Bell Bottom starring Akshay Kumar, Lara Dutta, Vaani Kapoor, Huma Qureshi, Adil Hussain, Denzil Smith, Aniruddh Dave, Thalaivasal Vijay is now out on Amazon Prime Video. Directed by Ranjit M Tewari and written by Aseem Arrora and Parveez Shaikh, the cinematography is by Rajeev Ravi. Amaal Mallik, Tanishk Bagchi, Shantanu Dutta, Gurnazar, and Maninder Buttar have composed the songs and Daniel B. George has given the background score.
The plot reads – Amongst multiple heinous airplane hijacks, India was made to face another such challenge in 1984. BellBottom, a RAW agent played by Akshay Kumar sees through the plan and thus, begins India’s first covert operation. A story based on true events, led by BellBottom, that went on to create one of the most defining moments of the country.
Bell Bottom Review Contains Mild Spoilers
The makers claim that Bell Bottom is inspired by the true events of the 1984 plane hijack by a group of separatists. The plane first landed in Lahore then was taken to Dubai. In Akshay’s film, the plot is similar, while some fictional elements (songs, dance, romance, conversations) are added for entertainment purposes.
After a long time, the theatres opened the door for movies last month, and Akshay Kumar’s Bell Bottom was the first movie to release. I stay in Mumbai, where cinema halls are still shut, and I was neither called for the media press show. But the film is now out on Amazon Prime Video, and here’s what I think about it.
The plot revolves around an R&AW agent with the codename Bell Bottom and how he saved the lives of 210 passengers and helped to catch the terrorists alive after the hijack of Indian Airlines flight IC 691 in 1984. At that time, Indira Gandhi (played by Lara Dutta) was the Prime Minister of India. The PM was angry with the fourth hijack of an Indian plane and wanted a solution that would be effective for the next 100 years.
Director Ranjit Tiwari takes us back and forth in 1979 and 1984. In 1979, Bell Bottom, aka Anshul Malhotra (Akshay Kumar) himself, faced a personal loss due to a plane hijack. The incident leaves a scar on his mind, and he joins the R&AW team. The first half is dominated by Malhotra’s past narrative, and the second half shows how he carried off the rescue mission along with some Indian ministers on the land of Dubai.
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The first part of the film is lengthy because of two songs and some boring romance. No offence to Vaani Kapoor, but the scenes between Anshul and his wife do nothing for the film. Editing them out would’ve made the script tight and fast-paced. The film picks up pace in the second half and keeps you hooked till the end. The twists in the story are predictable.
With only a few action scenes, the director saved the film from becoming typical. Akshay’s latest release is not loud while giving its messages about the love for the country. But there are some dialogues and scenes added for a dramatic effect that we’ve seen in so many deshbhakti movies in the last 6-7 years. Lara Dutta as PM Indira Gandhi has some meaningful scenes and the actor has done an incredible job. Adil Hussain plays the character Santook, whose majority of the scenes are with Lara and Akshay. The actor has some witty dialogues and his character is likeable.
Coming to performances, Akshay Kumar is in control of his character. After a long time, it is good to see him talk more than beat up people. Adil Hussain and Lara Dutta stand out. Vaani Kapoor has a limited screen presence (more than War), but I really want filmmakers to stop exploiting her good talent.
Bell Bottom Review: Final Thoughts
Overall, Akshay’s latest film has flaws, but it intrigues you. The length of the film could’ve been shorter as the story mainly picks up post-intermission.
Bell Bottom is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.