Brahmastra: Part One – Shiva Review: Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt’s Ayan Mukerji film is a visual spectacle
Planning to watch Brahmastra: Part One – Shiva this weekend? Read Pinkvilla’s review of this Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Amitabh Bachchan, Nagarjuna Akkineni and Mouni Roy starrer.
Name: Brahmāstra: Part One – Shiva
Rating: 4 / 5
Director: Ayan Mukerji
Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Amitabh Bachchan, Nagarjuna Akkineni and Mouni Roy.
Brahmastra: Part One – Shiva Review
Brahmastra: Part One – Shiva is a classic example of ambition meeting vision. Both of them are practically hollow without each other, and thankfully this Ayan Mukerji directorial manages to bring alive this combination of aspiration and imagination on the big screen. Film watching overall is a subjective experience, with most of the time the audience preferring one element of the movie over the other. However, this Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt starrer should be seen for the overall impact it creates on the viewer.
Set in modern times, it largely narrates the story of the most powerful weapon Brahmastra, with a love story that is intertwined in a battle of good and bad, right and wrong, and most importantly desire and responsibility. Shiva (Ranbir Kapoor), a DJ, is aware of his powers but chooses to bury them deep within himself. The lonely orphan finds love in Isha (Alia Bhatt) and intends to live a regular life. However, despite his unwillingness, destiny takes him on an adventure of power and passion, and of acceptance and realisation.
What I loved the most about Brahmastra: Part One – Shiva is its engrossing screenplay. Right from the word go, the narrative demands attention with regular high points appropriately arranged throughout the 166 minutes run time. Watch out for the pre and post interval scenes. There are some sharp dips here and there especially in the romantic sequences, but it quickly picks up pace bringing the focus back on the story of Brahmastra. Now, that’s a hard thing to do especially after songs and softer sequences in a fantasy project. The credit here is as much for Ayan Mukerji, as it is for editor Prakash Kurup.
Having said that, dialogues penned by Hussain Dalal were letting down a few sequences that needed able support from a few strong lines. The language could have been far less casual at certain points.
Like a lot of things that work in combinations for Brahmastra, like Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt or intention and innovation, action and visual effects too is one of the most solid amalgamations of this fantasy adventure movie. Both merged together present an engaging visual in the cinema, bringing every concept art created for the film to life. All credit for it should go to action and stunt designers Dan Bradley, Diyan Hristov and Parveez Sheikh, and the VFX partners DNEG and ReDefine.
Cinematographers Sudeep Chatterjee, Patrick Duroux, Pankaj Kumar, V. Manikandan and Vikash Nowlakha manage to effortlessly showcase the world of Brahmastra through their lens. However, there was definitely scope for more experimentation and innovation for production designer Amrita Mahal Nakai. Music by Pritam stands out, while choreographers Ganesh Acharya, Brinda and Adil Shaikh do a decent job.
As for the performances, both Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt live up to the characters of Shiva and Isha. Amitabh Bachchan plays Guru and there is probably nothing that he can’t play on screen. Nagarjuna Akkineni personifies the Nandi Astra with his character Anish Shetty, while Mouni Roy is the surprise element of the film. Brahmastra: Part One – Shiva in its own way pays a tribute to her popular TV character. Cameos by Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone and Dimple Kapadia elevate the experience, though I wish a little more background was known about SRK and Kapadia’s characters.
Other supporting cast, including Saurav Gurjar, Gurfateh Pirzada, Lehar Khan, Aditi Joshi, Markand Soni, Stanzin Delek and Rouhallah Gazi play their parts to the T.
Overall, Brahmastra: Part One – Shiva is an immersive experience that promises entertainment. Watch it for the experience and the love of cinema.