How did Brahmastra make you feel? Good, or good but confused? It’s difficult, we know. It feels good as you watch the film, but the feel-good factor comes and goes. By the time you feel good again, the film is over and you walk away a bit confused from all that happens in the way it happens. While piecing together the myriad things post-screening, here’s what we observed about director Ayan Mukerji’s ambitious film Brahmastra Part One: Shiva.
Dev and Amrita: A nod to Ayan Mukerji’s parents?
In Brahmastra Part One: Shiva, we get to know about protagonist Shiva’s parents — Dev (Brahma Dev) and Amrita (Jaldevi who owns Jal-Astra). It seems the names are a nod to Ayan’s parents — Deb and Amrit Mukerjee. In the film, the profile shot and silhouette of baby Shiva’s mother give away that it’s Deepika Padukone, but there’s no clue to the actor playing Dev. Going by Dev’s chiselled abs and muscular frame, we can take a wild guess that it’s going to be Ranveer Singh or Hrithik Roshan. Some fans speculate it can be Rana Daggubati too. Now that Brahmastra Part Two: Dev is announced, we will know it. Sooner than later.
Ayan Mukerji’s Bong connection
Brahmastra maker Ayan is part of the famous Mukerji family (which includes Kajol and Rani Mukerji) in Mumbai that organises a Durga puja every year. Given that Ayan’s vision board has multiple influences from his growing up years, the film opens with the Durga Puja setting. Leading lady Alia Bhatt’s Isha belongs to a Chatterjee family in the film and she also has a dialogue in Bengali.
Showstopper Shah Rukh Khan
Shah Rukh Khan’s special appearance is one of the best bits of Brahmastra. We loved the surprise entry of scientist Mohan Bhargava from Swades, looking suitably hot, and giving us the first sample of an Astra, as the keeper of Vanarastra. Shah Rukh exits the scene, saying: ‘Main kabhi harta nahin hoon.’ Does that mean he will return in the second instalment with a backstory? Fingers crossed!
For a side of film trivia, Ayan Mukerji stepped into Bollywood as an assistant director to his brother-in-law Ashutosh Gowariker for his film Swades, starring Shah Rukh, in 2004.
Mouni Roy’s possessed look as Junoon
Mouni Roy’s blowing-hair-and-possessed-eyes look is a reminder of her role of Naagin from TV, but the tattoo on her neck and fingers coupled with the piercings help make her Junoon feel like a menacing and mysterious antagonist. Mouni wears the large nose pins and chunky silver ear studs well. Ayan’s idea of giving her a gender-fluid name — Junoon — is a nice touch.
Ranbir Kapoor’s bachcha party dance
Be it an impromptu jig or a choreographed routine, Ranbir Kapoor’s high-energy dancing with kids and youngsters has a different vibe to it. In Brahmastra, he joins the kids of the orphanage shaking a leg to Katrina Kaif’s Chikni Chameli. Ranbir unleashes the carefree kid in him in the Dance ka bhoot song, too, as he did in Tai tai phish (Chillar Party), Galti se mistake (Jagga Jasoos) and Ji huzoor (Shamshera).
Composed by Pritam, Brahmastra’s songs have a ring to them. While the Arijit Singh-Amitabh Bhattacharya-sung Kesariya was used for the promotions, you get to hear the female version of Kesariya, sung by Antara Mitra, in the film.
No strong supporting cast
Unlike Ayan’s first two films Wake Up Sid and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, where the supporting cast — especially the protagonist’s close friends and family — did some heavy-lifting for the script, Brahmastra’s supporting cast doesn’t get much screen space. Shiva’s two DJ friends vanish after the initial scenes and the other four astra characters who he meets at Guru’s Ashram aren’t introduced properly. Even Isha’s cousins go into oblivion after the first few scenes.
Amitabh Bachchan’s absence from the film promotions
Amitabh Bachchan, who is Guru, the wise leader who holds the Prahbhastra (the sword of light), has a significant role in the film but he wasn’t seen taking an active part in Brahmastra’s promotional drive. Even on social media, he stayed away from posting about the film after Ranbir-Alia’s wedding.