Movie: Bell Bottom
Bell Bottom Cast: Akshay Kumar, Adil Hussain, Lara Dutta, Vaani Kapoor, Huma Qureshi
Bell Bottom Director: Ranjit M. Tewari
Where to Watch: Theatres (not released in Maharashtra)
While the propensity of the sub-genre of spy thrillers doesn't match up to that of other variety of thrillers in Bollywood like those with a cop or revenge theme, it can't be denied that the industry has dished it's fair share of gems when it goes to espionage down the years. Classics like Farz (1967), Ankhen (1968), Baby,
Raazi, Tiger Zinda Hai and Madras Cafe to even those that are not as celebrated like 16 December and Dus to recent ones like War immediately spring to mind. Now another Akshay Kumar starter, Bell Bottom, enters the fray with the additional responsibility of reopening theatres for the entire Indian film industry, not just Bollywood. So does it score on both fronts of having what it takes to draw the audience back to cinema halls while also marking its territory among the pantheon of Bollywood's best spy thrillers? While the former is a question nobody seems to have the answer to I can unequivocally state that the response to the latter is a resounding yes. So, are you excited about what to watch this weekend or what to watch this week and wondering whether Bell Bottom is worth your time? Scroll down for my full Bell Bottom review...
What's it about
Anshul, code name
Bell Bottom (Akshay Kumar) is the only spy in RAW, equipped to take down a hijacking situation after having dedicated his life to study hijackers, their motivations and who backs them. After India's fifth hijacking in seven years, then PM Indira Gandhi (Lara Dutta) forgoes negotiations and decides he's the only man for the job to put an end to the scourge of the nation once and for all.
Watch the Bell Bottom trailer below: VIDEO
A terrific spy thriller needs to be taut, tight, keep you constantly on edge, and boasts realistic covert operations told with enough dramatization for the necessary cinematic effect, without losing its authentic sheen. In short: It's a very fine rope. On top of that, if it's one without much action then that rope gets finer as the crutch of spectacular action set pieces aren't available to deviate the attention of the audience in the presence of narrative dips or in the absence of adequate suspense. Add a patriotic element to that and you get, where deshbhakti needs to be evoked sans going overboard, and you get one of the tightest, finest ropes a movie can walk on.
Guess what? Bell Bottom emphatically ticks every single of these boxes with a seamless amalgamation of Ranjit M. Tewari's razor-ship direction, Chandan Arora's crisp editing, a pulsating background score, meticulous research, a no-nonsense screenplay, a handful of brilliant twists, and above all, Akshay Kumar's career-best acts, well supported by
Adil Hussain and Lara Dutta. Also, just when you think what's Huma Qureshi and Vaani Kapoor doing in the film, they prove to be involved in the two biggest surprises, especially the latter. Other subtle touches like Akshay Kumar inspiringly playing down his macho image and dialogues that'll genuinely eke out claps and whistles even from the classiest viewers (unless you're too much of a prude) also stand out. What's not
The big climax, while certainly enjoyable, comes across as a bit rushed, thus paling in comparison to the superlative appeal of whatever precedes it. Furthermore,
Rajeev Ravi's cinematography and the production values aren't as impressive as the other technicalities. The 3D is also very under par and was completely unnecessary as are the songs, which add nothing and aren't even pleasing to the ears. BL Verdict
Some issues with the climax, camerawork and 3D aside, Bell Bottom is underlines quality in every frame on the back of razor-sharp direction, to-the-point writing, crisp editing, an adrenaline-pumping background score, some stunning twists, seeti-maar dialogues, and one of Akshay Kumar's career-defining roles. I'm going with 4 out of 5 stars.
4 out of 5
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