And it is finally here!!! There were speculations of Bell Bottom being a Hindi remake of the original Kannada film by the same name. However, the makers did hold their ground in stating that this was an original subject. And all the rumours were then put to rest once its trailer was out. I was extremely excited to witness this on the big screen. Post the 2nd wave, things did look a little bright although the threat of the pandemic did linger over. This prompted the authorities to open the theatres across the country and its first major Hindi release was the Akshay Kumar starrer Bell Bottom. But sadly the theatres remained shut in Maharashtra leaving many like me patiently wait for its OTT release. I was envious of the people actually went to the theatres and enjoyed a wholesome experience, something that I have been missing for some time now. And it couldn’t have been better than an Akshay Kumar starrer. Well finally the wait for millions like me is over as the movie has now made it to the OTT platform Amazon Prime. Does the film fly high and above my expectations, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Based on a true event and set in 1984 when hijacking of flights was prevalent, Bell Bottom follows the story of a rescue operation being carried out on foreign soil following a flight hijack. Why then the name Bell Bottom you may ask? Because it is a protocol name of one of the spies. The story is engaging and thrilling and in the mould of Baby which was arguably the best performance by Akshay Kumar. And I went inyo the movie with the same expectations. The screenplay is quite well written as well. It is after quite a long time that I was engaged in a Hindi Movie from its opening scene. The fascinating opening sequence is followed by the stylish entry of our protagonist which does give you goosebumps. This would have made me whistle in a packed theatre! From there on the crucial plot points include an important flashback and the ultimate rescue operation. The first half just sets the tone for an outstanding spy thriller. The second half keeps you engaged as well, although I felt it was slightly hurried. Perhaps a slower and a little more layered second half would have been the need of the hour culminating into a nail biting final act. Here though, the climax seemed a tad underwhelming as I was anticipating a bit of a showdown between the two parties concerned. It does have a showdown but it is quick to finish with a twist which was so subtle that it didn’t create the required shock value. Which makes me wonder if the film could have lingered on for 10 to 15 minutes more to round off the second hour. We’ll never know. And this is not to say that the second half was bad, it is still engaging and thrilling with several tense moments. Overall, it is an extremely well written screenplay with minor shortcomings here and there!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are well written and leave a lasting impact. What I enjoyed was again there is no chest thumping jingoism as seen in Bhuj. The dialogues and sequences are subtle and the message is conveyed across well. The music is good here although a song too many which stalls the drama to an extent. But thankfully the songs are original here! A word on the BGM. This is perhaps the Best BGM that I have heard all year! The boomimg BGM playing against the backdrop of the entry of our protagonist or the rescue operation that was underway not only heightens the drama but adds a bit of panache too! The camerawork is pretty good, the VFX is okay. Director Ranjit M Tewari who had last directed the Farhan Akhtar starrer Lucknow Central, is in great form here. He keeps the proceedings tight and engaging with never a dull moment. Maybe a slightly more simmering second half was the need of the hour but this is nevertheless a direction to be savoured.
The performances are outstanding. Vaani Kapoor as Radhika sizzles in a cameo although she had very little to do. Adil Hussain as Santook is brilliant and his subtle gestures is what makes this a memorable outing. Huma Qureshi as Adeela Rehman definitely makes her presence felt although I felt her character could have been explored a bit more. Lara Dutta as Indira Gandhi is unrecognisable! She carries off her part with a lot of dignity. Zain Khan Durrani as Doddy is decent although he could have been shown a little more calculating and menacing. Akshay Kumar as Anshul aka Bell Bottom is in top form here. To be honest this is a role ge can sleepwalk in! But his performance is really good and it carries the film through!
Bell Bottom is an engaging espionage thriller with a dash of Panache! Available on Amazon Prime.