Akshay Kumar says releasing Bell Bottom during Covid-19 is risky, but then it is life

Akshay Kumar launched the trailer of his upcoming film, Bell Bottom, at an event in Delhi on Tuesday (August 3). The film is releasing on August 19.

Akshay Kumar on Tuesday said the team of his upcoming spy thriller Bell Bottom rose to the challenge of releasing the film in theatres amid the coronavirus pandemic as there is little to life without some risk. Directed by Ranjit M Tewari, Bell Bottom will be the first Hindi movie to hit theatres during the second wave of the pandemic.

With cinema halls being allowed to resume operation in states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, trade analysts are betting big on Bell Bottom to revive the cinema exhibition sector with its release on August 19.

“The pressure is there on everybody but I’m very sure that things are going to work out. There’s a challenge, a risk. But if you haven’t taken the risk in life, then what have you done? So we have gone with it,” said Akshay Kumar post the film’s trailer launch here at PVR Priya.

“In this journey, I have my producers who have also taken the risk and that’s how we have proceeded,” he added.

Also starring Vaani Kapoor, Lara Dutta and Huma Qureshi, the movie is set in the 1980s and features Kumar as a RAW operative whose code name is ‘Bell Bottom’. It was also the first Bollywood project to commence production amid the pandemic last year.

Besides Bell Bottom, Kumar also shot for his movies Raksha Bandhan and Ram Setu during the pandemic.

Asked how he convinced himself to get back to the set, the actor said life has to go on.

“We have to work and there’s no doubt about it. You all have also worked amid the pandemic. So, how can work stop? You have to keep on working and take care of yourself. This is going to be normal now and life has to go on,” Kumar, who tested Covid-19 negative on April 12 after getting diagnosed with the virus earlier in the month, added.

“In every project, there were close to 300-400 people working with me. So everything has to keep going on. Today we are releasing this film. We could have said that let’s leave it for now. But we have gone with it,” he said.

Though theatres have been allowed to reopen in many states, Maharashtra, which is one of the major markets for Hindi language movies, is yet to allow cinema owners to resume theatrical activity.

Asked if there’s a concern about cinema halls remaining shut in the state, Kumar said the makers have taken a leap of faith.

“It is a gamble and someone had to take this gamble. We have taken this leap and I’m confident that this is going to work.”

Producer Jackky Bhagnani said though Maharashtra contributes almost 30 per cent to the revenue of films, he is not worried about the prospects of BellBottom.

“With Bell Bottom, we are just happy to be the flag bearers. This is for the fraternity and we are very happy that this movie is coming in theatres. That is the most important thing.

“Yes, business is important but for this film especially, the biggest box office is that we are coming to theatres,” Bhagnani added.

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