It is a rarity that we have feminist and sexist jokes in the same movie and everybody in the hall is laughing at it, with the same intensity. Stree is a movie made on a village that can be anywhere in india, using the language which is very familiar and colloquial to the big part of the country, and is trying to be feminist without using a single jargon of it. and that is what makes this movie such a winner.
a) O Stree kal Aana
A beautiful writing on every wall written with red colour.
This seems like a perfect joke in a country where women fear to walk in the streets. But this movie is about to turn this joke and make the other half, the men; fear for their lives for the next 2 hours.
A movie which talks about fears of men and yet slightly and very innocently talks about all the atrocities done on women in the name of righteousness. It is not just men who fear her, but even women of the village who fear that she will pick their men.
A very simple plot; where every year, for 4 days a ghost comes to the village and takes away the men of the village. And men are willing to wear sarees and bangles just to ensure that the ghost does not pick them. The gender roles are happily reversed just to protect themselves.
b) O Stree aana.
Even though the hero keeps thinking he is meant for higher calling, he is aware of the fact that he is an excellent tailor and is really good at making women’s clothes. His work becomes even though important when they realises his work is equated to art in the secret to destroying the ghost.
The men are not so masculine, they are kind and willing to be part of women’s lives as long as they are happy.
There are instances in the movie, where the male protagonists themselves justify the act of the ghost and feel that the village needs to pay for their sins. As a prostitute the ghost had made everyone happy and when she decided to stay with her lover, they killed them. How unfair? and men in the movie feel for the prostate/ghost.
And this point is repeated throughout the movie, that people of the village are the ones to be blamed for their attitude towards women.
c) O stree who can read and is intelligent.
There is a strong emphasis on strong women, even though most of these women were either dead or were ghost.
As they say the ghost ( who is the ghost of a prostitute who used to live in the village) is somebody who is well read cos she can read the writing on the wall, very patient as she patiently comes back the next day.
The only person who could save the village had to be a son of a tawaif ( courtesan) ( or tawaif zada). and this scene is dealt so gracefully. Even though the hero breaks down on realising his mother was a courtesan, he comes to term the next day and goes back and defends his mother and her profession.
There are two things that the ghost needs, love and respect. Something that the hero realises and utters in the end of the movie, to convince his friends that they need to better prepared to face her and indeed have to give her what she rightly deserves.
Even when the dance number happens, there are body guards who ensure that she is treated well, and she finishes on time. When the call girl comes to entertain one of the guys, nobody misbehaves with her.
d) Yes Means Yes
A beautiful point justified and reiterated through the movie, by the act of a ghost. How does a man resist the stree? Simple. Just don’t look back. She will come and try to lure you and all you have to do is to resist her. She will ask you consensually to join her.
Her kidnapping style is odd and simple, as rightly pointed, she asks consent first, calls you three times and only when the man turns around, she attacks them.
How very different from the style of men, who generally just kidnap the women and there is never consent or for that matter any requesting.
She could not kill the hero as he had love in is eyes but somehow the other men did not have that, and she easily dragged them with her.
All the ghost sought was for some love and respect.
E) Stree is a satire on what Indian women feel on a daily basis and how could men actually make this situation a bit better.
The only fact that I could laugh throughout the movie was that this only happens in movies. I knew no where people to be precise men were scared of being kidnapped or taken away, this is indeed cinema, but for women in my country ( India) this was a reality. and even though it was sheer for 2 hours, I was glad the other sex or the second sex ( men) would be forced to live it through a cinema.
In the end the hero urges not to kill the ghost as he claims that he is different and he does not want to be like of the rest of the tribe who unjustly punished a women. He calls on a higher duty where he seeks his friends and village to be more courteous towards a woman who indeed took care of her.
Images : from the internet.