Another Hindi film belonging to the spy thriller genre. Another film featuring Akshay Kumar as an undercover agent. Another film where the title is a bit bizarre for the genre (Remember ‘Baby’?) Set in the year 1984, Bell Bottom is about the exploits of this RAW agent (with code name Bell Bottom) who is “head hunted” into the agency to tackle the menace of plane hijacks which were taking place very often in that time.
With that premise one would expect a taut, fast paced thriller which keeps us engaged throughout. After the initial few minutes of fast paced action, the film gets into an emotional back story mode which comes as a dampener. This is then followed by song sequences which again slows the pace. As long as the screen play sticks to the hijack episode, it is pacy and keeps us engaged.
The plot though, leaves us with more questions than answers as to how the operation is successfully carried out. The plot points are not believable and unlike ‘Baby’ – Akshay’s super successful film in this genre, the detailing is missing. For example, without providing too many spoilers I want to just point out one thing. An important development at the end happens around the time being changed from AM to PM. We all know that universally in the context of travel, a 24 hour format is used to avoid confusion and misunderstanding. Anyway at the end of it all, you feel a sense of vacuum as to what exactly happened.
Akshay Kumar is energetic as usual as the RAW agent who is assigned the task of an operation to handle yet another hijack. He is super fit and goes about his job with ease. As it is inspired by true events of the 1984 hijack of An Indian Airlines plane, we get to see true characters of that time including Indira Gandhi as the Prime Minister. A surprise cast – Lara Dutta as Indira Gandhi does a fine job in the brief role. The casting of the RAW chief RN Kao is also brilliant in terms of appearance. Surprisingly he doesn’t talk much. The lead lady role played by Vaani Kapoor has nothing substantive to do.
For a period film, the film is well made with good production values. Director Ranjit Tiwari has been able to extract performances from the cast. The technical crew also provides able support to him. Where the film lacks is in terms of screen play, writing and background score. For a thriller, the film is badly let down by an unimaginative background score.
I would still say that Bell Bottom is a decently made spy thriller which could have been made better.