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Brahmastra review: Ayan Mukerji’s efforts pay off with this well-crafted superhero fantasy

Mumbai (Maharashtra): It requires a lot of guts to spend ten years of your life envisioning a story, splurging a ton of money on it, and then leaving its fate in the hand of millions. Ayan Mukerji did exactly that with his magnum opus, Brahmastra: Part One – Shiva. But did the hard work pay off? It looks like it did!

The film starts with the typical boy meets girl and they fall in love trope. But what sets it apart from others is the way they both set out to save the world while at the same time finding themselves anew. Sprinkle some over-the-top visuals and some mind-boggling superpowers and you have the perfect formula for a successful superhero movie. However, Brahmastra is not your typical Marvel film but is set in India's ancient mythological culture.

The film begins with the introduction of the origin of Astras or the ‘Weapons of light’. These weapons derive their power from nature and its different elements – earth, fire, water, land, and animals as well. Disguised as everyday objects, these weapons are guided by a group of sages known as ‘Brahmansh’ who have been the protectors of the Astras since ancient times. Worshippers of Brahm, the lord of the astras, this group secretly protects the “Light” from any dark forces that may threaten to destroy the world. These Brahmansh have been broken into three groups, scattered around the world, protecting mankind.

The most powerful of all Astras, the Brahmastra has been broken and hidden in the world for the past three decades, thus allowing peace to ensue on the earth. During the present Diwali, young boy, DJ Shiva (Ranbir Kapoor) meets and falls in love with the beautiful and witty Isha (Alia Bhatt). But as quick as their meet-cute was, so are the visions that plague the poor guy. A dark force, led by the mighty Junoon (Mouni Roy) is gearing up to unite the pieces of Brahmastra and destroy and rule the world. Now it is upon our superhero, a boy born as the miracle of the astraverse, a fire weapon in himself to save the world from the darkness with the love of his life by his side.

To begin with the performances, Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt are truly a vision to watch. The viewer, not only roots for their victory, but also for their love to survive every hurdle. That is the power of their chemistry that justifies the fact that both of them are married to each other by today. Ranbir very gracefully carries the nuances of a simple boy who realizes his bigger than him fate and sets on the journey to save the world. On the other hand, Alia is a charm to watch on screen as she too showcases the duality of her character with ease. Veterans such as Nagarjuna and Amitabh Bachchan prove their seniority and experience through their excellent performances where they make their presence strongly known without overpowering the others. Mouni also makes a powerful appearance and shows off her acting chops that were rather unexplored.

The visuals and the action sometimes exhaust just as it enthrals you, exactly what happens in every superhero action film. But the staggering graphics and cinematography make up for everything. While the stunts have a sense of originality and reality to them, the film has its own set of superhero landing moments. The VFX and action might remind you of that one MCU movie you might have watched that night. Other than that, the romance feels a bit dragged out and stretched, but what can one say in front of Ranbir and Alia’s chemistry?

Ayan Mukerji made sure that he makes something that fulfils his vision of ten years. His efforts could be seen in every frame and shot that has been carefully crafted to make the cinematic experience even better. It was not only his direction but his dedication to visualizing a story that mindfully revolved around Indian mythology and culture while at the same time, giving the audience a story that is at par with some of the biggest superhero movies. Similarly, extra points go to Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt for solely trusting Ayan’s ability to make a good film and submitting to his vision.

Overall, Brahmastra: Part One – Shiva is an excellent start to the trilogy that proudly flaunts itself as the first-ever universe created in Indian cinema. The movie gets 4/5 stars solely for Ayan Mukerji’s efforts, patience and passion.

Stars: 4/5

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