Ayan Mukerjee, a director who only makes films with his childhood friend, Ranbir Kapoor, has finally treated the audience with his much-awaited fantasy thriller, Brahmastra.
The action flick has been in the making for over a decade. I started my graduation and completed it, but the clock kept ticking on Brahmastra. It is ironic that I am reviewing the film after years of anticipation solely as a viewer.
Interestingly, Brahmastra is the first Indian mythological trilogy. It is deeply rooted in Indian culture and consists of startling contemporary features. Moreover, Ayan Mukerjee is directing after nine years. His last film was Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani back in 2013.
After a longstanding hiatus of moolah at the Indian Box Office for Hindi films, the industry is putting its weight behind Brahmastra to become a blockbuster. However, only strong content can help it grow in the coming days. Is Brahmastra good enough to be watched on the silver screen?
Here’s my Brahmastra review, where I talk about what works and what doesn’t for this fantasy Hindi film.
Brahmastra Review Summary
Brahmastra delivers everything it promises. It compels you to the core with an absorbing screenplay and video effects. I will stop here so that I can continue the review of this Ranbir and Alia starrer.
Brahmastra is an ancient Indian weapon that carries the potential to end the universe. It is broken into three pieces after a war between two contemporaries in ancient times. However, the Astras entrusted to take care of Brahmastra are facing a fatal threat.
Shiva (Ranbir Kapoor) realizes that he has a connection with fire, and his curiosity takes him to unimagined places. Can he save the Brahmansh or Brahmanch from spilling into ashes?
Directed by Ayan Mukerjee, Brahmastra stars Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Mouni Roy, Amitabh Bachchan, and Nagarjuna in lead roles. Moreover, Shah Rukh Khan makes a cameo in the film.
What Works for Brahmastra?
Original ideas are always great, and Ayan’s extraordinary vision takes Brahmastra to another level. The concept relates to weapons from ancient Indian mythology, and with the help of interlinks, it accentuates further. You will be intrigued by the cultural depth of Brahmastra’s plot.
I would consider Brahmastra an event film. It is made on a large scale, takes you back and forth in time, and consists of sparkling actors from Indian Cinema. Furthermore, it has been made on a massive budget of over INR 400 Crores.
From the pre-release buzz and VFX to the adeptness of the actors and the director’s proficiency, nothing made me doubt the prospects of Brahmastra. What concerned me was its content and storytelling.
However, with an intriguing tale stitched enthrallingly, the Ranbir-Alia starrer steals your attention in a whisker. You would mostly remain glued to the screen. Yes, the story sometimes felt preachy, but the action scenes helped the film return strongly.
The entire music album of Brahmastra has been voiced by Arijit Singh. Can he go wrong? Nope. All the songs in the film are mesmerizing and soul-stirring. Unlike Shamshera, the music of Brahmastra doesn’t push you into boredom. Instead, it helps in offering a wholesome experience.
You can just not hate the VFX of Brahmastra. Ayan Mukerjee and the entire team of video editors have put their hearts into creating a visual spectacle. They have produced an irresistible onscreen exhibition that literally sets the screen on fire.
Everything is smooth and gorgeous, thanks to the finesse of visual technicians. I was completely taken aback by some of the 3D scenes in Brahmastra. They were mind-blowing and, I repeat, never seen before in the history of Indian cinema.
Compelling Action Sequences
After the story, it was the action sequences that the team of Brahmastra had to ace, and they did a stupendous job. Mostly, it is about Ranbir fighting the antagonists in the movie. However, Nagarjuna and Amitabh Bachchan also showcase some slick movements to keep you on the edge of your seat.
Ranbir Kapoor was last seen in Shamshera as the leader of a tribe. In Brahmastra, Kapoor surprises you with a mixed demeanor. There’s passion, love, emotions, sensibilities, and the urge to be at the forefront.
He uses the innocent side of his personality in the early stages of Brahmastra and then gradually unravels the intense part, glimpses of which were seen in his last film. From Ranbir’s expressional adroitness to his onscreen awareness, everything works wonders for Brahmastra.
Furthermore, I found several contrasts between Shiva and Ranbir as individuals. While Ranbir is low-key and introverted, Shiva is more of an extrovert. Nevertheless, both have a restricted social life and carry immense potential.
Alia Bhatt, as Isha, allows you to devour her sumptuous presentation in Brahmastra. There are several scenes where you would want to stand up from your seat and whistle just for Bhatt’s expressions. She never lets the gigantic idea of Brahmastra overpower her.
The context of the film hardly favors the Alia Bhatt we are used to watching. However, she takes the baton in her hands and offers what you can call a blend of towering improvisations and subtle refinements. If Shiva is about secret powers, Isha is the enabler and keeper of the same.
Amitabh Bachchan, the undisputed leader of Indian Cinema, owns the screen whenever he is around. His intensity at this age is admirable. Although Bachchan has a significant role in Brahmastra, he never forces himself on the audience. That’s what makes the effect more strong. Add to it the infamous depth of his voice.
Nagarjuna Akkineni steps into Hindi films with Brahmastra. The force he brings into the realm is enrapturing to witness. You will be wooed by his outstanding portrayal of Anish Shetty. From expressions to the dialogue delivery, Nagarjuna never fails to amuse you in Brahmastra.
Mouni Roy plays Junoon, a devilish character in Brahmastra. And as they say, it is all in the eyes. Roy charms you with her expressions through her extremely overt eyes. She is aggressive, intense, and ready to combat to achieve her goals. Even against Ranbir, Mouni doesn’t feel like an underdog villain.
Shah Rukh Khan creates a different Brahmastra of his own. His screen presence is breathtakingly admirable. Khan’s first reflection on the screen is welcomed with huge applauses and hootings. The entire theatre erupts whenever he punches or kicks the bad guys. This gives an idea of how his Jawaan and Pathaan could work.
He plays a camouflaged scientist, Mohan Bhargava, in Brahmastra. Moreover, his task is to take care of the Vanarastra.
What Doesn’t Work for Brahmastra?
Double Edged Pace
Brahmastra is not slow. It is so bewitching at times that whenever a sober moment comes, you suddenly feel the pace has gone down. However, for the story and concept to set in and be understood by the masses, the makers had to take time.
I had to travel to Jaipur late at night on Thursday and catch up on the 9 AM show with friends there on Friday. I hadn’t slept for 25 hours, including a long journey by road; still, I didn’t feel dreary while watching Brahmastra. So, the pace is not entirely an issue.
I guess the dialogues could have been much better. They seem a little rosy and simple when heard in the hustle and bustle of the film.
Brahmastra is for everyone, especially those who love fantasy draped in superlative VFX. If you take your children along, they will come out of the cinema halls satisfied.