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Stree is more than what it seems on the surface. While falling off your sofa while laughing, you also realise some feminist truths that take patriarchy by the collar. Check it out this weekend.
In a regular column exclusively on Women’s Web, Anushree brings you exciting stuff to watch over the weekend, from a feminist point of view. We can promise you – no dull weekends again. You can see all of The Feminist Eye pieces here.
I hope you all got to watch at least one of the two I recommended last week. If not, this weekend there is something very unusual for you all.
Rajkummar Rao’s and Shraddha Kapoor’s “Stree” is exactly what you need to tickle your funny, scaredy and satirical bones this weekend. And I reiterate do not miss it. This film needs all the encouragement it can get.
I call it “unusual” because it starts with a disclaimer that the movie is based on a “ridiculous” phenomenon and then goes on to make ridiculous look sensible and hilarious all in the same one movie of 2 hrs and 10 mins. The film has flaws and they look like a downer for a few minutes but then the good parts take over and of course Rao’s phenomenal performance takes away the disappointment in a whiff.
Peppered with sarcasm and punches (that threaten to throw you laughing off your chair, rolling off if you’re on a recliner) that take misogyny and patriarchy by their collars, Stree is a very brave attempt. Despite it being absolutely senseless in some places with a warped climax that tends to become confusing, when the audience walks away home (you will know this when you see the popular reviews), they take away the humorous parts and the essence of the movie.
Some scenes where a husband tells his wife to come back home soon because he is afraid of the Stree roaming outside in the dark, another dialogue that goes “Kahi jabardasti toh nahi utha le jayegi,” (I hope she won’t take you away forcibly) and “Wo stree hai, purush nahi jo jabardasti utha le jaye. Wo pehle tumse anumati legi” (She’s a woman, not a man that she’ll take you away by force. She’ll first ask your consent). Or when Rao attempts a Shahrukh-Khan-romance-boi image to placate the “chudail” with his love-filled eyes – are probably going to make the annals of history akin to “Gogoji aapka ghagra” and “kacha khiladi hai” from Andaz Apna Apna, why the film too brings back the slapstick nostalgia of the revered older comedy.
Like I said it has its flaws what with an item number placed unnecessarily but let’s say it was to depict the toxic masculinity that Bollywood tends to romanticize so much.
Much better than a lot of its contemporary movies, Stree needs your immediate attention just to bring out the feminist sensibilities in you, with uproarious humor and of course the legend that is Rajkummar Rao.
Header image is a still from the movie Stree
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Rajshri Deshpande, who played the fiery protagonist in Trial by Fire along with Abhay Deol speaks of her journey and her social work.
Rajshri Deshpande as the protagonist in ‘Trial by Fire’, the recent Netflix show has received raving reviews along with the show itself for its sensitive portrayal of the Uphaar Cinema Hall fire tragedy, 1997 and its aftermath.
The limited series is based on the book by the same name written by Neelam and Shekhar Krishnamoorthy, who lost both their children in the tragedy. We got an opportunity to interview Rajshri Deshpande who played Neelam Krishnamoorthy, the woman who has been relentlessly crusading in the court for holding the owners responsible for the sheer negligence.
Rajshri Deshpande is more than an actor. She is also a social warrior, the rare celebrity from the film industry who has also gone back to her roots to give to poverty struck farming villages in her native Marathwada, with her NGO Nabhangan Foundation. Of course a chance to speak with her one on one was a must!
“What is a woman’s job, Ramesh? Taking care of parents-in-law, husband, children, home and things at work—all at the same time? She isn’t God or a superhuman."
The arrays of workstations were occupied by people peering into their computer screens. The clicks of keyboard keys were punctuated by the occasional footsteps moving around to brainstorm or collaborate with colleagues in their cubicles. Most employees went about their tasks without looking at the person seated on either side of their workstation. Meenakshi was one of them.
The thirty-one-year-old marketing manager in a leading eCommerce company in India sat straight in her seat, her eyes on the screen, her fingers punching furiously into the keys. She was in a flow and wanted to finish the report while the thoughts and words were coming effortlessly into her mind.
Natu-Natu. The mellifluous ringtone interrupted her thoughts. She frowned at her mobile phone with half a mind to keep it ringing until she noticed the caller’s name on the screen, making her pick up the phone immediately.
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