‘Brahmāstra’ Review: Ayan Mukerji’s Spectacular Astraverse Rocked Our World. Ranbir-Alia Chemistry, Not So Much
The most awaited film of the year is here – Brahmāstra: Part One – Shiva. The film was after all announced in 2014 and it has been a long long wait. For the longest time, we’ve been hearing about Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor’s pairing in the film and the visuals. TBH, it has us all on the edge of our seats waiting for the film to drop. More importantly, this film is one of a kind in Bollywood. This fantasy drama written and directed by Ayan Mukerji has been produced by Karan Johar, Apoorva Mehta, Namit Malhotra and Ayan Mukerji under the banner of Dharma Productions, Starlight Pictures and Prine Focus in association with Star Studios, along with Ranbir Kapoor and Marijke DeSouza.
The first part of this trilogy marks the beginning of a new cinematic universe in Bollywood – the Astraverse. Well, move over MCU, we’ve got our own Astraverse now. More importantly, Brahmāstra trailer is proof that this film aims to set a benchmark in the Indian entertainment industry for VFX and grand visuals. This film also stars Amitabh Bachchan, Mouni Roy, and Nagarjuna Akkineni along with Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor. So, I will not prolong your pain and get to it already. The film also reportedly features Shah Rukh Khan, Dimple Kapadia, Saurav Gurjar and Gurfateh Pirzada. FYI, the film hits the theatres near you on September 9.
Brahmāstra: Part One – Shiva Story
Set in the modern era, Brahmāstra follows the story of DJ Shiva who discovers his strange connection with the element of fire as he goes on a journey of self-discovery with the love of his life, Isha. It is during his journey that Shiva discovers that this connection holds a powerful connection with the supernatural weapon – Brahmāstra, which has the power to destroy the universe and the human race. Shiva and Isha race against time and fight the queen of dark forces, Junoon who is on a quest to get her hands on this powerful weapon. On the other hand, the other Astras stand united to protect Brahmāstra? But will they succeed? Will Shiva and Isha be able to stop Junoon from destroying the universe? What are Junoon’s real intentions? Will Shiva be able to discover who he is and the power he holds? Only time will tell.
The Cast And Characters
Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor portray Isha and DJ Shiva respectively. While Shiva possesses the power of the Agniastra, Alia Bhatt plays his love interest while Amitabh Bachchan plays the role of Guru, who is the leader of the secret society of the people who harness the power of the Brahm-Shakti and the Astras. He is the leader of the Brahmānsh and wields the power of light – Prabhāstra. Mouni Roy plays the role of the antagonist, the queen of darkness, Junoon. Nagarjuna Akkineni plays the role of Anish Shetty, an artist who wields the power of Nandi Astra.
Ranbir Kapoor will surprise you with not only his amazing acting skill but his grand appearance. Watching him on the big screen after his long break in the role of DJ Shiva is as epic as the film itself. Alia Bhatt on the other hand seems completely out of her element. After all the hits she has given, this one is a big miss but I believe we can blame the writers for her grossly underdeveloped character. Amitabh Bachchan is back in his full form and it’s beautiful to watch him act on the big screen. But TBH, Mouni Roy has our attention. The actress has managed to perfect the role of a badass antagonist and won our hearts. A part of me was just rooting for her for the sheer power she oozes and the spectacular acting.
Also Read: Alia Bhatt’s Cute Video With Ranbir Kapoor, Ayan Mukerji Has A Special Surprise For ‘Brahmāstra’ Fans
The music of Brahmāstra has been penned by Amitabh Bhattacharya and singers Arijit Singh and Jonita Gandhi lent their voices to the songs. TBH, “Dance Ka Bhoot” had us all cringing but the beats had us all grooving. The lyrics were cringe-max but despite the criticism “Kesariya” received, the song has our hearts and the same goes for “Deva Deva”. Considering the fact that it’s a mythological fantasy, the limited music suits the overall vibe of the film and does not take away its essence.
Verdict: It’s Such A Pyaar Ka Astra
Nothing I ever say can ever justify the visuals. For all the years spent on the film, Ayan Mukerji has justified the time spent on the VFX. The grand visuals have majorly upped the production value of the film by creating the Astraverse. I have so many thoughts and feelings about the rather epic visuals but not there are not enough words in the dictionary to describe the beauty of it all. Ayan Mukerji and his team have not only justified the tremendous hype around the VFX but also the money and time spent on Brahmāstra. It will blow your mind and then take your breath away with the beauty of it all. The visuals are just as divine as the energy of the Astras. It’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. And I will go on to say that Brahmāstra and Astraverse may just be at par with Marvel films and the visuals. The VFX did seem to be inspired by Star Wars And Marvel films but Ayan may just have taken it a notch higher with his creativity and breathing life into all the elements of the universe as well as the Astras.
Also Read: Unsurprisingly, #BoycottBrahmastra Trend Has Begun. Unsurprisingly, None Of The Reasons Make Any Sense
While Mouni Roy will remind you starkly of the Scarlet Witch, she added her own mythological touch to it and her meaty role makes it interesting to watch her throughout. She plays the perfect antagonist that you will want to see more of but her limited screen time is rather heartbreaking, but then again we do hope to see more of her in Brahmāstra Part Two. Mouni Roy’s Junoon is really a force to reckon with and no one could have done it better than her. On the other hand, it was rather disappointing to watch Alia Bhatt’s Isha as she follows Shiva around like a little puppy. While Mouni’s Junoon has junoon and meat, Isha was heartbreaking to watch. I had hoped she did more than play Ranbir Kapoor’s Shiva’s love interest. After playing a series of impactful roles in majority of her acting career, Alia has disappointed us in this film. And allow me to say this, she is no damsel in distress, it’s even worse. Alia Bhatt’s only job is to turn Ranbir’s Astra on (pun intended).
Speaking of dialogues, I believe the makers did take some inspiration from Bollywood films in general but the hint of humour in the dialogues is great. But if I were to be brutally honest, the dialogues are forgettable, the only thing you will not forget, is the senseless romance and the cringe-worthy conversations between Isha and Shiva. NGL but the urge to mute/fast forward their conversations was real. Their quick-paced romance and cringy dialogues are unforgettable and unforgivable. But the visuals are worth suffering through the painfully annoying dialogues shared by Shiva and Isha. FYI, their chemistry was not sizzling.
Apart from their disappointing romantic plot, the overall storyline and screenplay make for a thrilling watch. Now, allow me to go on and complain about the senseless sexism in the film. Can we please have a woman do more than just fetch a man’s clothes as he plays hero? It seems like the makers forgot to add depth to Alia Bhatt’s character and decided to not write any substantial dialogues between Isha and Shiva and simply asked them to wing it. But what is interesting is that despite the mythological theme, the characters are not old school but modern-day people. The not-so-traditional characters make it realistic and rather bombastic to watch (quite literally) but it still reeks of sexism. Even Astraverse hasn’t been spared by Bollywood’s misogynistic portrayal of the hero’s love interest. However, we would like to wait for Ayan Mukerji’s vision for the Astraverse before making a solid judgement, especially since there are 2 more instalments of Brahmāstra. Having said that, if you’re not watching Ayan Mukerji’s spectacular vision of the Astraverse, what are you really doing? Ayan really has our attention now, 100 points for the Astraverse but 3.5 starts for the film!
Janvi uses her pen to smash the patriarchy. Geet one day and Wednesday Addams the next. Writing is the bane of her existence and the object of all her desires!