Bell Bottom has its roots in real life hijacking events in India by Khalistani terrorists during the 1980s. Towards the end, somewhere embedded within Bell Bottom are the building blocks of a transcending thriller. The all too simplistic storytelling takes away much of the impact of the film. Indeed, the film Bell Bottom loses its potential vigour due to the pressures of the big Hindi movie formula. However, rest of the critics acclaimed the film for being an edge-of-the-seat thriller.
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Bell Bottom Plot
In 1984, Indian Airlines Flight 691 was hijacked. Indeed, it is the seventh hijacking in India within a span of five years. In fact, all the previous ones ended in reluctant acceptance of the hijackers’ demands. They demanded the freeing of other terrorists and the delivering of money. Indeed, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi experiences frustration at the lack of action taken on the matter. Thus, she arrives at the decision to allow a RAW agent code-named Bell Bottom to reach the roots of the case.
Indeed, he infers that a Khalistani separatist group “Azaadi Dal ” are merely a front for Pakistan’s ISI. However, other officials rebuff his deductions for the sake of improving Indo-Pakistani relations. In fact, he undergoes dismissal when the plane lands in Amritsar. Actually, his prediction was that the plane would land in Lahore. However, his supervisor claims that he is an expert on hijackings. In fact, he is driven by personal experience.
The film flashes back ….
Polymath Anshul Malhotra stays with his mother Raavi. She is an asthmatic who regularly visits his brother in London, and his wife Radhika. Indeed, her flight is hijacked by terrorists. However, then-PM Morarji Desai and Pakistani President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq undego negotiation. Thus, they fulfill the hijackers’ demands and release the hostages in exchange. In fact, Raavi dies. Indeed, it appears that her death is due to natural causes. However, soon afterwards, the RAW abducts Anshul. He then divulges that one of the hijackers, Daljeet “Doddy” Singh, had intentionally withheld her inhaler, pushed her into the galley and flung heavy blankets on her. After this, Anshul receives the offer to join RAW. He consents and takes on the code-name Bell Bottom.
Continuation of the plot
Moving back to the present times, the plane takes off from Amritsar and lands in Lahore. Thus, the situation compels Gandhi to order Anshul back in. He persuades her to break the script and disallow the Pakistani side to send their negotiating team. Indeed, Anshul is not wrong when he figures out that the hijackers will go to the Middle East to exploit their naivety in aerial terrorism. Thus, Anshul takes all the preparations for a covert operation in Dubai. After arriving at Dubai, they witness Dubai’s emphasis on humanitarianism and avoidance of bloodshed.
Towards the end, Anshul’s team caught the terrorists. We see Zia and the ISI leaders in deep disgrace. The flight returns with all on board safe and sound. The passengers reunite with their families.
Bell Bottom Controversy
The film fueled controversy as a Pakistani man asked Akshay Kumar about his film Bell Bottom. The man said that the film contains certain things against Pakistan. However, Akshay Kumar handled the situation with composure and ease. He told the man that it was a film and one must not get so serious about it.