Rishab Shetty, Jayatheertha and TK Dayanand’s names have always been associated with movies that are rich in content. The trio had upped the ante by announcing Bell Bottom together.
The trailer in Harikathe format (a unique way of storytelling popular in the '70s and '80s), the other unique audio trailer, and the first look promos had evoked great curiosity among the audience. The slow-motion shots, the retro looks and unique storyline had promised a fun-filled ride in an Ambassador car, and the film does not disappoint.
Detective Diwakar (Rishab Shetty) is a constable by profession but a detective at heart. He grows up watching James Bond films and reading detective novels, and dreams about becoming one himself. But immense pressure from his father (Achyut Kumar), forces him to become a police constable. Within a month, he solves a murder mystery, with ease. This makes him popular and he gets to solve the next big robbery happening in the police station in the neighbourhood.
The case, however, opens a Pandora’s box and brings out the real detective in him. While solving the case, he also finds true love in Kusuma (Hariprriya), a bootlegger who sells hooch in the area. How Diwakar deals with all the quirky criminals to solve the case is indeed a fun-filled rollercoaster ride captured in a retro frame.
Rishab Shetty, an accomplished director, proves his mettle as an actor. Not many know that Rishab entered the film industry with dreams of becoming an actor and he proves his histrionic talent with this film. It is very rare to find people who are brilliant in front of the camera as well as behind the lens. Rishab excels in both and Bell Bottom is a testament to that. The actor in him gives a 100 per cent and he shines in every frame. Comedy, action, romance, dance, he knows it all and he knows it too well.
Hariprriya is back with a commendable performance. She is bold, beautiful, knows how to deliver a punch as well as make you fall in love with her. Pramod Shetty as a lecherous sub-inspector makes his mark. He is one of the finest actors in the Kannada cinema in recent times and this movie shows us why. PD Sathish Chandra and Sujay Shastry too have done justice to their roles.
The movie rides high on comedy and emotions, and also has the undertones of a crime thriller. The music, cinematography and dialogues make Bell Bottom one of the best movies of the year so far. Ajneesh Loknath’s background music and songs lift the mood and give the right '80s feel. The pun-filled dialogues are entertaining and make us laugh hard.
Dayananda’s story makes so much sense because it takes place in the 80s. Director Jayatheertha has managed to stitch a beautiful tale together and he knows how to draw an audience to theatres. Arvind Kashyap proves his prowess with the camera. The '80s tone is perfectly captured and his sense of framing is brilliant. He takes us on a nostalgic journey to the '80s just with his camera.
The long-forgotten Manteswamy Kavya - one of the most notable and important oral epics of Karnataka - makes a comeback with Bell Bottom and takes everyone by surprise. It blends in perfectly with the script.
From recreating the '80s to giving equal importance to all the characters, the makers have come up with an absolute entertainer. The film is wholesome but of course, it has its share of flaws with the slow pace being the biggest weakness. There are too many characters, which may sound essential to the script but could have been avoided to make the narrative crisper.
Why is the movie titled Bell Bottom? Well, to find out why put on a detective hat and gloves and head to the nearest theatre now.
Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Neither TNM nor any of its reviewers have any sort of business relationship with the film's producers or any other members of its cast and crew.