‘Crew’ 2024 Review: Tabu, Kareena, Kriti Are A Trio That Keeps On Giving

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It has been a while since I watched a plain old, good-natured Bollywood film.  The cinemascape for the last few years has been filled with overtly political films that never truly hit the mark for what they’re trying to say. Then there are the biopics and the action flicks that are tediously mundane in an oversaturated genre. Crew is the perfect mass movie with a female sensibility. The comedy film stars three stunning actresses, all delivering impeccable performances that are incomparable, yet never stealing the show from each other. It’s the perfect harmony that makes this film so thoroughly enjoyable. Crew takes flight, and how? I suppose the lockdown really messed with the Bollywood economy and left us with a drought for truly good films. Though I consider myself a global film viewer, I do have a special place for Bollywood in my heart. So, when I was left disappointed each time I tried and watched a Hindi movie in the last 5 years, I was left thinking it’s a part of me that I may have to let go of now. However, 2023 was finally a turning point with Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani, which (though not without its problems) thoroughly scooped me up into a cloud of colorful, hilarious, dramatic fun. This is what I had been missing. Earlier this year, we got another Kriti Sanon starrer, Teri Baaton Mein Aisa Uljha Jiya, another film that quenched my thirst for an old-school Bollywood rom-com. But I think I finally feel fulfilled thanks to Crew, which combines everything that we love about old Bollywood but delivers it with a nuanced fervor that doesn’t feel over the top or underwhelming. 

Crew is a loopy film that follows three women who are unapologetically themselves while flying around 35,000 feet in the air. Alright, let me explain. Geeta, Divya, and Jasmine are hardworking flight attendants for Kohinoor Airlines (offbrand Kingfisher), but there’s no yield, and it’s almost as if the airlines are scamming them to work for peanuts. Tired of their mistreatment, the women decide to seize the day and try their hand at mild criminal activity. I guess on the surface; you could say Crew falls in the category of “let’s roast the opulent,” a globally trending phenomenon for the past couple of years, but it’s also somewhat of a comedy of errors with a satisfying happy ending. The film is fairly simple despite the complicated web in which the three protagonists find themselves, and so it really allows each actress to shine in their respective roles, while also making comedy the real star of the film. For a Friday morning, I was honestly expecting an empty cinema, because for the past year, whenever I’ve set foot in a theater on a weekday, it’s mostly been me and a bunch of other loners looking for an escape. However, I was surprised to see a mixed crowd with people of all age groups who were completely immersed in the comic timing of the three leads. 

Yes, this is a film with massive star power, but in all honesty, I much prefer it to the action-packed films that the big heroes are attempting to do today in order to compete with their South Indian counterparts. While I’m itching to turn this into a rant about said action films, I’ll get back to Crew and the phenomenal performances in it. It is no surprise that Tabu is such a beloved actress who commands the screen with her glamorous presence alone, but I’m always shocked by how she manages to deliver the most embarrassing moments in the most elegant way. I can’t imagine anybody else playing this role with such charm and comedic precision. Just as excellent is Kareena Kapoor Khan, who, to me, has been missing for what feels like decades. Arrogant, needy, and without love, Jasmine is a character that seems to have been written for the superstar, who shines in this role the way she did in “Jab We Met” way back in the day. However, don’t be confused; the roles are complete opposites. Then there is young and gorgeous Kriti Sanon, who manages to hold her own despite the experience her senior actors hold. The friendship is palpable, and so the jokes land. 

Don’t be alarmed, but apparently, there are more fantastic performances in the film by the supporting cast. Special appearances from Diljit Dosanjh and Kapil Sharma are decent, but the star amongst the men has to be Saswata Chatterjee, who plays a mischievous and prosperous mogul, chairman of Kohinoor (bold move with the name Vijay Waliya). There is this one particular scene in a flight that had me rolling on the cinema floor. Not actually, but you know what I mean. Seriously, though, just sit back and enjoy the ride. For the most part, Crew sticks to the landing, except for the rocky first half, which feels only slightly overlong thanks to the use of a full-length song for a montage of hardworking women. Of course, I love to see it, but over 5 minutes? I think that’s a bit much. Also, though I was rather peeved by the fact that half of this film’s choice of music is remakes of old (unforgettable) songs, I must say that the soundtrack is a good fit for the film. I haven’t stopped humming “Naina” since I got home, though Punjabi words are not my strong suit. 

Visually, the movie is wondrous thanks to the three beauty queens who are styled most fashionably (Rhea Kapoor does not disappoint). It doesn’t really matter that the fantasy hotel in the fictional city of Al Burj is clearly CGI because the women are real and, oh, so awe-inspiring. A fair share of jokes are made using airplane metaphors, which miraculously make you laugh each time only because they feel almost like real-life conversations. The dialogue of this film is actually pretty fun, and simple greetings leave you giggling just because of the timing. Don’t worry, though; this is not just a comedy with no plot. I suppose underneath the glamorous outfits and all the gold, there’s the message of looking out for yourself and those you love. But more importantly, it’s about finding your crew and sticking with them to keep flying. Hey now, it is a Bollywood film, so I’ve got to add some drama, too. Crew is simple; it’s hilarious; it’s got three brilliant women, and there’s nothing more to say. Go make this one your weekend watch (perfect for a women’s day out). I’d give Crew 3.5 out of 5 stars. 


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Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
When not tending to her fashion small business, Ruchika or Ru spends the rest of her time enjoying some cinema and TV all by herself. She's got a penchant for all things Korean and lives in drama world for the most part.

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