By Diya Barmecha
Brahmastra, is the first part of a planned trilogy known as the Astraverse which is directed by Ayan Mukherji. After seeing the success of the Multiverse of DC and Avenger universe of Marvel from Hollywood, Bollywood has wanted to create such a national phenomenon. Ayan Mukherji, even went to the extent of talking to Kevin Fiege, the current president of Marvel studios, in order to align the Astraverse with what the Marvel Cinematic Universe has created.
Brahmastra has had the nation conflicted. Since its first teaser to the first song and then to the first screening, fans have been conflicted. While some agree, this brings about a new age of Visual Effects and its integration into bollywood movies, others believe that this movie was 400 crores put to a waste. Grade 11 student Tara Hebbar agrees with the latter and although appreciates the song, believes that the “special effects got a bit too much”.
The story of this film started in 2011 with director Ayan Mukherji thinking of an idea. He believed that by taking elements from Indian history and stories he heard in his childhood, merged with the drama and storyline of a common man, he could create a frenzy. Similar to the Indian author, Amish who has written several books, incorporating elements of Indian history in a story of a common man. This story was first developed in 2014 with a planned release date in the year 201. However, with countless hurdles and financial troubles, this movie saw the light of day only when Karan Johar recognised it in the year 2017. With the pandemic and even actors busy schedules, it was finally released in 2022.
11 years and 410 crores later, we were presented with a story of a common man named Shiva, played by Ranbir Kapoor. His love interest Isha, played by Alia Bhatt, and him have an instant connection. Upon releasing his connection with the world of astra’s, they both go on a journey in order to resolve an age-old conflict and even get a few of their own answers. This movie had a multitude of star cast from veteran Amitabh Bacchan to current in the media Alia Bhatt. The vast majority of the star cast shows the extent to which the actor wants people who watch and enjoy the films.
The marketing done by the team of Brahmastra was catered towards the wider audience. This movie aimed to reach multiple audiences around the nation. Seeing the recent elevation and success of south indian films in the bollywood market, this movie was professionally dubbed into 4 more languages alongside the hindi one. This went to the extent of the music, dialogues and even the directors.
The smart marketing that surrounded the first teaser of Kesariya around the time of Alia and Ranbirs wedding only increased the hype placed with the two actors and even built up some conversation for the new song. Overall, the cinematography of all the songs was greatly appreciated by the audience. Even those who did not enjoy the movie found themselves humming along to the tunes of the songs for a few weeks after.
Attending the screening of this movie twice, I was able to see the love pouring in for this movie when the songs came on. With multiple people screaming and singing to the tunes of the songs. However, this film wasn’t perfect. The dialogues of this film were basic and pretty rudimentary, so much so that instead of laughing due to the dialogues, many were laughing at them. Even grade 11 student, Tara Hebbar, who often does not watch bollywood movies due to their bad dialogues and storyline, has not changed her opinion after this film.
Overall, the idea of this film was a perfect fusion of history and modern day love story. However, the way it was translated into the script could have been improved. But regardless of much criticism, the shoots for the next two parts of the trilogy have begun and so have the idea of many origin stories of the various characters. Vir Kamath, a grade 11 student believes that this trilogy has the potential to be a “desi marvel of bollywood,”. Ayan Mukherji is on a mission to create the Indian MCU, and its success is in the hands of the audience.