Brahmastra review: Ambitious effort but lacks punch

Brahmastra

What’s it about?

Brahmastra is all about Astraverse.

The three pieces of Brahmastra are guarded by a scientist (Shah Rukh Khan), an artist (Nagarjuna), and a Brahmansh Guru (Amitabh Bachchan). On the other hand, Shiva (Ranbir Kapoor) is a local DJ who has special powers related to fire. His life story is linked with Brahmastra, and he senses danger for it through external forces headed by Junoon (Mouni Roy).

He and his girlfriend Isha (Alia Bhatt) are set on a path to save the Brahmastra. Will he be successful or not is the crux of the story.

Analysis

Hollywood boasts DC verse or MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). Bollywood director Ayan Mukherjee brings his Astraverse series to Indian cinema through this big-budgeted flick and sets up the path for something never attempted on the Indian screen. Using Hindu mythology, he has written this story based on astras (sacred weapons). The Telugu dubbed version begins with Megastar Chiranjeevi’s voiceover explaining various astras and Brahmastra and its link to the protagonist named Shiva.

But the film suddenly cuts to the love story of Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, which looks outdated. The lead pair, Alia and Ranbir strike good chemistry, but their love track is an obstacle to the proceedings.

Shahrukh Khan is introduced at the beginning of the film, and he does not create much of an impact. Only when Nagarjuna is introduced as an artist whose life is in danger, do things start working for the film. The action picks up, and the last fifteen minutes of the first half are racy and the interval bang creates good interest.

But the VFX and their usage in the film are such that one gets a feeling of watching repeated scenes. The VFX is also overused in many places. Ayan Mukherjee pays so much attention to the grandeur of the film and he loses grip on the screenplay.

On the other hand, Brahmastra suffers badly from the lack of a strong emotional base. The so-called flashback episode about his parents also doesn’t make much impact. None of the scenes elicit proper emotion.

Ranbir Kapoor comes out of his comfort zone and plays the man with special powers. He gets his act perfect. Alia Bhatt plays a doting supporting role to Ranbir. Mouni Roy plays the main villain, and she is the one who is in top form. Her look and the way she takes on the clan of big stars are shown in an impactful manner. Amitabh Bachchan’s role as a Guru is not etched properly and lacks depth. Somehow, he looks lost in the proceedings. Nagarjuna and Shah Rukh Khan make an impact in their brief roles.

With an overkill of visual effects, it is hard to notice the cinematography and the production design. The BGM is loud but the music by Pritam sounds good. The action part is also overdone, and the use of technology makes the proceedings look a bit fake. It is only in the second half that decks are cleared and one gets to understand the sole purpose of the film.

Though few visuals look grand, they do not create much impact on the audience. Director Ayan Mukerji has packed so much in this film with a not-so-gripping narration.

Bottom line: In a way, Brahmastra looks ambitious but is marred by ordinary narration. If the film had more soul and was cut short in its duration, the output would have been a lot better. In the end, despite ambition and huge scale, the attempt turns out to be pretty ordinary.

Rating: 2.75/5

Film: Brahmastra (Telugu Dub)
Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Amitabh Bachchan, Nagarjuna Akkineni, Mouni Roy, and others
Music: Pritam
Producers: Karan Johar
Presented by: SS Rajamouli
Written and directed by: Ayan Mukerji
Release Date: Sep 09, 2022

 

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