Bollywood blockbuster opens tomorrow (August 19) in cinemas worldwide – well, not quite…
IF EVER there was a film to announce that Bollywood was back – this is it!
Shot almost all in Glasgow, Scotland, ‘Bellbottom’ comes screaming out of India and straight into cinemas wherever they are open in the world!
Starring Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar, it’s a big moment for big India cinema releases – except for the country’s movie capital, Mumbai – where cinemas remain shut due to pandemic restrictions.
Despite the number of virus cases being relatively low across the state and the city itself, cinemas continue to remain closed.
However, in the rest of India cinemas are open and are subject to state and local restrictions.
Much of the Indian film industry is eagerly watching the reception the film will get in numbers – both inside India and outside.
Early pre-booking in India suggests there is considerable interest and an appetite to return to the big screen.
Where theatres have already been open (since July 30) they have been showing Hollywood films and old Bollywood films – now with Bell Bottom they have a recognised box office draw in Akshay Kumar and a film that has drawn decent numbers both for its trailer (43 million) and several of its songs (50m+) on Youtube.
And what of the film itself?
It’s a spy film with Kumar (Akki as he is known by his fans) leading the way and tracking down a group of kidnappers whose stock in trade is hijacking planes. The film is set over a period between 1979-1984 and pays close attention to the fashion of the time and hence the name of the film.
Kumar is in the UK and posted a picture of himself taking a bike ride in unknown location surrounded by large trees on either side of the road.
It reminded him of Ratlam, a small city in Madhya Pradesh about 100 miles from Indore and almost 500 miles north east of Mumbai.
Since posting that picture a day ago (August 17), he has just posted promotional videos of the film.
It also features Huma Qureshi, Vaani Kapoor (Kumar’s wife in the film), perhaps most intriguingly of all Lara Dutta as Indira Gandhi, India’s prime minister (1966-1977 and 1980-1984), and well-known faces Denzil Smith and Adil Hussain.
In our video interview, acv’s Natalie Barrass gets over the disappointment of not being cast in the film – just – and asks Tiwari about what inspired him to make the film, how he found Scotland and whether he tried any of its famous delicacies such as haggis or a deep fried chocolate Snickers bar. Watch the video and find out!
Tiwari directed the Farhan Akhtar ‘Lucknow Central’ in 2017; and was associate director and part of Nikhil Advani’s team on the Salman Khan produced ‘Hero’ (2015) which can be seen on Amazon Prime and began with ‘D-Day’ as an associate director to Advani again.
She also spoke to Hussain about his character and how he will be watching the film…
A Big Talent Media Production for http://www.asianculturevulture.com
With thanks to Sterling Media, Ranjit Tiwari and Adil Hussain.
Interview/Editing: Natalie Barrass (https://twitter.com/NatBollywood)