Directed By: Ayan Mukerji
Written By: Ayan Mukerji
Cast: Ranbir Kapoor; Alia Bhatt; Amitabh Bachchan; Mouni Roy; Nagarjuna Akkineni; Saurav Gurjar; Rohollah Ghazi; Shah Rukh Khan
Genre: Fantasy; Action-adventure
Run Time: 2 hours 47 minutes
Ayan Mukerji’s Indian mythic fantasy film Brahmastra Part One – Shiva follows a young DJ Shiva (Ranbir Kapoor) who has an uncanny relationship with fire. At a Dusshera celebration he locks eyes with a beautiful woman Isha (Alia Bhatt) but when the fire from the burning effigies seems to take a life of its own, he collapses from the experience.
Destiny throws him along Isha’s path and also awakens a strange power within him that shows him visions of things that are happening. In a bid to uncover the truth behind them, he travels with Isha to understand the forces at work. This puts him on a collision course with Junoon (Mouni Roy) and her two associates Zor (Saurav Gurjar) and Raftaar (Rohollah Ghazi) who are in search of an ancient power that slumbers. His journey leads him to the Ashram and under the tutelage of Guru Raghu (Amitabh Bachchan), he learns both about his powers and his past. While Shiva learns about his powers, Junoon too is amassing power under the guidance of an older being.
The idea of bringing the divine astras from mythology into modern times is rather cool and coupled with the phenomenal VFX, it is a great experience. The more you learn about Shiva’s past and the equation between the powers and his ancestry; the story does get exciting and yet feels rather familiar. The familiarity comes from drawing on various popular culture sources not the least of which are Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and Star Wars.
That realisation is a little unpleasant but the film being a fun watch cannot be taken away. The true dampener was the rather uninspired cardboard consistency dialogues that were neither current nor an honest portrayal of the characters feelings and complex experiences. However, the acting was truly remarkable – actors of a lesser calibre could not have put the soul in a performance with such soulless language.
All in all, Brahmastra Part One – Shiva leaves a lot of expectations for the next instalment since much of Part One is a rushed affair possibly to lead up to the actual conflicts that are hinted at.
A side note: Shah Rukh Khan’s cameo was star power at its best.