A Pakistani fan, who appreciated Akshay Kumar’s films on social issues, was unhappy with the way his country was portrayed in the bollywood actor’s 2021 film Bell Bottom. However, the Khiladi actor told the fan that “it is just a movie” and people should avoid nit-picking and being serious about such things.
The interaction happened at the Red Sea International Film Festival in Saudi Arabia where during a panel discussion, a Pakistani man stood up to raise questions about Kumar’s films. “I’m from Pakistan, your neighbour country. I have a request. You have done fantastic movies like Pad Man and Toilet. But there’s an issue between India and Pakistan too. Your recent movie Bell Bottom had certain things against Pakistan,” the man said from the audience.
Kumar, almost immediately, responded with a justification for the film. “Sir, it’s just a movie. Don’t get so serious about it. It’s just a movie. There are many things like that. It’s just a movie, sir.”
Directed by Ranjit Tiwari, Bell Bottom, set in the 1980s, sees Kumar essay the role of an Indian secret agent who is on a mission to rescue passengers from aeroplane hijackings. The film was said to be inspired by real-life hijackings of several Indian Airlines flights by Khalistani terrorists during the same era the film is set in.
While Bell Bottom was well-received in India, it was widely criticised globally and was even banned in Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The film also featured Vaani Kapoor, Lara Dutta and Huma Qureshi in lead roles.
On the work front, Kumar’s recent releases include Ram Setu and Cuttputlli. The next year looks very busy for Kumar as well. His upcoming projects include the Emraan Hashmi-Diana Penty starrer Selfiee and Anand L Rai’s next Gorkha. He also recently announced that his next project will be about sex education. In a conversation with Deadline at the festival, he revealed that his Prime Video original show, titled The End has a lot of action and is science fiction too.
Originally published at tribune.com.pk