3.0 / 5
BellBottom is said to be inspired by real life events. In 1984, RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) agents successfully carried out a covert operation on foreign soil. The film covers the route of this operation, which was blessed by the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. A group of terrorists hijacked a plane carrying 210 passengers and diverted it to Dubai. That’s when RAW agents stepped in to save the day. They not only saved the passengers, but also managed to capture the terrorists involved without bloodshed.
Akshay Kumar plays a RAW agent in the film codenamed BellBottom. They take it to RAW after one of the agency’s talent scouts notices it. Vaani Kapoor plays his wife and is shown working for MTNL. Lara Dutta rehearses the role of Indira Gandhi. Huma Qureshi plays an undercover spy for Pakistan’s ISI. She is part of the Dubai airport security force.
The first half of the film is a kind of backstory about the character of Akshay Kumar. He shares a deep bond with his mother, played wonderfully well by Dolly Ahluwalia. She is the typical sharp-tongued Punjabi mother who nevertheless cares deeply for her son. Their bond is broken when she passes away due to an asthma attack, after being mistreated by a kidnapper. RAW officers remind Akshay of this tragedy when they come to hire him and use him as leverage while recruiting him. Akshay is married to Vaani at the moment. After joining RAW, he tells her that he has been hired by an embassy and that therefore his job involves keeping secrets as well as traveling. He soon becomes one of their star agents and is therefore given command of this highly sensitive operation by his superiors, with the full backing of the prime minister. The way he uses both his brain and his physical strength to outwit the kidnappers is the crux of the story.
Akshay Kumar delivers a solid performance in the film. He presents himself as a dedicated RAW agent in love with his country and comes across as someone willing to risk his life for his mission. It has various punch lines and lots of stylized action. Your fans will have a field day whistling and clapping. Vaani Kapoor plays the caring wife perfectly and her match with Akshay is perfect. His character has a certain twist that is worth waiting for. Lara Dutta exceeds expectations playing Indira Gandhi, not only does she look like the part, but she has also mimicked the late prime minister’s trademark expressions to a T. A really brave performance. Huma Qureshi’s contribution to the film may be minimal, but it definitely leaves an impact.
Shikha Desai, Aug 19, 2021, 3:56 AM M.
3.5 / 5
HISTORY: An undercover agent named Bellbottom embarks on an undercover mission to free 210 hostages held by kidnappers.
REVISION: In the spy thriller Bell Bottom, Akshay Kumar plays an undercover agent from the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) who goes by the code name ‘Bell Bottom’. After a plane is hijacked and lands in Amritsar, the seventh hijacking incident in five years, Kumar is brought in to save the day. The film centers on his plans for a daring sting operation to rescue 210 hostages and neutralize four kidnappers. The fact that your operation is related to a personal tragedy makes it all the more shocking.
Like many other Kumar films that are inspired by real incidents, this direction by Ranjit Tiwari is based on the two events that occurred in the late 70s and early 80s during Indira Gandhi’s time as Prime Minister of India. It is commendable that the film was shot during the pandemic in various locations in India and Scotland.
Kumar’s crushing entry as Bell Bottom certainly draws some whistles and cheers, as one can’t ignore the fact that he looks dapper at 53. He is lean, fit and agile, and sports a sharp military personality. Bell Bottom, who is seen playing Vaani Kapoor’s husband, is a national level chess player. He has a keen memory and is fluent in Hindi, English, French and German. Vaani Kapoor as Kumar’s wife is beautiful on screen and even with limited screen time, she supports her character well. The film also stars Adil Hussain, Huma Qureshi, and Lara Dutta in key roles. Given the kind of buzz the movie had been generating, mostly around Dutta’s makeup, we can say that her makeover as former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is pretty good. It is hardly recognized! Huma Qureshi appears to help the Indian team as they rescue Indian nationals trapped in the hijacked plane.
Akshay Kumar is in top form and reliably strong. He uses his star power to the fullest, with enthusiasm. Portraying Indira Gandhi on screen is no easy feat and Dutta looks confident and convincing on paper. Kumar’s mother is played by Dolly Ahluwalia and they share some heartwarming and funny scenes together.
Written by Aseem Arrora and Parveez Shaikh, the film is engaging and manages to hold your attention for 123 minutes. However, you will have to hold on to every minute of the action as it unfolds, as there are many comings and goings in the story. The pacing of the film remains constant and the narrative and characters do not lose momentum.
As long as you follow the story, the incidents that unfold are not emotionally absorbing. With a film of this genre, you would expect many moments with goosebumps, but this is not the case. Furthermore, the movie leaves you with several unanswered questions, such as the agony of the hostages and the kidnapping plans of the terrorists. The climax of the movie is a bit disappointing and ends abruptly.
Overall, the movie has its flaws, but it’s still entertaining. ‘Bell Bottom’ lives up to the allure of a large-scale commercial Bollywood film that deserved to be released on the big screen. And of course the fact that this movie marks the reopening of theaters after months of shutting down due to the second wave of the pandemic, viewers can enjoy a great cinematic experience with this one.