes but don't miss the dialogue. It's witty and winsome.... full review
Thumbs up, by Anna MM Vertticad, FirstPost : ...Stree is like a blind date that turns out well - a tryst with the unexpected filled with exciting surprises. It is a thought-provoking laughathon-cum-spookathon, and one of the most unusual Bollywood films of the year so far.... full review
Thumbs up, fridaymovie : ...Overall, Stree serves justice to the genre that's not much explored in Bollywood. Go out and watch it, get entertained and don't you worry as 'Mard ko dard nahi hoga'.... full review
Thumbs up, by Manjusha Radhakrishnan, Gulf News : ...Despite the audacious storyline, there’s some semblance of structure and sense. The black comedy also takes a nick at gender disparity without making it overly boring. The same couldn’t be said for the songs, which are enjoyable but serve no higher purpose.... full review
Thumbs up, by Vineeta Kumar, india.com : ...Hindi cinema isn’t known for making good horror comedies. But, well, Stree changes that. It has got something for everybody. The film is brilliantly hilarious and scary. The plot leaves a lot of questions unanswered at the end. You find yourself rewinding the story in your head searching for explanations. Despite its confusions, Stree deserves a watch and an excellent word-of-mouth.... full review
Thumbs up, by Umesh Punwani, koimoi : ...All said and done, watch Stree for some outstanding dialogues & gut-busting performances. Justifying its genre to the core, Stree is one super-entertaining movie.... full review
Thumbs up, by Mayank Shekhar, MiD DAY : ...That's for the set-up. What about the pay-off? I'm not sure if it's half as good. But hey, I'm only talking about the end. Up until then, you laugh at the humour, and get sufficiently spooked out, when it's supposed to be horror. As against the other way round. That's already saying a lot for an unpretentious genre that usually promises such little, anyway.... full review
Thumbs up, by Jaidev Hemmady, Movie Talkies : ...However, on the flip side, the film’s climax gets too clever for its own good and will end up confusing the audience about what happened exactly.... full review
Thumbs up, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...Stree plays an unwavering hand in demonstrating that dread can be unbridled fun when it serves a larger thematic purpose. Go watch this spine-tingling film. It is completely madcap but there is method in its manic madness.... full review
Thumbs up, by Subhash K Jha, Sify Movies : ...And when all fails, there is always Rajkummar Rao. An actor we can depend on to rescue even the most inept scene from doom. Luckily Stree for all its audacious dips and curves through mofussil anxieties never stumbles too hard to fall fright on its face. And watch out for the final twist in the tale. You will agree this quirk-tale, shot with vinegary vibrancy by cinematographer Amalendu Chaudhary, is no mock-tale.... full review
Thumbs up, by Rummana, yahoo! India : ...Despite the flaws, ‘Stree’ is a fun watch – the narrow bylanes of a small town, the young tailor’s fashion sense, the folklore that has percolated down generations, the panic that eventually sets in – kudos to the director for weaving all these elements into an amusing tale.... full review
Thumbs up, ZEENEWS.COM : ...And when all fails, there is always Rajkummar Rao. An actor we can depend on to rescue even the most inept scene from doom. Luckily Stree for all its audacious dips and curves through mofussil anxieties never stumbles too hard to fall fright on its face. And watch out for the final twist in the tale. You will agree this quirk-tale, shot with vinegary vibrancy by cinematographer Amalendu Chaudhary, is no mock-tale.... full review
Thumbs up, by Deepika Sharma, ZEENEWS.COM : ...एक्टिंग की बात करें तो राजकुमार राव एक जबरदस्त एक्टर हैं, ये अब तक कई फिल्मों से पहले ही साबित हो चुका है. लेकिन उन्हें जब भी देखा जाता है, वह एकदम फ्रेश गलते हैं. इस फिल्म में भी आपको राजकुमार से ज्यादा 'विक्की' नजर आएंगे. उनकी कॉमिक टाइमिंग जबरदस्त है. वहीं पंकज त्रिपाठी का एक मजेदार अंदाज है और फिल्म में भी वह शानदार लगे हैं. विक्की के दोस्त के रूप में नजर आए अपारशक्ति खुराना और अभिषेक बनर्जी भी फिल्म में अपने किरदारों के साथ पूरा न्याय करते नजर आए हैं. 'स्त्री' में श्रद्धा कपूर काफी खूबसूरत नजर आई हैं.... full review
So-So, by Mayur Sanap, Deccan Chronicle : ...Overall, Stree has a lot to like about - it is funny, spooky, crazy and a little bit different. It has some really interesting ideas; its execution is less than stellar, but it still works. If you like humour and meta element in your horror, you will love this movie.... full review
So-So, by Anupama Chopra, Film Companion : ...On the downside: the songs are forgettable and redundant. And don’t look for any genuine shocks here – Stree with her withered hands and rotting teeth seems like a 2.0 version of a Ramsay creature. The energy also dips in the second half. But thankfully the narrative rebounds and the humor keeps the film afloat.... full review
So-So, by Devesh Sharma, Filmfare : ...All-in-all, director Amar Kaushik, whose short film Aaba (2017) won accolades worldwide, has made an okayish beginning in the long format with this film which does entertain you despite its lopsided nature. Let's hope he grows in the right direction in future...... full review
So-So, by Johnson Thomas, Free Press Journal : ...Pankaj Tripathi, Rajkumar Rao, Aparshakti Khurrana and Abhishek Banerjee bring the house down with their antics. Shraddha Kapoor is likeable here, but she has a long way to go before she can be called an actress of calibre. The narrative’s objective to have fun with the horror genre and its clichéd tropes are best exemplified by the tacky CGI here – literally headlining the film’s frivolous intentions. Obviously, Amar Kaushik’s able, confident helming had a hand to play in all this. This film is most likely to bring joy to an otherwise beleaguered audience.... full review
So-So, by Raja Sen, Hindustan Times : ...In a bright gag, Vijay Raaz plays a writer who lives “inside The Emergency.” He’s in hiding, wondering if The Emergency has been lifted. People reassure him that we are in better times now, but he (wisely) does not believe. At one point, someone says blind faith is dangerous, and that one should “be anything but not a bhakt,” a follower. These are fine touches to a madcap comedy, but they jar with the film and feel like lip service. Still, it is heartening that the ghost does not assault her prey without consent. She is the feminine after all, and she wants respect. #StreeToo.... full review
So-So, by R.M. Vijayakar, India West : ...On the other hand, the script actually gets loopy for the climax and post-climax and the way it delivers the gender equality message. The bus sequence, in the end, makes no sense whatsoever, given the earlier one in which the spirit is tackled. All we can say is that a door has been kept open for “Stree Returns” or whatever, but then that too sounds irrational, given both the possibilities of the open end.... full review
So-So, by Shubhra Gupta, indian express : ...Any film which has a woman stepping out at night with her man inside the house, for ‘his own safety’, well, clap clap. Yes, the scene is there to be played for laughs, and we dutifully go haha, but it is a thought. So is ‘love conquers all’ and a ‘stree’ as savior. Woman on top? Oh yes.... full review
So-So, by Uday Bhatia, Live Mint : ...Late in the film, Vicky finds out his mother was a ‘tawaif’. After his initial shock, he decides it doesn’t matter – she’s his mother, after all – and then realises the whole town’s been keeping the secret from him to save his feelings. It’s an unexpected plot wrinkle, not only unnecessary but risky to introduce, but handled with warmth and good sense. Moments like these make Stree more than what it is: an amiable comedy with a couple of good ideas, too many jump scares and the most confusing ending I’ve seen in a long time.... full review
So-So, by Kunal Guha, Mumbai Mirror : ...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. It’s like those terrible ice cream combos that pair two diametrically opposite flavours to challenge your palate but barely deliver a satisfying slurp.... full review
So-So, by Manisha Lakhe, Now Running.com : ...So the film swings from fun to tedious and then piques your interest in the horror and lets it fizzle out, making the whole experience like finding that your expensive coffee is only froth and no brew.... full review
So-So, by Nandini Ramnath, Scroll.in : ...The cast is in full flow here, with Rajkummar Rao brilliantly leading the herd as a not-too-bright mushball who becomes Chanderi’s unwilling hero. Rao faces competition on occasion from Pankaj Tripathi, and even the perfectly cast Shraddha Kapoor seems to be paying attention after a very long time. Even as Stree begins to collapse under the weight of its contradictions, the actors are always on cue, delivering the steady patter of conversational humour with aplomb and leaping out of their skins at just the right moment.... full review
So-So, by Namrata Joshi, The Hindu : ...However, in the madness unleashed by the boys brigade, it’s the woman at the centre, i.e. Shraddha Kapoor, who becomes curiously inconsequential and utterly colourless; if not entirely an object of the male gaze like Nora Fatehi in the token item number. A tad ironic for the film’s larger feminist aims.... full review
So-So, by Rachit Gupta, Times of India : ...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.... full review
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