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Brahmastra - Destroyer of the cinematic universe

I finally bit the astra yesterday, and for the sake of providing a valuable service to humanity spent 2hr 47m watching Brahmastra : Part One - Shiva on Disney+ Hotstar / Hulu. My eyes and ears have still not forgiven me. The sensory assault of watching Ranbir Kapoor repeatedly screaming in full body contortion mode made me visualize T***p doing the same at Mar-a-Lago after the midterm elections debacle sitting constipated on his golden commode.

I appreciate a director making an Indian mythology version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and welcome it for a new Tiktok generation that didn’t grow up on Amar Chitra Katha and grandparents narrating them like we did. But the story, screenplay, VFX, acting and overall execution need to be far better if we don’t want them making unfavorable comparisons. Ayaan Mukherjee has made only 2 movies before and both were good - Wake Up Sid (2009) and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013), both with Ranbir. But the sensibility and touch required for those movies is very different from a sprawling canvas like this. He purportedly spent 7 years to bring this to the screen. Most companies change 3 CIOs in that time and implement 6 different cloud migration strategies with the same results - lots of money spent with nothing to show for it.

Usually competent actors like Ranbir and Alia are hamming it. Amitabh looks bored and haggard for the first time. At least in this one Alia has a slightly meatier role than in the other bloated (3 hr 15 mins !!) overhyped movie this year, RRR, where her role could have been performed by an android on sleeping pills. Mouni Roy as the main villain channels everything she learned from the Ekta Kapoor TV school of Naagin overacting with eyes wider than the UFO (sorry the new term is UAP) in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Nagarjuna should have stayed in Hyderabad and sat this one out.

Part 2 is slated to release in 2025 and Part 3 in 2027. I am hoping that by then either an asteroid has ended life on Earth or Twitter has done the same. Either would be less painful than a Brahmastra cutting one’s head off.

November 12, 2022

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