Crew Movie Review: Rajesh Krishnan’s ‘Crew’ is an undemanding watch, lit up by the pleasure of watching stars having fun

Rajesh Krishnan
The film features Tabu, Kareena Kapoor Khan, and Kriti Sanon. It isn’t the perfect caper, but it gets the job done.
Crew Movie Review

Crew Movie Cast & Crew

Production : Balaji Motion Pictures,Anil Kapoor Films & Communication Network
Director : Rajesh Krishnan

Sometimes, it’s just nice to see a bunch of high-wattage stars having fun. If you are in the mood, and if the bar isn’t set too high, Crew – directed by Rajesh Krishnan – could be that movie. It features Tabu, who clearly relishes the few times she isn’t asked to carry the weight of the world on her actorly shoulders. (Remember her delightful turn as the hippie-mom in Jawaani Jaaneman?) Kriti Sanon is “Divya Rana from Haryana”, and she lets loose a wild, naughty side that suggests comedy could be her thing. And Kareena Kapoor Khan, as Jasmine, is just wonderful. It’s hilarious to see a star of her wattage play someone who can’t pay the rent and lives a “hand-to-mouth haalat”. And that, too, is part of the fun. Crew isn’t interested in being… real. And the times the writing (Nidhi Mehra, Mehul Suri) falters is when it tries to bring on doses of reality.

There’s a sad song after a beloved relative dies. There’s a sob story about a flight attendant who cannot afford her child’s school fees. There’s a wee bit of existential hand-wringing when a character claims, “Main achchi insaan nahin hoon.” These plot points, by themselves, aren’t the problem – but the way they are staged and placed leaks the air out of a film that’s essentially a helium balloon. It’s far more entertaining when a topic like ageism is tossed off as part of a casual conversation. We register the point. We also register Kareena/Jasmine’s indignation at being pointed out how old she is. And it’s refreshing to see women on screen indulge in unapologetic locker-room talk. There was a part where I thought our heroines would be forced to repent and start doing good, but luckily, they survive with their selfish streaks intact. They get to eat their cake and have it, too.

So what do they do that they might have to repent for? This involves gold smuggling. The three stars play flight attendants who work for a near-bankrupt airline named Kohinoor. The screenplay could have been tighter, and the film could have been truer to a Hollywood-style caper – but there’s enough solid writing to carry the happenings across. A bit about an airfield in the middle of nowhere comes in useful later. A bit about a male airline employee who chides a female flight attendant for being overweight gets some nice closure when he is, himself, found unfit to fly. The constant refrain of “Choli ke peechhe kya hai” acts not only as leadup to a remix, but also as a reminder that these women are indeed hiding something in their, um, hearts. 

The character Tabu plays (her name is Geeta) is shown to be resolutely middle-class, and she gets some amazing zingers. My favourite is the one when she refuses to leave a very expensive cup of coffee. She says, “Sau dollar ki coffee mangvaai haiJhaag bhi peeke jaaoongi.” Diljit Dosanjh turns on the charm in a nice little role where he’s smitten by the Kriti Sanon character. Every time he calls her “Divya Rana from Haryana”, you wonder why he isn’t more of a leading man in Hindi films. Rajesh Sharma squirms marvellously as the target of our heroines. (Why don’t we see more of him?) By the last half-hour, the film really gets going, and if it’s not exactly Ocean’s Eleven, I was satisfied with the Ocean’s Five-and-a-half I got.

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Baradwaj Rangan

National Award-winning film critic Baradwaj Rangan, former deputy editor of The Hindu and senior editor of Film Companion, has carved a niche for himself over the years as a powerful voice in cinema, especially the Tamil film industry, with his reviews of films. While he was pursuing his chemical engineering degree, he was fascinated with the writing and analysis of world cinema by American critics. Baradwaj completed his Master’s degree in Advertising and Public Relations through scholarship. His first review was for the Hindi film Dum, published on January 30, 2003, in the Madras Plus supplement of The Economic Times. He then started critiquing Tamil films in 2014 and did a review on the film Subramaniapuram, while also debuting as a writer in the unreleased rom-com Kadhal 2 Kalyanam. Furthermore, Baradwaj has authored two books - Conversations with Mani Ratnam, 2012, and A Journey Through Indian Cinema, 2014. In 2017, he joined Film Companion South and continued to show his prowess in critiquing for the next five years garnering a wide viewership and a fan following of his own before announcing to be a part of Galatta Media in March 2022.