Crew Movie Review: Sparkle is good, but too much sparkle is injurious to your eyes. When you bring three talented and beautiful actresses like Tabu, Kareena Kapoor Khan, and Kriti Sanon and cast them in a glammed-up fun heist film, expectations soar high. Crew, directed by Rajesh Krishnan (of Lootcase fame), has a smooth takeoff and even cruises mid-way in the same manner, albeit with some minor turbulence in between. But it is the landing where the film screws it up disappointingly, despite the combined fun energy of three actresses trying hard to spice things up. Crew First Song ‘Naina’ Out! Tabu, Kareena Kapoor and Kriti Sanon Exude Slay Vibes in This Groovy Track by Diljit Dosanjh.

Geeta (Tabu), Jasmine (Kareena Kapoor Khan) and Divya (Kriti Sanon) are air hostesses working for the same airlines. Luckily for them, they keep getting rostered on the same flights, so we assume that has made them thick enough friends. Unluckily for them, though, their workplace - Kohinoor Airlines - is going bankrupt and has not been paying its employees salaries for six months. The ladies are facing their own personal struggles as a result of this. Divya, who has been lying to her family that she is a pilot, is behind on her loans. Geeta and her husband (Kapil Sharma) are trying to gather finances to start his restaurant in Goa. Jasmine, who lives with her grandfather (Kulbushan Kharbanda), dreams of a high life but struggles to pay her rent.

Watch the Trailer of Crew:

It is then that Fate decides to throw a golden opportunity to change their fortunes in their laps after their flight supervisor lands dead, and they discover gold on him while performing CPR. Realising that he was a carrier of illegal gold biscuits for their HR head Mittal (Rajesh Sharma), the ladies decide that being carriers themselves could be a way to solve their financial issues. While they succeed at this initially, the danger of being caught keeps peeking around them. They get an even bigger shock when they discover why the gold has been smuggled.

A Breezy First Half

I quite enjoyed the first half of Crew. Charming in its presentation, the film sparkles with its light-hearted treatment and relatable plot setting. This is perfectly synchronised in the song that showcases their work culture, and how they deal with their passengers and other issues. Inspired by real-life stories of struggling airlines and their even more struggling employees, the story strikes a chord and makes the workplace issues of the main leads somewhat resonant, even if Crew doesn't exactly allow us to feel their struggle.

A Still From Crew

The film has a very, how should I say, a 'bourgeois' way of looking at 'struggles'. It's a little hard to empathise when a character laments that she has to admit her son to a government school now or when Jasmine's high-life aspirations are mostly restricted to her taking selfies with luxury goods.

Branding Game

It also doesn't help when the movie keeps shoving brands in our faces through what is a very obvious form of in-film advertising. From AJIO to Wow Momo - even Boat is displayed prominently in the end-credits song - you can keep counting the brands if you are bored and want to have some fun game.

Queen Power

Still, they ain't that much of a problem, at least in the first half, because the pacing is good, and the three leads are in quite the form here, both in their individual performances and their chemistry with each other. Despite being squashed between two incredible and experienced performers, Kriti Sanon stands out on her mighty own with appreciable comic timing. Kareena's character is perhaps the least relatable of all - even her relationship with her nana is purely decorative at best - but the actress drops enough spunk in her act to ignore the frivolity. And Tabu... well, she can make inflight announcements sound sexy, and she can also drop cuss words with abandon and yet come out graceful.

A Still From Crew

Crew's first half also benefits from its narrative-within-narrative framing, where the outer narrative sees the three ladies caught by the customs, and the inner narrative is how that came about, with a sprinkling of some comical sequences. However, once that bubble is burst and it amounts to nothing, Crew begins to see a dip post-interval, particularly once the leads see the errors of their ways and try to blame each other. It is a much-beaten writing trope, where you know it wouldn't take much to bring them back together.

The Rocky Landing

And sure, they do, as Crew goes from a crime comedy to a heist comedy with a revenge aspect, with the new target of the heroes being their employer, Vijay Walia (Saswata Chatterjee). The name is enough to tell whom the movie is taking potshots at. There is a scene where Walia, while speaking to a news channel, talks of 'parivar' and 'country' while trying to divert accusations against him, and I chuckled at how this 'nationalism' chest-beating is so exploited to the point of being a joke, and yet people still fall for it. But despite the potential of Walia to be an interesting villain conniving enough to trick an entire nation, he is treated more like a bumbling oaf who is easily bested by the protagonists. Crew Review: Kareena Kapoor Khan, Tabu and Kriti Sanon's Heist Comedy Gets Positive Response From Critics.

A Still From Crew

Well, it has more to do with how the whole heist setup feels pretty weak in the writing. A good heist film thrives in surprising the viewer in the least expected manner, and more so, it should look smart. The 'heist' in Crew felt, in one word, 'convenient'. From intruding into a seven-star hotel in Dubai and even finding jobs there to barging into the tycoon's private plane, everything spells easy convenience for us to take anything seriously. Some of Chekhov's Guns can be smelt from far away - like Divya's brother being a hacker and Jasmine (who gets accused of being self-centred) helping an airport attendant from time to time - and you know that they will predictably (and lazily) come into play later on.

Of course, if humour was entirely the intent of the film, then also Crew is only sporadically funny in these portions, and that too happens because of the three actresses' comic timing. There are some slapstick scenes in the third act, but the only scene that felt somewhat amusing was when a plane was greeted by two cows on a derelict airstrip.

The Supporting Players Deserve Better

Also felt some of the supporting actors deserve better. Trupti Khamkar impressed the most in the first half as the shrewd customs officer who is onto the air hostesses but is almost forgotten in the second half. Diljit Dosanjh, billed as a 'guest appearance' in the end credits, plays a senior customs officer, but his role is mostly restricted to serving as a love interest to Kriti Sanon's character.

A Still From Crew

Kapil Sharma is restrained and effective, but the film has undercut his role somewhere. There is a scene where he and Geeta are watching news of gold being found on their flight, and his reaction feels that he knew it was her doing, yet I was curious to know when he was brought into the loop and how he reacted then.

PS: Crew has three remixes, with "Choli Ke Peeche"'s beginning tune generously used throughout the film. I read reports that Ila Arun was unhappy about the remix of this track, which she had co-sung with Alka Yagnik for Khalnayak. I wonder what she would think if she also learned that the remix of her own indie track, "Ghagra," is also part of the film.

Final Thoughts on Crew

Crew possesses spunk, glam, and spice to captivate the audience, and for the most part, it is a visually appealing film with a smooth pace and delightful camaraderie among its three lead actresses. However, when it shifts into 'heist' mode, the writing falls apart, and Crew displays a lack of smarts in pulling off the con and taking the spoils.


(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Mar 29, 2024 02:01 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website