Updated March 29th, 2024 at 19:16 IST

Crew Review: Kareena Kapoor, Kriti Sanon, Tabu Starrer 'Heist' Film Fails To Leave The Runway

The Kareena Kapoor, Kriti Sanon and Tabu starrer Crew released in theatres on March 29. The female-led heist film is directed by Rajesh A Krishnan.

Reported by: Aalokitaa Basu
Crew posters | Image:Instagram

Gone are the days when star power alone could ensure a smooth sail for big banner projects at the box office. The knee-jerk shift in trends explains why establishing oneself in the film business has swiftly - and appropriately so - become an increasingly uphill task. With some of the biggest names in Indian showbiz bearing the brunt of this shift, Crew, does not appear to stand much of a chance.


Hot Take

Crew starts off honest. The audience is presented with their leading ladies - a trio of small-town women daring to dream big. Kareena Kapoor, Kriti Sanon and Tabu's introductory montages set the tone for the chaos to come. The tempo, however, does not sustain for long. This is an absolute bummer for anybody who walks in to watch the film, never quite receiving the exciting cinematic pay off that usually entails a heist flick.


Does Crew live up to the hype?

No. Not by a mile. Crew gets jarringly real, a little too soon. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with films that jolt you into reality, when it comes to Crew, the audiences were simply not set up for it.


One might even go as far as to say that the tastefully crafted trailer, with all its sass, was misleading.


Crew reeks of lost potential

The most pressing issue with Crew is that it is made up of a host of half-baked elements which are never really exploited to their full potential. In the moments leading up to the trio turning criminals, the film was peppered with moments which called out stereotypes by turning them into satire - weighing air hostesses and deeming them unfit to fly being a moment that stands out in this regard. Fighting the male gaze could have very easily been made an undercurrent through the course of the film, but that beat was left practically untouched.


It is not that the writers for Crew, Nidhi Mehra and Mehul Suri, were out of depth with their vision. The feisty character backgrounds in congruence with simple-yet-telling dialogues like "to make money, you need to have money", are testament to this. The lack of a convincing context giving these elements a solid foundation is the key issue here.


The leading ladies play themselves

Crew jumps into action with strongly armed backgrounders for its leading trio - Kareena Kapoor's Jasmine Kohli, Kriti Sanon's Divya Rana and Tabu's Geetu Sethi. While Kareena's Jasmine grasped the reality of the ever-present haves versus have-nots dynamic early on in her childhood, Tabu's Geetu long abandoned her beauty pageant pursuits for a life of labour in the sky, all in the hopes of enjoying a smooth retirement with Mr. Sethi (guest appearance by Kapil Sharma).


Kriti's Divya in this regard, is probably the most elaborately set up - all-rounder, head girl, state champion and a trained pilot - oodles of potential flushed down the drain due to an uncooperative economy. While these facets and quirks could have traced the outline of a memorable film, none of them are actually all that relevant to the story, barely making a dent in the film's two-hour long runtime. In recounting what Crew's female leads failed to be, the delightfully hilarious Ocean's 8 (2018) comes to mind, a succinct example of having the character's elaborate backgrounds feed into the plot and progress of the film.

Where's the thrill?

Stereotypes, if not overplayed, can actually evoke nostalgia, something that can become quite the selling point for a film at a time when industry trends are changing by the minute. The first quarter of Crew actually manages to tap into this reservoir of potential. Director Rajesh A Krishnan, however, quickly trades out the same for a poor attempt at crafting a heist film.


Speaking of stereotypes, the occasional bursts of melodrama from Jasmine, Divya and Geetu are pretty much the only appreciable chick flick stereotype that manages to inject some life into the film. On the heist front, the actual proceedings of the air hostesses going rogue, are un-stereotypically bland. It is more a too-little-too-late realisation of their dreams - still more, than what the audience leave the theatres with.  Diljit Dosanjh, who plays the charming customs officer Jaiveer, enjoys playful chemistry with Divya - something which could have definitely been played on more to pack some punch.

The audience is misled

Crew's mundanity, works as both a curse and a blessing. Showing the air hostesses in their element really dismantles perceptions of the so-called glamour associated with the airline hospitality industry. In a previous media interaction, director Rajesh A Krishnan had pegged Crew as an "important film", one that showcases how the "maids in the sky" are usually the ones who pay the price in the tussle between corporate greed and government red tape.


One cannot help but wonder why the film was not promoted along the same lines. Does every female-led film then, have to be packaged as a fancy chick flick for commercial traction?

Watch it or skip it?

Crew is at best a one-time watch. The self-branded 'chick flick', however, neither manages to exploit its talented star cast, nor deliver on the professed themes of sisterhood, heists or even slapstick humour for that matter.


Kareena Kapoor plays herself, as does Kriti Sanon. Tabu is underwhelming. The trio, however, simply make do with what little they are given and are not to blame. Crew's biggest setback is the lack of a convincing story.

Rating: 2/5


Published March 29th, 2024 at 19:16 IST