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Stree - Honest Movie Review

Verdict - "A Ridiculous Film Based on a Ridiculous Phenomenon."

Directed by debutant Amar Kaushik and written by Raj & DK ('Shor in the City' and 'Go Goa Gone' fame), Stree starring Rajkummar Rao and Shraddha Kapoor in the lead roles is a horror-comedy, and the storyline is inspired by a ridiculously true urban legend which haunted few rural areas across India and other neighbouring countries (Pakistan and Bangladesh).

The storyline takes place in a small town in Madhya Pradesh, India where every wall in front of every house is addressed with the line 'ओ स्‍त्री कल आना', in order to avoid the 'ghost of an unsatisfied wife' (who is notoriously known for abducting the 'man of the house') from entering the house. Ultimately, Vicky (Rajkummar Rao) [a stud and a highly skilled tailor] unites with his wacko friends and his mysterious unnamed lady friend (Shraddha Kapoor) to solve the mystery which is haunting the entire village to pieces.

Let's start with the positives, written by Raj & DK (who I consider as one of the most unorthodox and unique director duo in Bollywood), the comedic sequences in the film were clever, exemplary, and off-the-wall funny. The witty tone carried through the entire runtime, and I can't remember the last time I laughed this hard, and that says a lot about this film.

However, when you craft or write an entire 130-minute film on a 'ridiculous phenomenon', it conclusively deteriorates, and this film honestly felt like jokes over substance. The storyline dissolved expeditiously within the first thirty-minutes and felt like it's going nowhere. And the lengthy runtime repressed me in a dilemma, cause I found myself enjoying the tricks, quips and gags, but I can see through and notice the absence of an intriguing and an ingenious plot.

About the performances, I felt that Shraddha Kapoor felt much less than a supporting character in the film, as she had barely any moments to shine. Pankaj Tripathi, who is again, one of the best actors out there in Bollywood, is also constrained to a smaller role but displayed his comedic excellence within the minimal screen time he's offered. Also, Aparshakti Khurana and his pal Abhishek Banerjee were hysterical in every single scene. But, the show-stealer of the entire film is without a doubt, Mr Rajkummar Rao as he continues to impress with his one-of-a-kind acting chops. He is incredibly believable as this innocent small-town guy, and the made the film so much better with his astonishing timing, delivery and performance.

Overall, Stree is a laugh riot and was funny from start to finish. Rajkummar Rao once again outperforms everyone with his comedic timing and his gullible persona. But, that's about it, the movie quickly fizzled out, the storyline was very thin, and it honestly felt like a three-hour film for me. I would recommend watching it if you're up for a few quick laughs and not care about the writing or the direction.

My Rating - 2.75/5 | Grade - C+ (A Decent Flick!)
-An Honest Movie Review by Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)
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