BellBottom – an untold story

He’s just ideal, human, brain goals basically. After losing his own mother to a hijacking he’s all set to put a full stop to the crisis, he is BellBottom.

Director Ranjit Tiwari’s new film, BellBottom is based on true events of Indian Intelligence Agency RAW’s first covert operation on foreign soil without any bloodshed. All while keeping the local authorities and Pakistani government in dark, following the terrorist hijacking of a passenger flight in 1984, which was supposedly masterminded by the ISI.

It’s the 7th hijack in 5 years under Indira Gandhi’s government. Her role is played by Lara Dutta. A senior Raw official played by Adil Hussain tells that there is one man who can save the day.

Anshul Malhotra AKA BellBottom, who is of course played by Akshay Kumar is that saviour. Before joining Raw Anshul was already mentally strong but physically weak. He’s just ideal human, brain goals basically. After losing his own mother to a hijacking he’s all set to put a full stop to the crisis.

It’s a riveting story which perfectly lends itself to a slick espionage thriller. And yet, while BellBottom is, for the most part, decently, executed and coherent film, director Ranjit Tiwari and writers Aseem Arora and Parvez Sheikh fail to give it that much needed dose of nail biting tension, that a story like this deserves.

If BellBottom were a Hollywood movie, the entire time would be dedicated to the nerve wrenching events of the hijacking itself and how it unfolds. But of course this is a mainstream Hindi movie, so the real story only, really kicks in the second half, with the first half dedicated to building up the legend of our hero, his backstory and his rise to super agent.

And ofcourse there’s also the romantic track with his wife played by Vaani Kapoor, which includes an unnecessary and lazily shot love song.

The action outside aircraft, like writing, are serviceable but never quite remarkable. But despite it being a tad ridiculous, I did enjoy the final terrorist takedown sequence which takes place during a sandstorm.

As the main man codename BellBottom, Akshay Kumar is what he always is the righteous supremely capable saviour. It’s a fitting performance, but nothing we haven’t seen from him before in other movies where he’s had more conviction.

In the end, somewhere buried within BellBottom are the building blocks of a great thriller, it’s just shrouded in simplistic storytelling, and hijacked by the pressure of the big hindi movie formula.

Since, I watched movie in cinema after two years it felt great. Go watch BellBottom in your near cinema hall, keeping all the safety measures in mind.

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