Stree film review: Be prepared to be tickled and surprised in equal measures

Indian audiences are habituated to horror and comedy as two separate genres trying to serve their purpose, but seldom has a movie managed to scare the wits out of you, along with the highest order of giggles. Horror comedy or horredy, whichever name suits your palate, is a genre waiting to burst out in Bollywood, but with just a handful of not-so-successful experiments, it yet doesn’t qualify in the league of other sections. However, with Stree, the norm clearly seems to change now as the movie’s expertise in churning out the maximum laughs from an audience of all sorts of critiques along with some nail-biting moments is what stays with you long after the movie ends.

Picture this! Vicky, a talented tailor displays his clever skills of knowing his female clients' vital statistics minus a measuring tape. He is craving for true love and in the form of an apsara, a beautiful Stree played by Shraddha Kapoor crosses his path. Well, the point of suspicion here is that this Stree whose identity remains a mystery only visits the town during the four days of Puja each year. Vicky aka Rajkummar Rao’s sidekicks, in the form of Aparshakti Khurrana and Abhishek Banerjee, are the curious bits trying to unravel the mystery around this pretty woman. Stree hunts men like scapegoats only leaving behind their clothes, much to the horror of the other men.

O Stree Kal Aana, which is based on ‘ridiculously’ true phenomena, uses the line written from the blood of bats and cow urine to shoo away the STREE. The makers have rightly tapped into the small bylanes of Chanderi bringing to the fore a story that’s scary and funny in equal parts. Rajkummar Rao, who’s the current favourite of every director, is back again with his top-notch performance and Shraddha may not be as good as her male co-star, but she has improved considerably and she deserves credit for it. Pankaj Tripathi as the know-it-all gyaani has the most humorous dialogues and together with Aparshakti Khurana, Abhishek Banerjee and of course Rajkummar, the men in the house are on fire and unstoppable.

As the movie played along, two things were happening. Either I laughed my lungs out or was on the edge of my seat. Not a dull moment in the frame and kudos to the cinematographer Amalendu Chaudhary for perfectly locking in the shots needed to thrill you. The dialogues are a total winner here, while the soundtrack is fairly decent if not fab.

The movie’s end is utterly astonishing and one thing’s clear, by far this is one of the best horror comedies that is going to leave you cracking up for the majority of time.

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