Movie Review | Brahmastra: Part One — Shiva

An epic part 1 movie

Screenshot from the official trailer released by Dharma Productions

I was initially skeptical about writing a review, much less, admitting to watching this movie. The world seems to be divided into pro-Brahmastra and anti-Brahmastra reviews. I don’t want to be judged by either party.

I found myself sitting in the middle and leaning towards the pro group. I enjoyed the movie — a lot. Were there flaws? Of course! Could several things have been better? For sure! But — I am a ‘my glass is half full’ type of person. I went in with very low expectations and came out fully entertained.

But let me start from the beginning.

In the beginning, there was nothing. Then the shooting for Brahmastra started. Then, the lead pair, Ranbir and Alia fell in love. I love them both. Then they both got married. I loved that too. Then they announced the impending arrival of their first baby. I am happy. That’s what fans do. Don’t look for logic.

After all this, Brahmastra finally made it to the movie screens. What a ride it must have been for Ranbir and Alia!

Brahmastra is part 1 of a 3-part series. This one is called Brahmastra — Part One Shiva. Just that one word was enough to make me decide to watch it. I am a Shiva fan. I don’t quite know why. Maybe because Ardhra is Shiva’s birth star and the same as my daughter! I was influenced quite a bit by the Shiva Trilogy by Amish too. Then the movie Kedarnath came along and gave me a million goosebumps. Yup — I am lapping up anything Shiva right now. Ranbir playing the pivotal character added a little extra thrill. I am not a super fan, but I do like him. His eyes… Alia is a fantastic actor. I have to admit she’s displayed amazing talent in other films though. Her role was a bit meh in this one.

I have this self-imposed rule that I will not read reviews of movies I want to watch. I don’t want to be biased one way or the other. I want to reach my own conclusion about the movie. But with Brahmastra, I had this iffy feeling. Here and there I caught opinions and news that didn’t feel good. I did not want to drag my husband to another flop movie and torture him. And I hate watching movies alone. What now?

Suddenly, like a message from the heavens, a friend popped up and asked if I wanted to watch the movie. I was ecstatic. I booked two tickets for the same day and off we went to watch the movie. Yaay!

Pro tip: It is important to go with the right people to watch a movie. This friend turned out to be the perfect companion to watch Brahmastra. That made a huuuge difference to my entire movie-watching experience. We laughed at all the cheesy dialogs, marveled at the VFX, drooled at Shahrukh Khan, and gasped during edge-of-the-seat scenes. I tried to whistle, but I am challenged in that aspect. Next time I will carry a pen cap to simulate a whistle. That’s how movies should be watched!

Brahmastra was totally action-packed. Maybe the last scene could have been trimmed a bit, but overall, it was an engrossing fare. Having Shahrukh play a cameo as the guardian of the Vanar Astra was a master move. That bit sucked us smoothly into the movie and never let us come out till the end. What a ride it was! Apparently, fans are clamoring for a spin-off of the Brahmastra series with just Shahrukh as the central character. I am all for it!

Screenshot of Shahrukh wielding the vanarastra in the trailer released by Dharma Productions. What a scene!

But — the dialogs <face palm>

This is a good time to tell you what I really found lacking in the movie — powerful dialogs. After so much fantastic action, there is really not much to be said. So it is important to craft a great dialog for the characters at the end of some of these epic scenes. But in this movie, it felt like the makers were so caught up on the VFX and other technical brilliance that they forgot to write punchy dialogs. Whoever was around at the time of filming just wrote whatever came to mind. At least, that’s how it felt to us.

Example — Shahrukh battles bravely against three evil forces using his Vanar Astra and escapes from their clutches. The whole sequence was gripping and brilliant. SRK escapes in one fell swoop. Whoosh! And what do the evil boys say?

Haath se nikal gaya

Meaning — he escaped or something like that. I mean — that is so obvious. SRK escaped. Brilliantly. It might have been better to leave the evil boys with their mouths hanging open than to put such tepid words in their mouths.

My friend and I fell off our chairs laughing. It wasn’t even a comical scene. I think the others in the theatre hated us 🙂

There were many scenes like this where we felt silence would have been better.

Now that the big complaint is out of the way, let me again say that I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. With superb cameos by Shahrukh and Amitabh, and amazing action sequences that might be on par with Hollywood blockbusters, Brahmastra was value for money.

The premise of multiple astras or weapons existing around the earth and Brahmastra being the most powerful of them all is fascinating. We’ve grown up hearing about the Brahmstra in one way or the other. Watching the folklore of one’s childhood being brought alive in such a visually rich way is exciting.

Ranbir as Shiva is a living breathing astra himself. He is the Agni astra. He can control and harness fire. How cool is that, or, er, maybe how hot is that!

Nagarjuna as the guardian of the Nandi astra has an interesting cameo too. As always though, Amitabh makes his presence felt in every scene where he occupies the frame. The two evil boys and their leader, Junoon have played their parts well too. Except for the parts where they have watery dialogs 🙂

My friend and I also had a side agenda going on while watching the movie. We were trying to figure out the exact scene during which Ranbir and Alia fell in love. Different scenes were examined and discarded. When they both finally kissed, my friend was convinced that they had done so for the first time in their relationship as well. I, on the other hand, thought they looked like they had practiced hard.

You see why company matters? You can have so many threads going on during a single movie. Extreme value for money!

Obviously, the storyline is much deeper than just a few astras lying about. If this review has intrigued you, I’d say go watch the movie. But — please please watch it on a big screen. I cannot imagine how sad the amazing visuals would look on a tiny home TV. Don’t subject yourself to that. Catch the movie on a huge screen in 3D and enjoy the brilliant light and sound show.

And finally, the thing that is really occupying my mind! The song — Kesariya! It is a beautiful song and the lyrics are so lovely.

See this sentence:

Rabba ne tujhko banane mein kardi hai husn ki khali tijoriyan

God has emptied the vaults of beauty while making you!

I am such a shameless romantic, no?

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