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S-Crew you Vijay M@###@ – Beyond Bollywood

Tabu, Kareena, Kriti Sanon are a fab troika, but director Rajesh A Krishnan’s satirical drama on dubious corporate(s) is messy and hardly funny.  

Rating: ⭐️⭐️ ( 2 / 5)

Crew [2024]

By Mayur Lookhar

A Kohinoor flight is about to take off, but is then ordered to abort and return to gate. There is no technical snag, nor any last-minute security threat. SI Inspector (Customs) Mala has been tipped about possible gold smuggling on this Middle East bound light. The prime suspects here are three members of the cabin crew.

Six months earlier, Geeta [Tabu], Jasmine [Kareena Kapoor Khan], and Divya Rana [Kriti Sanon] found their In-Flight Supervisor Rajvanshi [Raamakant Daayama, simply brilliant] still on his crew seat. Jasmine shakes him. The man falls flat on the floor, still lifeless. Geeta opens his shirt to give a CPR, but is stunned to find gold bars strapped on his chest. The women are tempted to lay their hands on the gold, but they opt against it.

So, why would officer Mala suspect these women now? There are many things that transpired between these six months. Best that the audience figure it out themselves. Gold is eventually found on the present day flight, but not from the suspects.

Saswata Chatterjee as Vijay Walia in Crew [2024]

Kohinoor was long rumoured to be struggling, and the raining gold from the cabin ceiling brought further shame to an airline that would soon go bankrupt. Vijay Walia [Saswata Chatterjee], a flamboyant businessman vowed to restore Kohinoor’s pride but he soon flees to a foreign land. The British looted Kohinoor diamond but this Kohinoor (Airlines) is looted by a desi man. Ah, we don’t even need to tell you that Walia is loosely modelled on disgraced businessman Vijay Mallya, minus the beard and moustache. During the trailer launch, director Rajesh A. Krishnan didn’t shy from naming Mallya’s defunct Kingfisher Airlines.  The once flamboyant businessman was ‘the King of good times’. Today. he travels in London buses, with most of his plundered wealth spent on legal expenses to avoid being extradited to India.

Krishnan’s Crew [2024] is a satire on the dubious corporates, fraudulent management whose actions lead to insolvency, and harrowing time for humble employees. Many naturally lose their jobs. Krishnan’s Air hostessess aren’t fired. They, however, are desperate. Though a satire, Krishnan, his writers Nidhi Mehra, Mehul Suri, want you to empathise with the Geetas, the Divyas, and the Jasmines, but their subsequent ignominious actions are baffling to say the least.

Honesty, we thought this Crew was done and dusted there. Fortunately, the ladies later redeem themselves. We can’t reveal the twist in the plot, but let’s just say Krishnan’s Crew manages to do what the Union Central Government, Law Enforcement Agencies haven’t been able to achieve in years.

Satire is fine, but what Crew lacks is a compelling plot, and gripping screenplay. The early moral argument hurts the film. Despite the redemption plot, the neo-fantasy action in the latter half plays out to a poor screenplay.

Not quite a stickler for logic, but as one fairly familiar with civil aviation, we are very intrigued by one thing – How is it that the troika of Geeta, Jasmine, Divya always fly together? Was this written in their contracts? The Kohinoor flight operations department must be very accommodating. Or does Kohinoor have only one-aircraft left? The same crew and just one destination?

Exposing the Walias is necessary, but the sub-plot, dubious actions of the Crew is unlikely to please Civil Aviation professionals. Bankrupt airline or not, but there sure are smarter, safer ways for cabin /cockpit crew to survive or thrive. Ah, we’re not disclosing the secrets.

Former adman Krishnan had made his debut with the acclaimed series TVF Tripling [2016-19] and later graduated to feature films with Lootcase [2020]. Both Crew and Lootcase are borne out of a common germ – desperate protagonist(s). The latter’s world, though, was more rooted, its storytelling organic. More importantly, Lootcase left you in splits with its diverse characters, fine writing and quality humour. The second half does produce some funny moments, but Crew [2024] doesn’t consistently tickles the funny bone.


The saving grace for Crew is the fine effort by its leading cast, and a few others. Tabu, often known for her intense roles, leads the way with an amusing act. She never really tries to be funny as Geeta largely sports a grim face. The humour is derived from her many predicaments. Ah, the few cuss words from her mouth feel like a blessing. Her professional life is in disarray, but at home, she is comforted by her husband Arun Sethi [Kapil Sharma]. The latter hasn’t been much of an achiever in his career, but the Arun-Geeta relationship is testimony to a realistic, harmonious bond between an air hostess and a simple man. First Zwigato [2022] and now Crew, funny man Sharma displays a mature side to him again.

Kareena Kapoor

Geeta is the oldest, but it’s Jasmine who is the sharpest among the troika. Her back (sob) story may not be convincing but Jasmine often has a plan B up her sleeves. Though born with a privilege, it’s Kareena Kapoor Khan who vents the middle-class frustration in the Crew society. Barring the odd good showing, Kareena has largely struggled for consistency. She’s fairly good though as Jasmine.

Kriti Sanon

Their red uniforms mirror the rage within. The trailer described them as ants. No, they are not here to be crippled. The trio are no less than an army of ants. We spoke of Tabu ‘thorax’, Kareena ‘femur’. What about Kriti ‘chiti’ Sanon?  

Divya Rana from Haryana has no Haryanvi accent. (Don’t private airlines prefer English-speaking beauties?) However, when push comes to shove, Divya will unleash the petite Haryanvi pehlwan in her. A cheap passenger learnt it the hard way. Bizarrely, all these years she’s lied to her family that she’s a pilot. Divya leaves her house dressed as a pilot, then changes her uniform at the airport. How no ground staff or other crew members noticed this behavior is beyond belief?

Save her underrated act in Bhediya [2022], Sanon’s been below par in her recent films. The gifted Punjabi, though, revels in the company of seasoned actors – Kareena and Tabu.  In fact, it’s the chemistry between the trio that primarily builds engagement. Sanon perhaps feeds on the infectious charm of Tabu, the feistiness of Kareena, to dole out an entertaining performance of her own. She, however, will have to work on her reel puking.

Sanon had claimed that Crew is a women-led film that will not indulge into male bashing. It’s a welcome change for a Balaji Telefilms’ movie. The Kriti-Diljit college fling though looked so flimsy. As it turns out, years later the Customs Officer Jaiveer [Dosanjh] humbly admits that he was a rookie then. While some like alpha-males, credit to Dosanjh for having no qualms about playing a ‘rookie’ then. It, however, is an academic guest performance from Dosanjh.

The leading cast is endearing, and we’re also impressed by two other ladies. Though slightly bordering on stereotype, Trupti Khamkar is a delight to watch as the intimidating SI Mala. She partly rekindled memories of Pam Ferris’ Hitler-like school principal Agatha Trunchbull from Matilda (1996).

Garima Yajnik (c)

Saswata Chatterjee is underwhelming as Vijay Walia, but Garima Yajnik is hilarious as Walia’s brattish daughter Ayesha. Here’s Jasmine serving her juices, the best in-flight food, yet the woman wouldn’t appreciate any of it. She’s the daughter of a fraud, so Ayesha can sense danger. The Jasmine-Ayesha catfight is amusing. “You eat so less, but where do you get this strength from,” wonders Jasmine. Though brief, Yajnik leaves a lasting impression.

The women are the driving factors of this Crew. Sadly, they are let down by a feeble story, screenplay, and average direction. The climatic action flies on wings of melodrama. Don’t bother thinking how a Cessna charter in Cayman Islands can miraculously land in some godforsaken muddy strip in Haryana in quick time.

Crew’s playback music, few remakes, don’t make for great audio experience, but it fits perfectly into the respective context in the film.

Crew had promise but director Krishnan fails to deliver a fine comedy. In fact, there is very little genuine humour here. The film draws your attention to the plight of aggrieved employees, but once again Bollywood is oblivious to the grievance of the biggest losers – share holders, financial institutions.

Despite it flaws, one ought to respect Krishnan and his writers for conceiving such a plot with women leading the f(l)ight. This was simply unheard of in the earlier times.

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