Film Review - BRAHMASTRA
by Ferry Bhatia
(Amritsar, Punjab, India)
Shiva is a love story at the core, but it soon takes form of a fight between the good and the evil when the energies that rule this universe take control. Brahmastra is like watching a video game. Written and directed by Ayan Mukerji, Brahmastra is a heady blend of Hindu mythology and sci-fi elements that serve as the backdrop of a love story which is unusual to say the least. Shiva (Ranbir Kapoor) is a DJ who falls for Isha (Alia Bhatt) at first sight and as their romance blossoms, his quest to find the reason behind his strange connection with fire becomes even stronger. His visions about destruction become clearer and unaware that he is destined to awaken the Brahmāstra, his path crosses with Guru ji (Amitabh Bachchan), the leader of the Brahmānsh, a secret society of sages who harness the Brahm-Shakti. Meanwhile, Junoon (Mouni Roy), the queen of dark forces, must find the fractured pieces of Brahmastra and bring her evil plans to fruition.
Brahmastra starts as your regular, conventional boy meets girl love saga, but it wastes no time in building the actual premise which is letting Shiva get on a journey together to find his ultimate purpose. With an overcomplicated screenplay, Brahmastra does get a bit convoluted at times but gets back on track soon enough too. Mukerji, who spent almost eight years to come out with the final film, clearly has gone overboard with certain aspects, but thankfully, it never reaches a point that it starts to bother and distract.
At 2 hours 45 minutes, the film seems a bit stretched, especially in the first half, and 20-25 minutes could have been easily chopped off at the editing table. While I liked the build of Shiva and Isha's romance in the first half, it didn't need to be stretched beyond a point. The second half takes off on a high note with flashback into Shiva's life and the whole mystery of Brahmastra and there are some really spectacular portions that leave you awestruck. While the story of Brahmastra was never really meant to be simple, it's the magic of VFX (all made in India), treatment of the astras, and grandeur of everything surrounding the characters that make it a visual spectacle and truly a cinematic experience to be enjoyed on the big screen.*****