If you have a tailor who can size up women without taking their measurements, you know you are in for less horror and more comedy. Rajkummar Rao does just that, as the Suspect No 1 ghost Shraddha Kapoor allures him into loving her so much that he cannot talk anything except her while he hangs out with friends. So yeah, the story has begun as Miss Stree continues to torment a village- but unfortunately, lacks pace till you are driven to your Pepsi and Popcorn.
Post-interval, the film moves fast and keeps you glued to the seat. Is that enough? Kinda, but the dialogues don’t do justice to the bizarre situations that crop up frequently. The ideas are fine, but the writers should have burned more midnight oil. Rao's constantly funny friends Aparshakti Khurana and Abhishek Banerjee find themselves more on the centre-stage in the second half, but Stree still doesn't send you into raptures. The climax is a bit messed up and you leave your seat thinking 'It was nice but could have been better. It was funny but I won't laugh if I remember these jokes at home. It was not at all scary and I wouldn't be reminded of the female ghost if I am walking down a spooky street at night'.
A Still From Stree
Shraddha Kapoor is fine, but can polish her acting skills a bit. Her inadequacies show through especially in the last hour when she is in the midst of better actors. Guessing she will learn quickly, why doesn't she avail the services of her aunt Padnmini Kolhapure who was an actor par excellence?
A Still From Stree
As I said, Stree is more funny, hardly scary. That imbalance makes the film a little trivial, a bit fluffy. But yet, you cannot not raise a toast to Rao and Pankaj Tripathi's (playing a research expert on witches) acting chops who carry the film on their shoulders to a near victory, especially the former. Unlike what you may think from the title, Shraddha does not have an author-backed role. It's Rajkummar Rao almost all the way- quantity and quality. Watch this film for Rao's histrionics, this man can give 4 expressions in one shot- comical, scared, romantic and dominant. That's exactly what Shraddha makes him do in the end to defeat the Stree.
Does he succeed? Yes and no. Should you see it? No and yes.
I am going with Two-And-Half.