If Rohit Shetty was to take notes on how Golmaal 4 would have been more apt as horror-comedy and not a comedy horror! Raj-DK provide all answers with Stree. Set in a small town, Chanderi (MP), Stree apprises story of a bride’s spirit, roaming streets for four days during annual pooja. She calls out to men, in different timbres, and when the voice has lured you enough to look back, a neck twist and ka-boom, the body is taken away with clothes left for reminisce. Vicky (Rajkumar Rao), a gifted tailor with an ability to take measurements just by glancing at body peripherals is the Manish Malhotra of town and finds himself at center of this drama when one of his friends, Janna, is spirited away. The suspicion here is on a girl he met during pooja galore, one whose first date demands of Lizard’s tale, brandy, cat’s whisker and sunflower is bit dreary to settle.
Stree is impartial towards its satirical targets engulfing with subtlety: the peacock celibate slant, women atrocities, the “Bhakts” brouhaha and modern romance. Raj-Dk strike all the right cords here, seamlessly ambulating horror and comedy, topped with social satire which all come together to a perfect intersection. It manages to jolt you with terrifying scares, bringing the house down with apt punches and humor. The jolted neck twist that sends shivers down your spine is cut to a scene that has your bone tingling, and that is where the screenplay triumphs and the genre roots firmly.
Amar Kaushik shows himself in this film as a sure-handed director with great empathy for performance. He peoples his cast with great actors (Rajkumar Rao, Aparshakti Khurrana, Abhishek Banerjee, Pankaj Tripathi, Atul Shrivastav). Everyone delivers stellar sets, well managing the horror-comedy transitions and Shraddha Kapoor finds a domain to fit in perfectly too. Against these qualities, the weak points of the movie are probably not very important, but there are some. Stree barrels along and tries to sponge in everything in its run-time and one might end up feeling confused of the message and takeaways. The conclusion comes as jittery and not well sketched out. The glitches though are well left to ignore courtesy merit screenplay which makes it a good entertainer nonetheless.
A genre not well explored to its potential is redefined here by Maddock films and manages to take higher pedestal with Bhool Bhoolaiyaa and Go Goa Gone! In all, Stree is a prefect cocktail with Bloody Martini and Piña colada textures and deserves all your attention this week!