Article Hindi

Stree trailer: Based on myth or not, men have every reason to fear this lady


The Rajkummar Rao, Shraddha Kapoor-starrer horror comedy promises to be a  thrilling entertainer.

Mayur Lookhar

Early in June, Maddock Films had released a very spooky teaser of their upcoming film Stree. Nearly two months later, they unveiled the trailer. Though spooky at certain points, the film is largely a comedy.  

The makers are claiming that the film is based on a true phenomenon. From the time the teaser was out, there have been speculations on what true incident is. Reports suggest that the film is based on Bengaluru's legend of Nale Ba. As per the legend, a witch roamed the streets at night and knocked on the doors in the 1990s. She would imitate the voice of a kin and call men out. Death was certain if the man opened the door. The residents then came up with an idea of writing Nale Ba ('Come Tomorrow' in Kannada) on their doors and walls to ward off the evil. 

The teaser of Stree showed doors and walls of houses painted with the text, 'O stree, kal aana, yahan koi mard nahin [Oh lady, come tomorrow, there is no man in this house]. Though one of the film's cast members denied any relation between the legend and the film, the similarities are hard to miss. 

The trailer of the film, however, begins with the legend itself. Pankaj Tripathi's character narrates a legend wherein a prostitute found true love in a man who loved her soul more than her body. No more details are given, perhaps, the director, Amar Kaushik, wants to keep the myth a suspense. 

We have Vicky (Rajkummar Rao) who is smitten by a girl (Shraddha Kapoor). Now the strange thing is that the girl only meets Vicky only during an annual pooja and hence, Vicky's friends suspect the girl to be a witch.

Tripathi's character cautions Vicky and his friends that the witch is out to hunt for men again after many years. The wrath of the witch, known as Stree, is such that only the clothes of her victims remain. Now, is Shraddha Kapoor that witch? Well, we can only speculate, as we don't see the witch’s face but only glimpses of her.

Director Kaushik deserves credit for churning out a thoroughly entertaining and gripping trailer. It is filled with fear, love, humour, music and holds promise of being an ideal family entertainer. However, the scenes with the witch may scare little kids. 

The film seems to be set in northern India, most probably Uttar Pradesh. Vicky comes across as an extension of Rao's character of Pritam Vidrohi from Bareilly Ki Barfi (2017). Vidrohi had two shades to him: one of a shy, petrified naive man, the other of an intimidating goon. Vicky is like the shy, petrified Vidrohi. While Vidrohi sold sarees in Bareilly Ki Barfi, Vicky is a tailor specialising in women's clothing. Finally, while Rao doesn’t have a Chirag Dubey (Ayushmann Khurrana in Bareilly Ki Barfi) on his back here, he does have Ayushmann's brother Aparshakti playing a friend in Stree. 

Shraddha Kapoor has rarely impressed with her acting skills and in the Stree trailer, too, she doesn't leave much impact. But given the plot of the film, the makers are unlikely to give away much about her character. 

Tripathi and Rao reunite after Newton (2017). Tripathi’s character has some weird advice for the boys to save themselves from Stree. The mushy advice, though, may not be helpful, for it will take courage to look into the eyes of the witch and harbour romantic thoughts. “Arey, hamari gaand fati hui hain. Kahan se layengey pyaar (I’m shit scared, how the hell do I bring in feelings of love!)" screams Vicky.

The film has an appropriate tag line of ‘mard ko dard hoga (Now man will feel pain)’. That is not just a warning to all males but is a riposte to the popular dialogue, "Mard ko dard nahin hota [A real man does not feel pain]," delivered by Amitabh Bachchan in Manmohan Desai's entertainer Mard (1985). 

Now whether the film is based on myth or a true story, most men will watch the film with the fear of Stree in their hearts. 

Written by Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK, Stree will be on the prowl from 31 August. 

Watch the highly entertaining trailer below:

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