A glimpse into the fairly IMMERSIVE world of director Ayan Mukerji’s long due fantasy adventure film. And watch out for SRK too.
By Mayur Lookhar
While watching many popular Hollywood super hero, fantasy adventure films, often this writer felt that there are some elements, few powers that are also mentioned in Indian mythology. For example, a trident. But can India or ancient Bharat claim copyright to a trident? No, because it is also part of other mythologies, cultures. So, while there could be a sense of deja vu, but it would be wrong to say that certain visuals, or story from Brahmastra rekindle memories of contemporary Hollywood super hero, fantasy adventure films. The base story in the genre is simple – a battle of good versus evil.
Dharma Productions and Star Studios unveiled the much awaited trailer of Brahmastra today [15 June]. Part One is titled after its lead character Shiva [Ranbir Kapoor]. We read a headline where Kapoor refused to call Brahmastra a super hero film. The official Wikipedia page lists Brahmastra as a fantasy adventure film. This adventure is contemporary though where a simpleton Shiva appears to be a happy-go-lucky, god fearing guy. He is smitten by a girl [Alia Bhatt, now his wife]. When Shiva doesn’t get burnt despite his hand on fire. That is when his girl friend gets curious. Shiva confesses that fire has no impact on him. Who is Shiva? The answer is provided by mentor [Amitabh Bachchan].
The trailer reveals Shiva to be a creation of fire – Agniastra [fire weapon] as Bachchan’s character calls him. But he is not the only one to possess such energies. Perhaps Bachchan is the vayu [wind] here. Nagarjuna looks like jal [water]. But the opening scenes in the trailer show a woman as jal. Is that Alia Bhatt?
The villain in this piece is the darkness [Saurav Gurjar], a demonic character who seeks the ultimate weapon in Hindu mythology – Brahmastra. A weapon created by Lord Brahma [creator of the universe]. A weapon so powerful that it can destroy the entire universe or the most powerful being, as seen in Ramayana. Gurjar’s dark avatar partly mirrors Ravana, while the fiery bull avatar reminds us of Balrog in J.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series. Gurjar has perhaps corrupted other special beings who are now chasing Brahmastra for him. That is where the likes of Mouni Roy come into play. Divyendu Sharma is listed as part of the cast. Is he the guy with the led-lit super bow and arrow?
Remember show Shah Rukh Khan is part of the film too. No, we are not referring to Ranbir Kapoor’s Raj Malhotra impersonation, but King Khan comes in the trailer in a fiery avatar with a tail like Lord Hanuman.
In all honesty, the trailer is a bit of a mixed bag. Ranbir Kapoor jumping his way in temples is a bit over the top. Veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan looks jaded. And the story, too, is seeped in popular Hindu mythology. But it is the contemporary setting that makes it appealing. So actors have to be speaking in contemporary Hindi and no Sanskrit or chaste Hindi. Marvel, DC, too, have given a contemporary setting to many of their cult stories. In a battle of light vs darkness, much of the action will be flashy in nature.
We presume part one Shiva will mostly likely end on the note where Shiva gets to know his true self. We will perhaps get to know more about Alia Bhatt in the film than the academic show in the trailer. Globally, most super hero films, especially fantasy adventure stories are fairly predictable in their storytelling. What counts is whether those characters and that world is immersive. The trailer of Brahmastra Part One Shiva appears to have an immersive world, but maybe, the leading characters appear understated. Mouni Roy’s character is a bit over the top.
The film has taken a long time to be made. They have shot in various international locations. It’s a three part series and it is vital that Part One Shiva sets the ball rolling for the franchise. While the trailer doesn’t blow our mind, but it has enough to book a first day first show ticket on 9 September.
Watch the trailer of Brahmastra below.