Bell Bottom

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Bell Bottom
Bell Bottom

BELL BOTTOM is engrossing, but it’s like a James Bond film for kids!

While there’s over-the-top action, conveniently manipulative screenplay and daft characterizations, yet it somehow manages to keep you hooked through all of its 2-Hr runtime, mainly owing to the fast-paced narrative and Akshay Kumar’s unique flair. Watchable, but only as a guilty pleasure!

The Plot: 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.

The film is inspired by real events, which may be true, but surely doesn’t look like it while you watch this movie. That’s mainly because the treatment is absolutely fictionalised, and all events seem implausible. I understand the need to take creative liberties while creating a commercial motion picture, but here the makers have just portrayed anything that fits the convenience of their storytelling. How else do you explain the top brass of Indian governance as being be so uninformed and incapable? And agent Bell-Bottom (Akshay Kumar) is the usual larger-than-life “hero” who knows it all, does it all and succeeds in everything he plans to do. Well, that’s commercial Hindi cinema for you, in its very true sense.

Having said that, when you go for an Akshay Kumar film, you anyway are prepared to expect all this and more. The good thing here is that the film doesn’t waste much time in the needless melodrama or songs, and goes about its narration at a riveting speed. So it’s a refined masala film, which is stupid, but knows what it is and delivers just that. And once you suspend disbelief, you start enjoying the ride. So that’s something you should be prepared for, to embrace the experience. As I said, it feels like a spy film for kids, because the standard of intelligence of the intelligence officers is really, really poor. The dialogues are massy, and visually the film appeals, except for some tacky VFX which appear every now and then. The background score is engulfing.

Akshay Kumar, expectedly is the centre of attraction in every frame in this 2Hr movie. We have seen in the past and we know how he can pull off such mass-appealing roles. It’s amazing how he has such conviction in portraying characters which are outright unconvincing. And that’s exactly what helps him excel every time. While all other actors are genuinely unremarkable but passable, I would specifically want to point out Lara Dutta, who has been made to look like Indira Gandhi. I don’t know what special skill set the makers saw in her, that they went all out to change her look into something completely different. As a consequence, sadly, she looks neither like Lara Dutta, nor Indira Gandhi.

To sum up, I would like to re-iterate that BELL BOTTOM is basically a guilty pleasure, the classic escapist cinema that Bollywood has been known for. It’s engaging if you don’t apply too much mind. Watchable!

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