Crew review: Laughter, liberation, and a dash of rebellion

Karishma Jangid
New Update
Crew review

Rajesh Krishnan's 'Crew' features a dynamic trio of air hostesses turning to gold smuggling. The film entertains with a humorous and frank narrative.

When I mention a 'female-centric' film (male-centric films are just 'films' by the way), you might think of Laapata Ladies, Thappad, Lipstick Under My Burkha. These movies are significant. They're not just entertaining, they are also essential for cinema and society. However, more often than not, 'female-centric' cinema is associated solely with education. We often assume that it is women's job to teach and rob them of their freedom to be imperfect. 'Crew' revels in this freedom. It is all about women kicking back, letting loose, and having a blast; no life lessons, just pure fun! 

Meet the crew: Air hostesses Divya (Kriti Sanon), Geeta (Tabu), and Jasmine (Kareena Kapoor Khan). Divya Rana from Haryana is a trained pilot but unemployment led her to becoming an air hostess. Geeta Sethi, former Miss Karnal and a nervous wreck, is saving up for her and her husband's dream restaurant in Goa. And then there's Jasmine, a bold entrepreneur whose sole goals are paisa and pleasure. When their airline nosedives into bankruptcy, the three opt for gold smuggling to stay afloat. However, a tip-off disrupts their plans, leading them into unexpected places, situations, and troubles.

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The first half of the film had me a bit skeptical. Watching three girl losers getting into trouble was amusing, but I questioned if it would hold up. The humor in the first half is light, and the plot occasionally meanders. You might find yourself wondering, "Where is this going?" However, the second half comes to the rescue. It is hilarious, fun, and exciting. 

Despite the straightforward plot and occasional predictable jokes, the film manages to stay afloat, all thanks to its stellar cast of leading ladies. Tabu, as always, steals scenes effortlessly, her comedic timing shining even in the most unexpected moments. While Kriti delivers an entertaining performance, her comedic bits sometimes feel a tad forced. But it's Kareena who truly sparkles in a role tailor-made for her. With sass, charm, and wit, she carries the film through its weaker patches with ease. 

Credit is due to the background score as well. While remakes often fall short of capturing the essence of the original track, Crew managed to not only remake 'Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai' but also recontextualize it. Its music is apt for the introduction as well as climax. Moreover, the film subverts the potentially objectifying song, using it instead to liberate the female characters. The protagonists beg, borrow, and steal what belongs to them. They own their life and pleasures as this song plays in the background. It's subtle yet empowering. 

While Crew might not be a cinematic achievement, it is still a blast of freedom. I am aware that there is no liberation for women from patriarchy and its limitless horrors and this film represents only upper caste and heteronormative women. However, it does represent the part of every woman that she hides from the world- the part that just wants to have fun! Crew doesn't promise to dismantle patriarchy, but it's like a little escape hatch from the daily grind. I also understand that male gaze does not cease to exist simply because women have vowed to be carefree. However, this film takes the power away from male gaze, letting women just be themselves without worrying about how they're being perceived by men. It's like a rebellion wrapped in a disco ball—a reminder that sometimes, just having a good time is its own kind of liberation.

And even amidst this frivolity, there are moments of authentic female experiences that don't go unnoticed. Be it Jasmine helping a janitor or Geeta rightfully helping her sister-in-law over her brother, Crew showcases genuine moments of female bonding. From checking the weight of air hostesses to the sexual harrasment they face, there is authentic representation of our pain too. Men are also authentically portrayed in the film, but without the glorification of their toxic behaviour or for doing the bare minimum.

Fun, free, and even sensitive, Crew checks a lot of boxes with ease and style!

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