Bell Bottom Bollywood Movie Review, Starcast, Watch on Amazon Prime video


Bell Bottom Bollywood Movie Review, Starcast, Watch on Amazon Prime video

Bell Bottom Movie review
Bell Bottom Movie


Bell Bottom Bollywood Movie Review

On screen at least, there is nothing that Akshay Kumar can’t do.  In film after film, he is in savior mode, rescuing migrants, women, trans people.  With an upright posture and determined gaze,  the characters he plays uphold ideas of honor, sacrifice and the motherland.  He is, above all, a patriot who in ways big and small, helps the tricolor to fly high.  Bell Bottom is no different.  Here, Akshay is a RAW analyst, Anshul Malhotra, who among other things,  is a National-level chess player who speaks German and French  and is also skilled enough in music to give lessons.  Little of this is organically used in the narrative. It's exposition meant to impress.  But the truth is I was sold when Anshul is introduced, feet first, striding into the Prime Minister’s office.  He’s wearing bellbottoms, fitting because that is also his code name.  Rousing background score amplifies his presence.  It’s a sort of instantly sexy entrance, that can birth a franchise. 

Bell Bottom, inspired by true events, is set in the 1980's,  described as a time when hijacking had become rampant.  A voiceover informs us that  military action, diplomacy   and intelligence agencies, everything has failed.  There've been seven instances in five years.  When one more aircraft is taken, Bell Bottom is called in.  What makes him an expert? Personal stakes, his family has suffered.  This probably isn’t how crisis management at the PMO works,  but director Ranjit M. Tewari keeps the action humming.  If you don’t ask too many questions, the plot moves  despite the flashback to Anshul’s personal tragedy and the unnecessary   romantic interludes, Vaani Kapoor plays Anshul’s wife.  Though Akshay is 54 years old, we are told that Anshul is 32,  which is perhaps what the makers used to  justify casting a much younger actress as his wife.  In any case, Vaani is merely decoration. 

The real leading lady here is Lara Dutta playing Indira Gandhi.  Make-up artist Vikram Gaikwad has done stellar work with the actor.  You might not recognize her until you hear the familiar voice.  Lara summons this imperious statesmanship and is strong as a woman who is smarter  and tougher than the men who serve her.  Despite the loopholes in logic, the first half of Bell Bottom holds itself together.  The narrative also benefits from the lively presence of  Dolly Ahluwalia who plays Anshul’s feisty mother,  it’s every energetic Punjabi matriarch cliché rolled into a character, but Dolly makes it fun.  Then there’s Adil Hussain, who somehow adds a layer of intelligence to even the most banal scenes.  And keep an eye out for Zain Khan Durrani as the baddie Doddy.  He has a compelling menace. 

Bell Bottom propels itself forward on a certain caper-style energy, slickness and scale.  But in the second half, the storytelling starts to unglue.  The plot becomes so outlandish that it’s difficult to stay invested.  The latter half of the film focuses on a rescue operation led by Anshul in Dubai.  He lays it out for us, saying: 210 hostages, 7 hours, 4 hijackers.  The odds are against us, but to hell with the odds.  A countdown builds a sense of urgency, but the screenplay,  written by Aseem Arrora and Parveez Shaikh, starts wobbling precariously.  It doesn’t help that the villainizing of the Pakistani characters becomes shriller  and the desh bhakti is laid on thick,  Anshul says: Iss baar Hindustan nahi jhukega.  Iss baar unki haar, which sounds suspiciously like an election slogan. 

The final straw is an act of nature, rendered in dodgy CGI,  which is used by Anshul and his crack team to foil the hijackers.  Even the heavens are on India’s side.  This isn’t a spoiler, we’ve seen enough Akshay Kumar movies to know that he doesn’t lose.  The film ends with a twist, which is fun,  but tacked on rather than developed through the story.  After watching this film and Bhuj: The Pride of India,  I have to ask, exactly how easy is it to get a job with RAW?  In that film we are told that a character  named Pagi, India aa gaye aur RAW join kar liya.  In this film, we are told that  RAW has talent spotters,  does that mean that our premier intelligence outfit  basically functions like a modelling agency?  Still, I think that Bell Bottom has a few more adventures in him.  If we do get a sequel, I hope that the makers will give us a pure  spy story, rather than also trying to bung in romance,  and maa ka pyaar and on-the-nose patriotism.  You can watch Bell Bottom on Amazon Prime Video. 


Bell Bottom Movie Star Cast

Akshay Kumar

Lara Dutta

Vaani Kapoor

Huma Qureshi

Adil Hussain

Denzil Smith

Aniruddh Dave

Thalaivasal Vijay

Dolly Ahluwalia


Bell Bottom Movie Dircted by Ranjit M Tewari, written by Aseem Arrora and Parveez Sheikh, with Production by Vassu Bhagnani, Jackky Bhagnani


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