Akshay unveils trailer of espionage drama ‘Bell Bottom’, says release a gamble

New Delhi, Aug 3 (IANS) Launching the trailer of the much-awaited ‘Bell Bottom’, the first Bollywood film to be shot in a bio-bubble in Glasgow after the first lockdown was lifted last year, Akshay Kumar said here on Tuesday that OTT channels cannot match the experience that cinema theatres have to offer.

“The fun of watching a film in a cinema theatre is different. You cannot match it,” the actor said as he cut the ceremonial cake in the company of co-stars Lara Datta and Vaani Kapoor and producer Jackky Bhagnani.

Directed by Ranjit Tewari, ‘Bell Bottom’ is a spy thriller set in the 1980s. The film, slated for a theatrical release on August 19, is named after the code name of the RAW agent played by Kumar. Dutta, incidentally, plays Indira Gandhi.

Kumar sounded cautiously optimistic about the box-office reception of the film in view of theatres in Maharashtra not being allowed to reopen and those in other parts of the country operating at 50 per cent occupancy in adherence to Covid-19 protocols.

Referring to the lukewarm public response to the reopening of cinema theatres, Kumar said: “I know it is 50 per cent. We had to take this gamble. We had to take this leap of faith. Let us see what is going to happen.”

And then he struck a positive note. “We believe people will come. Even if it is 50 per cent, things will work,” Kumar said in an interaction with the media at PVR Priya in the Capital. Last year, Kumar’s film ‘Laxmmi Bomb’ released digitally on Disney Hotstar. ‘Bell Bottom’ therefore marks his return, literally, to the silver screen.

Talking about the shoot, which extended up to 45 days, Kumar said: “Jackky Bhagnani and his father Vashu took a big risk by taking almost 200 people to Glasgow and shooting with all protocols and permissions in place. They did something that was unbelievable. They were the first people in the world to shoot a movie after the first wave of the pandemic.”

The actor also shot for two other film during the pandemic — ‘Raksha Bandhan’ and ‘Ram Setu’.

How did he convince himself to go out and shoot? “You have to keep on working, taking care of yourself, because Covid is going to be here for the long term. But life has to go on,” Kumar said.

He did not talk much about his future projects, but he did say his immediate plan was to watch the Indian men’s hockey team take on Argentina for the bronze medal.

–IANS

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