Stree: Ending Explained (In Detail)

What havoc does the spirit of 'Stree' wreak upon the people of Chanderi? And just what was that last scene with Shraddha Kapoor all about?
Stree: Ending Explained (In Detail)

The last scene of Stree (2018), the hinterland horror comedy directed by Amar Kaushik and co-written by Raj & DK, left viewers zapped, wondering whether they’d been led up the garden path all this while. The film — which oscillated between being outrageously funny one moment and eerily suspenseful the next — had built up a fascinating lore about its environment, so the twist in the tale was one that naturally begged questions about just what had transpired and what the way forward would be.

Vicky the Tailoring Wizard

Vicky (Rajkummar Rao) is an ambitious tailor in Chandel, a small town in Madhya Pradesh, with aspirations of getting the family shop to cease all work of alterations and adjustments to focus on “original designs” that he is determined to make a rage. Such is his skill that he needs to take only a good, non-lascivious look at the ladies who frequent the shop to take their measurements, often recommending designs and fits with candour as the soundtrack and his ageing father wax eloquent about his talent.

Vicky’s one weakness is a woman (Shraddha Kapoor) he met the previous year at the annual mela. She wanders back into his life just as the mela is about to begin, and orders an outfit from Vicky and arranges to meet him the same evening at the pooja scheduled to mark the commencement of the mela.

A rather sombre part of the festivities is the act of painting “O Stree, Kal Aana” outside homes in which men reside, a means of warding off a legendary spirit referred to as “Stree” who is said to snatch men she finds out and about after dark during the mela.

Things Start Happening

After meeting up with the woman at the pooja, Vicky makes for a party, where his seemingly conjoined buddies Bittu (Aparshakti Khurana) and Jana (Abhishek Banerjee) join him. When Vicky excuses himself midway through the stock celebratory song featuring Nora Fatehi, the unseen Stree senses an opportunity. As luck would have it, Vicky relieves himself on the compound wall, washing off the “Kal” of “O Stree Kal Aana” - it now reads “O Stree Aana”, albeit with a massive red stain in the middle, thus permitting Stree to enter the premises. Thus begin the disappearances, the first being one of the more excitable guests.

The next day, Bittu’s suspicions are aroused by a procurement list Vicky gets from his lady friend, which includes meat and alcohol, the tail of a lizard, the fur of a white cat, and Dhatura flowers — all of which Bittu suspects is part of a black magic protocol. The fire is fuelled by the fact that the woman only ever meets Vicky in seclusion, and Bittu starts believing that she is Stree. Vicky shakes off the suspicions until Jana goes missing and he is forced to confront the possibility of his paramour being a vengeful spirit. When he tries to bring up the matter with her, she disappears, leading him to believe Bittu’s assertions.

The two friends seek out Rudra Bhaiya (Pankaj Tripathi), the local librarian and knowledge pool of all things paranormal who suggests they go to a nearby fort, which is mentioned in a book called “Chanderi Puran” and which Vicky recounts having seen whilst out with the woman. At the fort, the trio separate and Vicky comes face to face with Stree, who spares him because of the respect he accords her. She is then driven away by the mysterious woman, who claims to have been looking for Stree for the past three years, which is why she only comes to town during the festival.

Jana is released as part of a deal between Vicky and Stree, but he is under her control and thus helps her kidnap more men by erasing the signs all over town.

The group now locate the author of “Chanderi Puran”, one Shankar Shatri (Vijay Raaz), who tells them that Stree was a beautiful courtesan who was much sought after, but after she chose a particular man to marry, the town’s vengeful menfolk murdered her. He then says that a prophecy suggests a man with all but one of Vicky’s attributes will save the town. The last attribute - being born to a courtesan - doesn’t apply to Vicky, but his friends insist that it does, and his father confirms this.

He gets over his inhibitions and embraces his truth, venturing out to confront Stree, only to realise that while the others believe she wishes to terrorise, all she wants is love and respect, which has already saved his life once before. In treating Stree with the correct regard, he manages to keep her at bay, and at the woman’s suggestion, he cuts off Stree’s braid in which her powers are said to reside.

The Resolution

Stree ends with peace reigning in the town after Stree’s retreat. Vicky sees the woman off at the bus stand but forgets to ask her name or take her phone number. 

Aboard the bus, the woman slips Stree’s braid out of her bag and merges it with her own, implying that she too is a supernatural being who was on the hunt for Stree’s powers, which she now has possession of.

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