‘Crew’ movie review: The charming trio of Tabu, Kareena and Kriti keeps this airy caper afloat

The idea of conning the conman is delicious, but director Rajesh A Krishnan hasn’t cooked the plot to the optimum

March 29, 2024 03:13 pm | Updated March 30, 2024 05:40 pm IST

A still from the trailer for ‘Crew’

A still from the trailer for ‘Crew’

Coming from the makers of Veere Di Wedding, Crew carries forward the idea of three strong women having fun with some smart editing and a loopy background score keeping the interest in the gossamer script.

It belongs to a variety of feel-good cinema where characters exude lip-smacking affluence even in distress. Riding on the casting coup of the year, director Rajesh Krishnan burnishes the shenanigans of the upper middle class to fuel the aspiration of the Instagram generation with manicured emotions. Alternating between risky and risqué, the light-weight entertainer is keen on showcasing that new-age women can wine and whine as much as rich boys. After a series of air adventures that were high on testosterone, this time it is the girls who are dressed up to steal the show.

Three air hostesses, Geeta (Tabu), Jasmine (Kareena Kapoor and Divya (Kriti Sanon), who run their respective houses get caught in a web of circumstances where the line between need and greed gets blurred.

Crew (Hindi)
Director: Rajesh A Krishnan
Cast: Tabu, Kareena Kapoor, Kriti Sanon, Kapil Sharma, Dilijit Dosanjh
Duration: 118 minutes
Storyline: What happens when three girls struggling to keep their heads above water get a chance to change their lives overnight

Based on the sudden derailment of a popular airline, the writers have imagined a wicked cause and effect. Driven by need and greed, the crew of three descend to plot a heist when a pot of gold falls into their lap by chance.

The idea of conning the conman is delicious and there are spurts of clever imagination but the writers, Nidhi Mehra and Mehul Suri depend a little too much on the brilliance of Tabu, Kareena and Kriti to create magic out of glib talk. The film addresses the audience like the men in the film who lose their ability to think once the protagonists reveal their assets. The snide remarks that Tabu and Kareena make about their age connect well but overall their talent deserves a more well-rounded script.

Striking an easy bond right from the take-off, the three have imbued the characters with sass and snark but can’t hide the inherent frivolity of the screenplay with blinding glamour and acting chops. We know increasing the resolution of an image doesn’t increase its quality. After a point, the writing becomes as bland and self-aware as the chore of asking food choices of the passengers on the flight, something the writers have themselves used to generate situational humour. The desperation to evoke humour is so obvious that you can see the underlined portions in the script on the screen where Krishnan wants laughter or a grin.

So we keep praising Tabu’s comic timing and ability to cast a spell when she explains a trite situation like the drill of explaining security instructions to her husband played by Kapil Sharma. Kriti’s natural flair for drama is admirable but the tour de force of this flight is Kareena Kapoor who is in tremendous form, literally and figuratively. Even in the high-pitched atmosphere, the three could generate moments of concern for the characters.

Kapil and Diljit Dosanjh have been given little elbow room to make their presence felt in what has been designed as three-scene, one-end credit song kind of roles. Saswata Chatterjee impresses as the Mallaya-type tycoon.

The entire background score is lifted from Subhash Ghai’s Khal Nayak number ‘Choli Ke Peeche’ but it works in the context of the film and a real moment of hurrah for Laxmikant Pyarelal for making an intoxicating riff that works even after three decades. However, the repeated use of ‘Sona Kitna Sona’ from Hero No. 1 gets to the nerves. After a point in the turbulent second half, it feels as if the makers left the sets to the lovely ladies to do their thing. The good part is Krishnan doesn’t let the pace slip and shuts shop just before his products lose their bling.

Crew is currently running in theatres

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