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Crew Review: Kareena Kapoor Khan Steals the Show; Kriti Sanon And Tabu Add to the Fun

Crew Movie Review: When was the last time you saw a Bollywood heist film led by women? Can’t recall any? As per our research, that’s because this is a genre that has never been tapped. Overseas, Oceans Eight, Thelma & Louise, Hustlers, Widow and Mad Money ventured into this lesser-known space and set a precedent. Back home, we finally have Crew, a heist comedy headlined by Tabu, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Kriti Sanon. It’s refreshing and genre-defining for sure but is it worthy of joining this coterie? The chances are slim.

What’s indeed refreshing is that – and at the cost of sounding like a prude – we finally have a feminist film that doesn’t need to resort to constant banal chatter about libido, orgasms, G-spots, singlehood and boyfriends. Nor is Crew like a didactic narrative about women empowerment. Set against the backdrop of the aviation industry, it revolves around in-flight supervisor Geeta Sethi, senior flight attendant Jasmine Rana and junior flight attendant Divya Bajwa, all of who works with Kohinoor Airlines.

Geeta stays with her loving and supportive husband Arun who runs a cloud kitchen after he was cut off from his family by his brother. Jasmine lives with her maternal grandfather and aspires to be a rich CEO of her own company someday. She’s street smart, sassy and has no qualms defying morals to progress in her life. Divya was a school topper and had always dreamed of being a pilot. But as luck would have it, she’s an airhostess. She, however, has lied to her parents that she, in fact, is a pilot just so that they don’t get their hearts broken.

On the professional front, the airline company they work for is going through a rough patch of bankruptcy and the trio along with their other peers haven’t been paid their salaries for the last six months. Geeta, Jasmine and Divya are constantly on the lookout for a better life and so, when they recover slabs of gold from their boss who suddenly dies in the airbus, they’re tempted to steal the same.

Soon, they learn that he along with Mittal, the HR head, would smuggle gold to Dubai and earn money. After much back and forth, they decide to start working for Mittal with the hope to get an escapade from their financially mediocre lifestyles. But as luck would have it, all hell breaks loose as sub-inspector Mala comes to know that something is fishy.

At the outset, it’s a novel plot. So much could have been done to make it a trailblazing film. But there are far too many loopholes in the screenplay. Even at 2 hour 4 minutes, Crew appears far too stretched out. The narrative barely picks pace and you feel like you’re stuck in a mono rail with nowhere to run. What starts out as extremely promising and fresh soon fizzles out like a damp firecracker. And when you have ace actors like Tabu and Kareena Kapoor Khan joining forces for what turns out to be a borderline threadbare film, it truly breaks your heart.

Crew is touted to be a heist comedy. While it has ample interesting heist scenes, its humour quotient is almost zilch. Most jokes don’t land. By the time you reach the second half, you’re already engulfed with monotony wanting some miracle to happen and change the course of the story. We’re sorry to report that nothing of that sort happens. Even actors like Diljit Dosanjh and Kapil Sharma, who have carved a niche for themselves with their impeccable comic timing, are wasted here. Tabu’s Geeta is given some funny one-liners and local slangs but even they don’t nudge you to let out an occasional laugh or two. The music, unfortunately, also isn’t memorable.

Having said that, Crew is a stunning film to look at. Tabu, Kareena and Kriti look drop dead gorgeous and kudos to the costume department for the same! The women involved with putting the film together – co-producers Rhea Kapoor and Ektaa R Kapoor and co-writer Nidhi Mehra deserve applause. Because womanhood in Crew is never used as a device to push out loaded statements on modern-day feminism even while portraying women as ambitious and unapologetic beings and celebrating sisterhood. The protagonists are flawed and relatable but not undesirable.

And they’re supported by men who might not have much screen time but are green flags who don’t feel threatened watching their women shine. But it is the sloppy screenplay that tends to dilute these little sparks. Crew is directed by Rajesh A Krishnan who earned wide critical acclaim for his dark comedy film, Lootcase starring Kunal Kemmu. Here, he doesn’t get to bring forth his impressive style as the writing overpowers his directorial instincts.

It is Kareena who elevates the narrative several notches. Her Jasmine is a treat to the sore eyes and the character is tailor-made for her. Nobody could have pulled off Jasmine so effortlessly. She’s fierce, enterprising, unyielding and unafraid of twisting her ethics for what she thinks will benefit her. She renders some much needed lustre to the story and it is pure joy watching perform. She marks her return to a glamorous role after a long time and wins your heart. She’s the ultimate epitome of style and substance and truth be told, Crew would have never taken off without her, her feisty charisma and her breaking into Sona Kitna Sona Hai every now and then.

With Geeta, Tabu forays into the glam zone and while she gives it her all, the writing doesn’t do her justice. Her scenes with Jasmine as they engage in banters is pure gold. Their camaraderie look organic and one would wonder how delightful it would be to see the two badass women performing stunts in a high-octane action film (which is written well)! Tabu brings a certain sense of stillness and natural emotionality to the table and her chemistry with Kapil (who plays her husband) is endearing.

Kriti’s character has a cinematic backstory but the writers seem to have only scratched the surface rather than exploring the other layers of Divya. Rajesh Sharma and Trupti Khamkar are impressive. Saswata Chatterjee, on the other hand, is wasted as a prototype of Vijay Mallya named Vijay Walia who owns Kohinoor Airlines.

Crew might not have reached the destination that it had set out for. It’s definitely not Kareena, Tabu or Kriti’s best work. Nonetheless, it’s a great attempt at being a cookie-cutter. Give it a chance because it celebrates female friendships and despite the troughs and the crests, they fiercely love, protect and support one another, and we don’t get to see these themes in our films too often. Also, do you really want to miss out on the chance of watching Kareena looking her best self and embracing the Bebo we all fell in love with in the 2000s? Fat chances. But on a parting note, here’s hoping that the trio headlining the film gets to do another film that does them justice.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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