More than 10 years in the making, the trailer of India’s newest superhero franchise, Brahmastra Part One: Shiva, released amid much fanfare. This Ayan Mukerji directorial is a story from the books of ancient Indian mythology narrated in an Avengers-like style. This isn’t India’s first superhero film, not even in the last one decade, with Hrithik Roshan, Tiger Shroff and Tovino Thomas trying their luck with their own franchise.
What makes Brahmastra stand out is its spectacular VFX, stellar star cast and of course, a grand scale. But will the movie revolutionize the Indian superhero or end up being a televised Ekta Kapoor supernatural drama?
Brahmastra chronicles the story of a young man and our protagonist, Shiva, who is on the brink of an epic love, with a girl, Isha. But their world is turned upside down when Shiva learns that he has a mysterious connection with Brahmāstra.
Our hero has a great power within him that he doesn’t understand just yet – the power of Fire. How he transverses into the world of Astras and discovers his destiny as the Divine Hero of the universe is what Ayan Mukerji narrates in the first part of the epic trilogy.
Ayan Mukerji’s Astraverse builds upon the world of elements like fire, water and wind with the first part focusing on Ranbir Kapoor’s Shiva.
Leading the pack is Ranbir, who is back on screen post the huge success of his 2018-Sanjay Dutt biopic. Ranbir is here in a never-seen-before avatar. Gone are the days when you would see him packing his bags and leaving from a wedding. Here, he plays the superhero Shiva, the one who is destined to save the world.
Playing the love and light of his life is his wife, Alia Bhatt, who has already charmed the audiences with two back-to-back superlative performances this year, Gangubai Kathiawadi and RRR. There isn’t much revealed about our heroine here, but in the words of our director, she does play a central character as this film is a love story at its core.
We also witness the bona fide legendary superstars of Indian cinema, Amitabh Bachchan and Nagarjuna. Bachchan plays the guru to our Shiva, who leads the path to his ultimatum. Nagarjuna can also be seen as one possessing one of the powerful astras.
And then of course, no story is complete without a villain. We have our television’s Naagin,Mouni Roy stepping in as Junoon with her laser eyes, threatening the existence of our superheroes and civilization.
Ayan Mukerji steps out of his rom-com zone into the world of Astraverse. And he chooses to not compromise on anything. Not even when it took 10 years to make this film.
The sci-fi genre has always been a tricky business. While Hollywood boasts off with mega franchises like The Matrix and Marvel Universe, Bollywood has been struggling with not going over-the-top yet delivering a story with substance.
Take Shah Rukh Khan’s Ra.One and Priyanka Chopra’s Love Story 2050 for instance. Even with big budgets, the makers failed to deliver a neatly made decent story.
A concern that pops up into my mind right after I finished watching the trailer is: will Ayan over dramatize the love story between his central characters Shiva and Isha? One can only hope that this mythological thriller is more sci-fi centric rather than relying on the quintessential masala romance factor that the audience have been waiting for more than 5 years.
The big question is, will Brahmastra be Bollywood’s path-breaking sci-fi film and be the leader in the genre?
The answer awaits us in theaters on the 9th of September.