Brahmastra Movie Rating: 1.5/5
Production: Dharma Productions Cast: Akkineni Nagarjuna, Alia Bhatt, Amitabh Bachchan, Mouni Roy, Ranbir Kapoor Direction: Ayan Mukerji Screenplay: Ayan Mukerji Story: Ayan Mukerji Music: Pritam Background score: Simon Franglen
Brahmastra Part One: Shiva is a fantasy action drama, and is the first installment of the Astraverse Trilogy directed by Ayan Mukherjee. The film is bankrolled by Star Studios, Dharma Productions, Prime Focus and Starlight Pictures. It has Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt in the lead roles while Amitabh Bachchan, Mouni Roy, Nagarjuna, Dimple Kapadia and others play supporting roles. Shah Rukh Khan has also played a cameo role as scientist Mohan.
Shiva (Ranbir Kapoor) is a DJ who plays at clubs. During Dussehra festival celebrations he meets Isha (Alia Bhatt), and falls in love at first sight. At the same time, he also gets strange visuals at regular intervals and they turn out to be true. He sets out on a journey to discover what causes these dreams and his strange connection with fire. What does all this have to do with Brahmastra, the most powerful Astra in the Universe? Watch the film to find out.
After starting with an animation that describes the history of Brahmastra, director Ayan Mukherjee wastes no time in introducing us to the lead pair and getting into their romantic arc. And it is this part of the story that keeps us most invested. The chemistry between the duo is fantastic and extremely natural.
The supporting cast also come together to shoulder the entire film rather than just banking on the leads. Amitabh Bachchan and Mouni Roy get meaty roles and Mouni Roy shines well as the menacing Junoon.
The songs by Pritam add a lot of weight to the romance, especially Kesariya. Now these songs don’t just come across as templates that have to be ticked. They have elements that aid the fantasy part as well. For instance, when Shiva and Isha visit a temple in the song Kesariya, he casually restrains from going near the puja pyre, while Alia comes in contact with the pyre. Later it’s revealed that Shiva can control fire and didn’t want Isha to know about this.
However when the film moves into the fantasy zone, the writing becomes weak and shallow. There is no emotional core to most of these portions. Director Ayan Mukherjee is known for solid dramas like Wake up Sid, and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. Coming out of the comfort zone and making a film like this is difficult and deserves applause but the end result is mixed.
One of the biggest saving grace of the fantasy portions are the visuals. They look grand and the colours used make these fantasy elements believable. The climax fight sequences are superbly choreographed, with the VFX serving as a perfect topping. Special props to the make-up artists as well.
Overall, the film is technically grand but needed more flesh in certain areas. The film ends with a lead to the second part, but it is not a cliffhanger per se. Brahmastra Part One: Shiva is definitely not a bad film, but could have been better.
Verdict: Brahmastra scores on Ranbir and Alia’s chemistry and the grandeur on screen