NRI Pulse

Movie Review

This breezy crew will win your hearts

By Arnab Banerjee

Hindi cinema has not written very many lead female characters who have careers, although to be fair to scriptwriters, many of the roles for women have been full of substance. And depth.

It is thoroughly interesting therefore to walk into a movie that is about the story of not one but three diligent friends who are working as cabin crew for the fictional Kohinoor Airlines.

Director Rajesh Krishnan helms a 122-minute joy ride in his heist comedy film Crew starring Tabu, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Kriti Sanon playing the leads.

Until their peaceful lives take a dramatic turn, all seems to be fine with the three rather glamorous women — Geetu (Tabu), Jasmine Kohli (Kapoor Khan) and Divya Rana (Sanon), who are a part of an airline crew aged between the 20s and the 40s — when they are unexpectedly caught in a difficult situation orchestrated by someone with ulterior motives. Now, they are trapped in a never-ending struggle, desperately trying to break free.

The owner of the airlines is Vijay Walia (Saswat Chatterjee). No prizes for guessing who he is modelled on!) Vijay Mallya, the ex-chairman of Kingfisher — a brand of that offered a line of beverages and an airline group — fled India for the UK.

Walia in the film leads a luxurious life and cons his way all the way while all along putting up a respectable front that commands tremendous admiration and deference.

The airlines staff hasn’t been paid for a year and the three women — as also other 4,000 members of the company — increasingly get impatient. A young mother cries her heart out to share that her daughter’s school fees has not been paid and that the school principal may rusticate the child.

Geeta has been the bread winner in her family while her loving husband Arun (Kapil Sharma) lives off her. As their in-flight supervisor, she is older than the rest, is tired of working so hard and is waiting for her provident fund to be cleared so that they move to Goa and start life afresh as a restaurateur.

Senior flight attendant Jasmine bonds well with her maternal grandfather (Kulbhushan Kharbanda) after her parents passed away. A sucker for life and money, she dreams of a life that’s rosy all the way. Divya Rana (Sanon) is the most educated of the lot and is a trained pilot.

When recession hit the world, she had to settle for a job as a flight attendant though she lies to her family that she has a job as a captain with the airlines. They all work very hard and their daily woes turn all the more unbearable when they don’t get their due on time.

Things hit rock bottom when they discover that their debt-ridden airline is on the verge of bankruptcy. And the three desperate women look for desperate measures to survive and fulfil their aspirations. for survival.

And they resort to crime.

The best part of the storyline credited to Nidhi Mehra and Mehul Suri is the element of unapologetic behaviour of the three who by the way, could pass of as sexy ramp models.

But they are not dishonest; they seem to be go-getters, if at all. Behaving as outrageously nonchalant, blunt and unrepentant as any Smart-alecky man would be their age, they can take on the might of anyone- man or woman to prove their righteous mind.

What’s more, they have fun all the time. Visiting pubs in their free time, shopping and cracking jokes countering sexism with loaded and equally offensive fun repartees, they live to the full.

Although, make no mistake, underneath the cheery upbeat narrative lies the handling of serious middle-class issues that all families face in our country. Be it the woman feeding her jobless brother and husband or the need for a single woman to find the right match to live with, all are mentioned in passing albeit while driving home a point.

Powerhouse performer Tabu, the veteran among the three, is not seen in too many of these light-hearted frothy films. She, like the other two, has a lot of fun and holds her own wonderfully well. Kareena too looks ravishing and performs with a dare-me-not attitude. Sanon gets a lot of action too and nails it with her spunkiness, not to mention her drop-dead gorgeous looks.

To be fair to the men, both Kapil Sharma as Tabu’s gentle understanding but jobless husband, and Diljeet Dosanjh as the customs officer Jai Singh Rathor who studied in the same school as Divya, have clearly defined roles to play.

That Sharma is a fine actor too, besides a great standup has already been proven in Nandita Das’ ‘Zwigato’. Here, he has a special appearance but manages to leave a mark. Chatterjee and Dossanjh are both well-cast and acquit themselves well.

The technical aspects of the film are first-rate. Anuj Rakesh Dhawan’s cinematography gives us the believable feel of the insides of an aircraft as much as the razzmatazz of bars and cafes fills our eyes.

Songs by Diljeet, Badshaah, Romy, Shrushti Tawade and others that are catchy and foot-tapping. One of veteran duo Laxmikant Pyarelal’s old hits, “Choli ke peechhe kya hai”, and Ila Arun’s “Ghaghra” as remakes are already chartbusters.

The film has its wild moments throughout, but after taking off with a lot of promise, it slides to a tepid landing. Nevertheless, it’s honest, breezy and a joyride!

Film: Crew Duration: 122 minutes

Director: Rajesh A Krishnan Cast: Tabu, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Kriti Sanon, Kapil Sharma Diljeet Dosanjh and Saswat Chatterjee

Music: John Stewart Eduri Cinematography: Anuj Rakesh Dhawan

Duration: 122 minutes

Rating: ***

Playing at a cinema near you.

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