I am reviewing a Bollywood movie after ages because the content stopped interesting me. I am a fantasy fiction writer and a designer, so it got me interested to watch this movie. Ayan Mukherjee is a talented, and a terrific young director but fantasy genre is not his forte.
The movie starts with portrayal of love story of Shiva and Isha. They didn’t explore the reason for depth of their ‘enlightening’ love depicted in the movie. The ‘light’ factor looks like a mockery made of enlightenment per se. The plot is wayward and it is unclear how the characters of scientist(Shah Rukh Khan) and Anish(Nagarjuna) connect with the rest of the plot.
It’s unclear why characters Shiva and Isha are so deeply in love? Is it just their names doing the magic by itself? Come on, you could have done better. How do people fall in love so deeply that it becomes a potent power within and leads to enlightenment? This aspect has been missing which does not convince the audience of the magical realism they have tried so hard to depict. It’s interesting to know the why would two people be so deeply in love that their love becomes epic. Why are they in love?
They should have elaborated these characters. The film is a fantasy, magical realism theme with a dash of mythology thrown in and does not appeal to any audience because it lacks nuances. Maybe Ayan Mukherjee must take an internship with Disney or Marvel, Star Studios will do it for him, to get better with this genre.
The saving grace of the movie has been performances of ace actors Amitabh Bachachan, Ranbir, and Alia Bhatt. Kjo was right saying Alia Bhatt is one of the best actresses in Bollywood, it’s true. She is natural and versatile and blends into any characters she portrays. Apart from VFX and stupendous performances of the actors, the plot is disconnected.
It also looks like Star Studios is trying to get TV actresses on the silver screen. Mouni Roy was a bad choice for the character of Junoon. It looked like an extention of Star Plus’s Naagin and the ilk. The name ‘Junoon’ is too tacky and ridiculous for a vixen played by Mouni Roy.
Talking of costumes and visuals. The visuals have a lot of fire and electrifying effect which is overdone. The role of Anish was ridiculous and unnecessary. They should have scrapped it altogether. The Anish’s character could have been written in depths of how the divine art of the artist connects with the cosmic power. That would have left the audience intrigued because it is a novel, unheard aspect and something new to give to the audience to think and muse about. Still, this role was not needed, like an add-on in the movie that tags along without a rhyme or reason.
The scientist character which is a cameo should have been elaborated. What does the scientist discover about the astra? How does it bring Junoon to his location? Why is he killed? Should he have been killed? For knowing what secret knowledge Junoon has been looking for. The plot could have more surprise elements, discoveries that are awe-inspiring, but it lacks it intoto which is why it couldn’t hold the attention of audience for long.
Costume and make-up of the character Junoon looks like a typical vixen of Star Plus Tv serials. Maybe they have forgotten they are doing it for the silver screen. A watchable movie and a decent attempt to make a fantasy movie that can get the audience glued to their seats till the end without getting bored.
But I still do not understand when will Bollywood learn to stop inserting mindless songs in the middle of the plot. The audience loves movies without singing and dancing numbers inserted in between like an error code in a software package. Brahmastra is a good movie to watch but does not justify the plot in fantasy genre. Whenever, there is a song, I am like, someone pls give me a remote control to forward these songs.
When I worked for India’s Rawstar, I had given sound advice not to use too many people because ‘too many cook spoil the broth.’ They didn’t take that advice seriously and repeated the same mistake again of getting too many elements, astras, characters and making a Khichadi where the plot seems a cluster of characters to create a map of the story.
If the story is about Bramhastra, it is unclear what it’s power does, good or bad? How does it have it’s roots in Hindu Mythology. If you read up, the purpose of astras are for spiritual protection and destroy evil energies, influences. Good vs Evil is missing in the plot. Is the guru of Junoon good or evil? For what purpose is the guru of Junoon going to use the Brahmastra, and what is he going to do with it that he wants it so badly? Is he going to create another world? None of this is clear when it should have been a part of the plot.