With collections of Stree doubling on Day 2, and the weekend collections expected to hit 30 crores, this quirky shiver giver is all set to become the sleeper hit of the year.
Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK, the duo that directed the delightful Go Goa Gone, are back. And though Stree is directed by their assistant Amar Kaushik the Raj-DK imprint is all over this eerie-airy product.
In the mood for celebration, Raj Nidomoru laughs, “We cracked the idea of men in a small town being threatened by a supernatural woman—quite a reversal of the gender dyanamics—a few years an ago. We were not sure whether we should actually show the supernatural presence on screen, or just use it as an idea to create an obscure fear that would make the audience giggle uncomfortably. Then we decided to go the whole hog. Why do horror films only pitch the IDEA of a spirit? Why not actually show it? We did. And it seems to have worked.”
The box-office numbers for the first two days are far beyond all expectations.
Says Krishna DK, “We expected the collection for the first day to be between 4-5 crores. It is almost 8 crores. Far beyond what we expected. The audiences’ response is gratifying. It means they got it. Our blend of horror and laughter is not an easy mix to pull off. But we’ve managed to do it, it seems.”
Since the film communicates Raj and DK’s signature mood mixing mirth and terror, how come they chose not to direct the film themselves?
Explains DK, “When we cracked the idea we had the choice of either waiting until we were free to direct the subject ourselves or letting someone else direct it. We chose Amar Kaushik who was our first assistant on Go Goa Gone. If we had waited we might have forfeited the uniqueness of the idea. In the past, on two occasions other filmmakers got to an idea before we did. Rather than wait, we decided to let Amar do it. And we’re happy to say he has executed our idea exactly the way we wanted it.”
Next, Raj and DK will direct the sequel to Go Goa Gone. “It’s been five years since Go Goa Gone. The film and its zombie theme is still talked about and a demand for a sequel has grown. So yeah, we are directing the sequel to Go Goa Gone next.”
How would Raj react to being accused of propagating supernatural beliefs?
He shrugs, “We make absurdist satirical drama because that’s the spirit that haunts us as filmmakers. Branding us any which way doesn’t affect us. We are not social crusaders. We are filmmakers.”
After Stree, Raj and DK can now breathe a sigh of relief. Their last two films Happy Ending and A Gentleman underperformed at the box-office. Was it because they were out of the director duo’s comfort zone?
Protests Raj, “I wouldn’t say they were out of our comfort zone. We enjoyed writing and directing both. The anxiety to deliver a hit is definitely higher when you are making a film for the studio. There are stars to be considered, songs to be put in, and so on and so forth. When you produce a film yourself—as DK and I have done for the first time with Stree—there is more freedom to use your creative urges as you want.”
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But Raj stands by his failures. “A Gentleman in spite of its global look was not that expensive a film. And we really enjoyed working with Siddharth Malhotra and Jacqueline Fernandez. They surrendered themselves to our vision and we all had fun doing it. Like I said we don’t write or direct films keeping the success-ratio in mind. If we worked that way Stree would’ve never happened.”