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Brahmastra Review: Begins Well, Later Goes Downhill

Brahmastra Review: Begins Well, Later Goes Downhill

Movie: Brahmastra
Rating: 2.5/5
Dharma Productions
Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Amitabh Bachchan, Nagarjuna, Mouni Roy, and others
Music: Pritam
DOP: V Manikandan
Editor: Prakash Kurup
Producers: Karan Johar, Ranbir Kapoor, Apoorva Mehta
Written and directed by: Ayan Mukerji
Release Date: Sep 09, 2022

Promoted as the event film of the year, Brahmastra, is out in the theaters in five languages. The Telugu version is presented by India’s top director SS Rajamouli. The team has done extensive promotions in the Telugu states.

Let’s find out whether the film lives up to the hype or not. 

Shiva (Ranbir Kapoor) is a young DJ in Mumbai. He is born with special powers – the fire cannot burn him. He possesses Agni Astra in him. He meets a beautiful girl Isha (Alia Bhatt) and falls for her charm. But Shiva gets dreams and in his dreams, he sees persons that include a scientist (Shah Rukh Khan), an artist Anish (Nagarjuna), and a guru (Amitabh Bachchan).

Shiva and Isha go to Varanasi to inform Anish that Junoon (Mouni Roy) and her gang are going to kill him and then head to the Himalayas where Guru resides in an ashram.  

Why Junoon is after Brahmastra which is scattered in three pieces at different places and what is the secret behind Shiva’s birth and his special powers?

Artistes' Performances:
Ranbir Kapoor as Shiva has done a splendid job. His character gains strength and prominence as the story progresses. He is terrific in the penultimate sequences. His chemistry with his real-life wife Alia Bhatt is okay. But their love story in the film is poorly written and shabby. Alia Bhatt doesn’t have much to do in the film.

Shah Rukh Khan plays a guest role but it is a very important one. Nagarjuna and Amitabh Bachchan add value to the story. Mouni Roy as the lady villain is perfect. 

Technical Excellence:
The film is made on a lavish scale and is in the making for nearly five years. Heavily loaded with VFX, every sequence is glitzy. The cinematography, the VFX work, and the production design are top-class.

Music by Pritham is okay. Dialogues are bad. The film needs a lot of trimming (editing). 

Lavish visuals and scale of the story
Ranbir Kapoor
A couple of episodes

The excess runtime
The love track
Emotional core

“Brahmastra: Part One – Shiva” is the first part of the trilogy director Ayan Mukerji has made a story based on Hindu mythologies.

Starring Ranbir Kapoor as the titular character Shiva, the first part focuses on the main base of the story: the genesis of brahmastra, the brahmansh sect, and Shiva’s special powers. 

By introducing Shah Rukh Khan at the very beginning of the film, the drama sets the tone right. The Vanara Astra fight sequence involving SRK is astounding. Director Ayan successfully creates his universe for the story and dwells on it rightly. 

It begins well, but it skids later. The love thread between Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt is poorly imagined and clumsily shot.

After a point, you get exhausted with the never-ending proceedings. Thankfully, the film comes back on track after the interval. It goes smoothly for 45 minutes. But again, it goes downhill. 

This inconsistency in the narrative works against the film. Visual effects and the action stuns are similar to that of Marvel superhero movies. In fact, this film is India’s answer to MCU. But our desi version turns out to be a poor copy than a gripping tale of superhero stories.

Excessive dependency on visual effects and action made the director lose grip on the story he wanted to tell. Some portions are unclear. There is also a character named Dev but this character’s story is withheld for the second part. 

The nearly three-hour movie completely drains you out by the time we reach the penultimate portions. The film’s final climax fight lasts nearly 20 minutes.

SRK’s Vanarastra sequence and Ranabir learning about various astras through a song are among the film’s best portions. Had the makers trimmed the story and added two more such gripping episodes, the result would have been better.

Overall, “Brahmastra Part One” is neither an exceptional extravaganza nor an outright disappointment. It swings in between. It is ambitious but doesn’t get it entirely right and turns out to be an average fare.

Bottom Line: Desi Avengers


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