OTT Platform Watch: Movie ‘Bell Bottom’ Disappoints, Series ‘Mumbai Diaries 26/11’ Well Made, And More!
The hero of the movie Akshay Kumar is one more attraction as he was cast in several successful thrillers made by filmmaker Neeraj Pandey like Special 26 (2013), Baby (2015), Rustom (2016) and Naam Shabana (2017). Of course, this movie Bell Bottom is not one of his, but as I said the format seemed to be exciting. Watching the movie I was disappointed in the overall sense: it had an explosive plot that got terribly affected by an inept script. The basic theme of the film, a hijack drama of an Indian Airlines plane (based on a true event during the last term of the then Prime Minister of India, late Indira Gandhi.), got impaired unnecessarily by the prolonged flashbacks, and finally when the plot seemed to be picking up there was not enough time to bring it to a worthy climax. Although the film has similarities with another successful hijack thriller, Zameen (2003) directed by Rohit Shetty, its ultimate climax turned out to be very simplistic and sort of rushed through.
The film no doubt has its high octane moments with the RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) agent, played by Akshay Kumar whose code name is Bell Bottom, going through the investigations and raids on the terrorists’ dens. His RAW boss, well played by Adil Hussain, is but a pale shadow of the intelligence boss in Baby played by Danny Denzongpa who almost lived through the supercharged drama and action. The characters of the hijackers were also not given sufficient attention with all of them failing to scare the viewers like they did in movies like Baby and Neerja (2016), the latter being very ably directed by Ram Madhvani. The Pakistan intelligence counterpart was also shown half-heartedly. The last twist involving Akshay’s wife, played by Vaani Kapoor, sharing a secret with the RAW boss was only superficial. Some critics are also pointing toward factual errors, but those can be overlooked as ultimately this is a work of fiction. Therefore, the movie Bell Bottom directed by Ranjit Tiwari, though handled well to some extent, fails to be as engrossing and gripping like those movies of the same genre mentioned here.
The web series also pointed out the much-discussed ‘media involvement’ that was giving constant leads to the Pakistan control room of terror who thus guided the terrorists in action in Mumbai, and the tragedy unleashed by an overzealous news reporter in this work of fiction was shown with honesty and efficiency. If the chronology of the actual series of events was not followed to details, this was never felt while watching, and again, finally it being a work of fiction such complaining is not necessary. More positively, the Series does not indulge in any gory violence or the glorification thereof and explicit sexuality that have been the hallmark of almost all OTT Web Series streamed in India. In all, the Mumbai Diaries 26/11 is thoroughly watchable for all types of viewers of any age who want to feel the reality of the dastardly terror attack again.