Stree is a horror comedy based on a strange fable haunting a small town.
During four days of a festival in a year, the town is supposedly visited by a stree ( female ghost) who takes away men in the dead of the night if they are alone. To deter its / her entry, all houses are marked with a writing on the wall “ O stree kal aana “.
Interestingly this so-called fable actually existed as folklore in parts of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka (two decades ago) by the name of “ Nale Ba “ which means “ Come Tmrw “.
Writer-director DK and Raj have earlier also attempted this genre years back with their movie “ Go Goa Gone” which seemed fairly experimental at that point of time. But this time they have simply aced the type.
They have churned out a perfect mixture of tingling horror moments and crackling humour packed with some powerful performances.
The screenplay is pretty well written by the duo which keeps us not only engaged till the end but is thrilling (with suspense ) and entertaining (with lol moments) at the same time. As per me, balancing the two completely opposite factors is no easy feat.
Dialogues by Sumit Arora are beyond superb and keep us laughing out aloud through out. Together along with the amazing performances of all actors, the dialogues keep us hilariously entertained and ensure that there ‘s never a dull moment inspite of the fact that the plot movies slow.
The cinematography by Amalendu Chaudhary has to be credited a lot. He creates a very authentic rural canvas of this small town in MP called Chanderi. Their traditions, the temple, the rural fairs, the bylanes have been captured very well.
In all the scenes that required a spooky ambience, the camera work was great. He has also expertly captured the expressions of the extremely talented cast.
Raj Kumar Rao( Vicky) is a highly talented tailor/ designer in his small town. When he starts getting the attention of a mysterious woman( Shraddha), his friends Bittu( Aparshakti Khurana ) and Jana( Abhishek Banerjee) feel somewhat jealous but eventually feel something ominous linking her to the infamous stree haunting the town.
Sharing anymore about the plot would be a spoiler to the amazing curiosity and thrills that the audience is supposed to feel.
Raj Kumar Rao proves the nth number of time his art as an actor/ entertainer/ charmer. To his further advantage, this time he plays a small town boy( which he’s best at ).
He marvels with his dialect and his expressions.
Aparshakti ( Dangal fame ) is superb and so is Abhishek Banerjee ( with his permanently hilarious expressions) .
As an icing on the cake , we have Pankaj Tripathi who is loveable to the core in each of his expressions and dialogue deliveries.
Shraddha is good and refreshing ( thankfully not the bubbly girl bit).
Vijay Raaz teases us with just one scene appearance but drew enough whistles and claps from the audience welcoming him.
For me, it was a novelty experience that a bollywood flick could elicit startling screams from the audience one moment and roaring laughter the next even when they see a poor soul being dragged away by a ghost.
One good thing about the humour was that it was all a sarcastic pinch about the status of women in society. Men in the town were warned against stepping out alone ; not venturing out in the night; they were taken away with just their clothes left behind.
Was the ghost real ? Was it out to avenge something as is generally in the case of ghosts ? Does Bittu resort to the typical tantra mantra to save the town and himself?
All this is well concluded in a climax that not only has a sarcastic message but also scope for a sequel which is definitely worth looking forward to.
This one is not to be missed. The dialogues, the performances, the laughter moments, the spook .. well worth your time and money.
Score 8 on 10