Brahmastra – Part One: Shiva Review 2.5/5 & Rating
BRAHMASTRA PART ONE: SHIVA is the story of a man who discovers his own superpowers. Shiva (Ranbir Kapoor) is a DJ from Mumbai and lives a carefree life. He is an orphan; He lives with orphans and loves them. He meets Isha (Ali Bhatt) and immediately falls in love with her. She, too, is attracted to him, especially while learning about his way of life. Everything is going well when suddenly Shiva gets lightning bolts. He sees the evil Junoon (Mouni Roy) killed a scientist, Mohan Bhargav (Shah Rukh Khan) and snatch a rare artifact from him. Before he dies, Mohan blurts out under pressure that the other part of the artifact is at the hands of an artist named Anish Shetty (Nagarjuna Akkineni) who stays in Varanasi. Shiva sees all this and realizes that Junoon will target Anish next. Shiva decides to go to Varanasi to warn Anish of the impending danger. Isha also joins him. In Varanasi, Shiva and Isha rescue Anish just in time. Thanks to Anish, they find out that the artifact stolen by Mohan is part of ‘Brahmastra’. There are two more parts to it and Anish has one part. He hands it over to Shiva and Isha and asks them to go to Guru’s ashram (Amitab Bachchan) while trying to stop Junoon. Anish sacrifices his life and when confronted with Junoon’s bat, Shiva unknowingly destroys it with his firepower. What happens next forms the rest of the film.
Ayan Mukerji’s story is fresh, promising and has the trappings of a great action entertainer. Ayan Mukerji’s screenplay is effective in several parts, especially in the first half. However, his writing later falters. He also left many questions unanswered in the hopes that they will be answered in the sequel. Instead of getting the audience excited about the second part, it disappoints the viewers a bit. Hussain Dalal’s dialogues are the bottom line. A movie like this should have some strong one-liners. Especially the dialogues in Shah Rukh Khan’s scene are poor.
Ayan Mukerji’s direction is fine. To give credit where it’s due, he handled the size and grandeur very well. The romantic parts are nice and some scenes in the first half and beginning of the second half stand out. His previous two films had hardly any action and here he excels in the fight sequences. Unfortunately, the script does not complement the procedure. Firstly, the whole concept of Brahmastra and its related attributes is not explained in a simple way. Many aspects could be exaggerated. Second, the climax fight is stretched and could have been trimmed for better impact. Third, the writing leaves some loose ends. For example, the children living with Shiva are completely forgotten after a certain point. One would have hoped they would have had something to do, especially with Isha going back to her seat in the second half. While the chemistry between Isha and Shiva is sweet, Isha’s background is never touched upon. Her grandfather is only shown for a second (again, for comic relief), but one would wish that a little more time was spent establishing who her family members were. Even Guru’s protégés aren’t given enough screen time. Last but not least and most importantly, the film ends with the promise of a sequel and some characters are also introduced. However, their faces are never shown. If viewers had known which actor is playing these characters, the film would have been instantly better.
BRAHMASTRA PART 1: SHIVA begins with a subtle note. The Mohan Bhargav scene, although it doesn’t have good dialogue, is still worth seeing due to the presence of Shah Rukh Khan and also because of its grandeur. Shiva’s performance is ok and the way he brings Isha to his house and the birthday party sequence is too good. The same goes for the scene where Shiva tells Isha about his Varanasi plans. The Varanasi sequence is terrific. The chase in the hills is nerve-wracking, while the pause point is commendable. From here the film slips off. A few scenes stand out as Shiva learning to use his power and Shiva finding out about his parents. The rest of the sequences aren’t particularly impressive.
Brahmastra Official Pendant | Hindi | Amitabh Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor, and Alia Bhatt
However, the performances are spot on. Ranbir Kapoor delivers a fabulous performance and looks convincing as the man whose life takes a sudden turn when he discovers he has powers. He shines in action and emotional scenes. Alia Bhatt looks stunning and gives a top notch performance. Luckily, her role is outstanding and her chemistry with Ranbir is electric. Amitabh Bachchan is very beautiful in a supporting role. Shah Rukh Khan is doing well and adding to the star value. However, the cameo of Nagarjuna Akkineni is better. Mouni Roy is decent. Dimple Kapadia is terribly wasted. Saurav Gurjar, Gurfateh Pirzada and others are fine.
The music of Pritam Chakraborty is of chartbuster variety. ‘Kesariyah’ is excellent and very well illustrated. ‘Deva Deva’ is soulful and one of the few good things about the second half. ‘Dance Ka Bhoot’ is entertaining. ‘Razija’ and ‘Avaaz De’ are fair. The background music by Pritam Chakraborty is cinematic and adds to the impact.
The cinematography from V Manikandan, Pankaj Kumar, Sudeep Chatterjee, Vikash Nowlakha and Patrick Duroux is breathtaking. Anaita Shroff Adajania and Samidha Wangnoo’s costumes are realistic yet glamorous. Alias costumes especially stand out. The DNEG and Redefine VFX is one of the USPs of the film and it is world class and up to global standards. The production design of Amrita Mahal Nakai is very rich. Dan Bradley, Diyan Hristov and Parvez Shaikh’s action is exciting, not gory. Bishwadeep Chatterjee’s sound design is great. Prakash Kurup’s editing is decent, but the film could have been shorter.
Overall, BRAHMASTRA PART 1: SHIVA boasts powerful graphics, performance, a terrific first half and superior VFX. However, the second half is weak, mostly due to spelling mistakes. It will open huge at the box office due to the immense curiosity surrounding the film. After the rich weekend, the film will have a hard time asserting itself.