BellBottom Review: One-man army Akshay Kumar and Lara Dutta rock the plane in ‘BellBottom’


Film: BellBottom

Cast: Akshay Kumar, Lara Dutta, Vaani Kapoor, Huma Qureshi and Adil Hussain

Director: Ranjit M Tewari

Rating: 4 Moons

Just when we thought spy thrillers were oh-so ’90s, Akshay Kumar comes in with BellBottom and proves us all wrong. Directed by Ranjit M Tewari, this is an espionage thriller set in 1984. It takes us through a heinous Indian airplane hijack and how BellBottom, a RAW agent played by Akshay Kumar, saw through the plan and thus began India’s first covert operation. The film also has an incredible cast including Lara Dutta, Vaani Kapoor, Huma Qureshi and Adil Hussain. 

The 2 hours 5 minutes long film begins in the present where 32-year-old Anshul Malhotra (Akshay Kumar), a star RAW undercover agent who goes by the code name ‘BellBottom’, is called in by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi (Lara Dutta) to save the day after an Indian plane is hijacked by Pakistani terrorists and landed in Amritsar. Disappointed with the seventh such incident in five years, Mrs. Gandhi is determined to stop further hijacks and save the lives of the 210 hostages who are on this plane with four deadly hijackers. 

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BellBottom, a married man with a sharp memory, who is also a national level chess player and can read and write Hindi, English, French and German, is no ordinary person. His physical strength is not as good as his intelligence but he is best-suited for the mission. Without wasting much time, BellBottom confidently begins to plan a daring covert operation to rescue the hostages and neutralize the hijackers.

When national duty calls, BellBottom lies to his loving wife (Vaani Kapoor) and leaves for the mission that is connected to a personal tragedy. With two parallel lines running in the film, we are then taken to BellBottom’s past wherein he lost his mother (Dolly Ahluwalia) in a plane hijack two years back. While all the other passengers safely return home, BellBottom’s mother does not survive the hijack. To take revenge, BellBottom takes up a clerical desk job at the Embassy and starts researching the hijacking pattern over the years.

In the present day, BellBottom is all geared up with his team with not one but two plans in mind. Enter Dubai’s support group member (Huma Qureshi) who is later shown as an ISI agent who tries her best to spoil BellBottom’s mission. But guess what? BellBottom not only overcomes his physical weakness but also fights back with full power. What happens next is a series of thrilling and gripping events that will keep everyone at the edge of their seats. And yes, the audience is in for a surprise at the end but we are not going to spoil the film for everyone! 

BellBottom is an old-school banger. The film truly deserves a theatrical release with its larger-than-life action and rip-roaring storyline. Despite being based on real-life incidents, BellBottom does not lose the charm of a much-needed Bollywood commercial film and delivers thrills and chills like never before. With two past-present lines running parallel throughout, BellBottom makes for an engaging watch. It highlights the most defining moments of our country in an exciting and pleasing manner. 

If you thought that was all, we haven’t even begun with the incredible performances. Lara Dutta, who plays Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, hits it out of the park with her performance. She is unbelievably good. The actress gets into the skin of her character so well that it becomes impossible to even recognize her. Akshay Kumar never fails to impress with his performances and BellBottom is no exception. He looks, walks and talks like a 32-year-old RAW agent and carries the film effortlessly on his shoulders. Flaunting his bell-bottoms and retro look, AK owns the screen. Be it his acting skills, body language, or dialogue delivery, the actor delivers a perfect performance. Unfortunately, Vaani Kapoor doesn’t have much to offer besides being AK’s on-screen wife but still holds a decent screen presence. Huma Qureshi is confident and convincing in her limited scenes. Adil Hussain makes the film an even better watch with his guidance and support. Dolly Ahluwalia is impressive as she lends full support as Akshay's full-blown Punjabi mother. 

Hats off to the makers for presenting BellBottom like they did - raw, wild and fresh! Director Ranjit M Tewari’s screenplay flawlessly brings out a story that is inspiring and thoroughly engaging. The writing by Aseem Arrora and Parveez Shaikh is empowering and injected with gripping plots. The background score by Daniel B. George is the backbone of the film. It couldn’t have been better. Music by Amaal Mallik, Tanishk Bagchi, Shantanu Dutta, Kulwant Singh Bhamra, Gurnazar Singh and Maninder Buttar is the best part of BellBottom as all the songs are well-fitted and do full justice to the spy-thriller genre. Cinematographer Rajeev Ravi films the cities beautifully, with both charm and care. Chandan Arora’s editing is to the point and pleasant to the eyes.

Well, watch Akshay Kumar in a never-seen-before avatar in BellBottom because “It’s not over till it’s over!”

PeepingMoon gives BellBottom 4 Moons!