tv & movies

Get Ready For Ranbir’s SUPERPOWERS in Brahmastra!

Full credit to Ayan Mukerji for venturing into the ‘Astraverse’, says Deepa Gahlot.

Director Ayan Mukerji’s Brahmastra has been in the making for such a long time that jokes and memes about the delay have been making the rounds online.

Part One of the Trilogy is ready for the release, and as is the norm with big-budget films these days, the trailer was launched after little teasers and song clips built up an appetite.

It did help create more interest in the film that the lead pair, Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, got married while the film was under production.

The film could fall under the genre of fantasy-mythological that uses technological wizardry to tell a story that has its roots in Indian epics.

Hollywood needed to create a comic book ‘Universe’ of superheroes because America lacks its own mythology, apart from werewolves and vampires, that owe their origins to European folk tales.

But India has a long tradition of folklore, mythology, and pantheons of gods, goddesses and demons to populate the stories. So why borrow from Hollywood and call it ‘Astraverse’?

Also, announcing a trilogy may be optimistic, considering the Indian audiences’s fickle tastes, that have not exactly welcomed superhero films in the past, with the exception of Krrish.

They have not been too enamoured of VFX-heavy films either, till the Baahubali films broke that jinx.

The trailer shows Shiva (Ranbir Kapoor), a DJ, entering a romance with Isha (Alia Bhatt).

Kaun ho tum?,’ she asks.

Kya ho tum?’ he says, looking lovelorn.

They discover that fire cannot scorch him — he has a strange superpower that prevents him from burning.

The voice of Amitabh Bachchan talks of the divine ‘astras‘ (weapons) of which the Brahmastra is the most deadly.

An urban generation of youngsters would perhaps not know of the origins of this weapon of fire, that has a terrible power of destruction, compared to today’s nuclear arsenal.

If the Brahmastra is unleashed, not even a blade of grass survives, and the land is rendered barren for several decades.

Created by Lord Brahma, it has, over time, been sought by every mythological villain, since its possession automatically bestows unimaginable power.

It is achieved by great penance, however, and only the most valiant acquire it.

Lord Ram used it against Ravan, and it was almost invoked at the end of the Mahabharat by Arjun and Ashwatthama, but they were prevented from using it by Krishna, to save the world from annihilation.

A group of powerful men — led by Amitabh Bachchan and Nagarjuna — whose eyes flash with CGI colours are the good guys of the secret society Brahmansh, who are meant to protect the divine weapons that have the power to harness the five elements.

The bad guys are a black-clad bunch (is it just accidental that their costumes look like the ones worn by terrorists in films?), led by Mouni Roy (whose eyes also get the full CGI treatment), who want the Brahmastra.

Shiva is not aware of his role in this save-the-world adventure till he is informed by Professor Charurvedi (Bachchan) of his mission on earth — he is the Agniastra, the ‘Brahmastra ki kismet ka sikandar‘.

There are a lot of CGI-generated fire storms and floods, and flying creatures.

Shiva’s trident comes into the picture, and we get a glimpse of a bare-chested, muscled character, who could be Shah Rukh Khan, reported to be doing a cameo.

The film is being presented by S S Rajmouli in four southern languages, probably to match the onslaught of dubbed southern films at the box office all over India, shaking up a smug Bollywood.

The trailer offers a look at the visual magic that the film promises, but hopefully that is not all there is — The Marvel Cinematic Universe gives its superheroes relatable backstories and Indian audiences like a large serving of emotions and family values with their grand spectacles.

If Ayan Mukerji is able to create his own uniquely indigenous brand, blending sophisticated technology with Indian flavoured storytelling, he may just have a winner.

In any case, full credit to him for taking that step into the ‘Astraverse’.

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