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Brahmastra – Part One: Shiva Review {2.5/5} & Review Rating

BRAHMASTRA PART ONE: SHIVA is the story of a man discovering his own superpowers. Shiva (Ranbir Kapoor) is a DJ, based in Mumbai, and lives a carefree life. He’s an orphan; he lives with orphan kids and dotes on them. He comes across Isha (Alia Bhatt) and falls for her instantly. She, too, gets attracted to him, especially while learning about his way of life. All is going well when suddenly Shiva starts getting flashes. He sees the evil Junoon (Mouni Roy) killing a scientist, Mohan Bhargav (Shah Rukh Khan) and snatching a rare artefact from him. Before dying, Mohan blurts out under pressure that the other part of the artefact is with an artist named Anish Shetty (Nagarjuna Akkineni), who stays in Varanasi. Shiva sees all of this and realizes that Junoon is all set to target Anish next. Shiva decides to head to Varanasi to warn Anish of the impending danger. Isha, too, joins him. In Varanasi, Shiva and Isha rescue Anish at the nick of time. Thanks to Anish, they find out that the artefact stolen from Mohan is a part of ‘Brahmastra’. There are two more parts of it and Anish has one part. He hands it over to Shiva and Isha and asks them to go to the ashram of Guru (Amitabh Bachchan) while he tries to stop Junoon. Anish sacrifices his life and when Shiva is confronted by Junoon’s goon, he, unknowingly, destroys him using his fire power. What happens next forms the rest of the film.

Brahmastra – Part One: Shiva

Ayan Mukerji’s story is fresh, promising, and has the trappings of a big-scale action entertainer. Ayan Mukerji’s screenplay is effective in several parts, especially in the first half. However, his writing goes for a toss later on. He also kept a lot of questions unanswered, with the hope that they’ll be answered in the sequel. Instead of leaving audiences excited for the second part, it ends up disappointing viewers a bit. Hussain Dalal’s dialogues are below the mark. A film like this ought to have some powerful one-liners. The dialogues in the Shah Rukh Khan scene especially are poor.

Ayan Mukerji’s direction is fine. To give credit where it’s due, he has handled the scale and grandeur very nicely. The romantic portions are lovely and several scenes in the first half and the beginning of the second half stand out. His previous two films hardly had any action and here, he excels in the fight sequences. Sadly, the script doesn’t compliment the proceedings. Firstly, the whole concept of Brahmastra and associated characteristics is not explained in a simple manner. Many aspects might go over the top. Secondly, the climax fight is stretched and could have been trimmed for a better impact. Thirdly, the writing leaves several loose ends. For instance, the kids living with Shiva are forgotten completely after a point. One would have hoped that they would have had something to do, especially when Isha goes back to their place in the second half. While Isha and Shiva’s chemistry is cute, Isha’s background is never touched upon. Her grandfather is shown just for a second (that too for comic relief) but one would wish that a little more time was spent on establishing who her family members were. Even the protégés of Guru aren’t given give sufficient screen time. Lastly and most importantly, the film ends with a promise of a sequel and a few characters are also introduced. However, their faces are never shown. Had the viewers known which actor is playing those characters, the film would have instantly gotten better.

BRAHMASTRA PART ONE: SHIVA starts on a fine note. The Mohan Bhargav scene, though doesn’t have good dialogues, is still watchable due to Shah Rukh Khan’s presence and also for its grandeur. Shiva’s entry is fine and the way he takes Isha to his house and the birthday party sequence are too good. The same goes for the scene when Shiva tells Isha about his Varanasi plans. The Varanasi sequence is terrific. The chase sequence in the hills is nail-biting while the intermission point is clapworthy. From here, the film slips. A few scenes stand out like Shiva learning to use his power and Shiva finding out about his parents. The rest of the sequences don’t impress much.

Brahmastra Official Trailer | Hindi | Amitabh Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt

The performances, however, are spot-on. Ranbir Kapoor delivers a marvellous performance and looks convincing as the man whose life suddenly changes when he discovers he has powers. In action and emotional scenes, he shines. Alia Bhatt looks stunning and gives a grade A performance. Thankfully, her role is prominent and her chemistry with Ranbir is electrifying. Amitabh Bachchan is lovely in a supporting role. Shah Rukh Khan does fine and adds to the star value. Nagarjuna Akkineni’s cameo, however, is better. Mouni Roy is decent. Dimple Kapadia is horribly wasted. Saurav Gurjar, Gurfateh Pirzada and others are okay.

Pritam Chakraborty’s music is of chartbuster variety. ‘Kesariya’ is outstanding and is very well picturized. ‘Deva Deva’ is soulful and one of the few good things about the second half. ‘Dance Ka Bhoot’ is entertaining. ‘Rasiya’ and ‘Avaaz De’ are fair. Pritam Chakraborty’s background score is cinematic and adds to the effect.

V Manikandan, Pankaj Kumar, Sudeep Chatterjee, Vikash Nowlakha and Patrick Duroux’s cinematography is breathtaking. Anaita Shroff Adajania and Samidha Wangnoo’s costumes are realistic, yet glamorous. Alia’s costumes, especially, stand out. DNEG and Redefine’s VFX is one of the USPs of the film, and it’s world-class, matching global standards. Amrita Mahal Nakai’s production design is very rich. Dan Bradley, Diyan Hristov and Parvez Shaikh’s action is exciting and not gory. Bishwadeep Chatterjee’s sound design is great. Prakash Kurup’s editing is neat but the film could have been shorter.

On the whole, BRAHMASTRA PART ONE: SHIVA boasts of powerful visuals, performances, a terrific first half, and superior VFX. However, the second half is weak, mainly due to flawed writing. At the box office, it will open huge due to the immense curiosity surrounding the movie. Post the bountiful weekend, the film will have a difficult time sustaining.

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