Astraverse: A cinematic dawn to experience

Astraverse soars high with its inception in “Brahmastra Part One: Shiva,” writes Jainam Turakhia in his spoiler-filled review of the film.

2 mins read

Ayan Mukerji is among the big names in mainstream Bollywood, despite having only two films to his name prior to Brahmastra. Both have received critical acclaim and are popular with audiences. His directorial debut, “Wake up Sid,” cemented his place in Bollywood by demonstrating his ability to create characters with dreams and ambitions, as well as the perfect emotional setting.

His second film, “Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani,” was even more successful than his first. Two of the three Bollywood films I watch on a yearly basis are Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani and Wake Up Sid. They are like my serotonin. Brahmastra is nothing like those two films when it comes to the mark he set.

With Disney’s level of VFX, the film is beautifully crafted with amazing cinematography, sound effects, music and with the overall happening vibe of it. The Lord of the Rings-style opening act sets the tone for the film and shows that Ayan is serious about his work.

The story of The Brahmastra arc is very well paced, but the emotional angle is very rushed, which makes some conversations feel very abrupt. But that’s only the first half, and it blends in nicely with the larger arc and symbolism. This is what I meant when I said the film is unlike any of Ayan’s predecessors. He’s great at forming emotional bonds between strangers, but he played this power card very little in the film.

I mean it when I say that the CGI/VFX work was some of the best in the bollywood film industry. Wasn’t expecting it to be so good but it absolutely left me speechless!

To counteract the serious tone of the Astraverse mythology, there is untimely humor (obviously!) that neither feels funny nor makes the characters look cool while trying to be funny. Shah Rukh Khan may be the king of Bollywood, but despite being an important part of the film, he is overshadowed by the dialogue and overacting.

The music was very soothing! I remember the songs being trolled but they somehow grew on me. “Deva Deva” and “Kesariya” were two of my favorites.

Ranbir Kapoor’s been an all time collaborator with Ayan and he fits the tone of Ayan’s world just fine. Alia on the other hand feels as if she’s on the wrong set. She always felt lost especially in the emotional scenes. And this is coming from someone who adores her acting. She’s a terrific actress but her as Isha just wasn’t it.

Nagarjuna’s arc as Anish was fantastic! I liked how his voice changed upon use of the Nandiastra. Amitabh Bachchan was fantastic as usual.

Mouni Roy felt like her Naagin counterpart had been elevated to the level of pure evil. She was entertaining throughout.

The Interstellar-like sound track was beautiful, and there were many times when I wished scenes could have lasted longer so the moment could have been better, but given the runtime, I believe this is the best they could do on a theatrical level.

Shiv and Parvati (Isha) symbolism was beautifully presented as them being the better half of each other. The Astraverse’s core concept is very strong, and I believe it can go a long way with what they’re attempting to do as a trilogy.

The action scenes were flawlessly choreographed. As a result, I felt more focused and invested.

The climax set the tone for what was to come. I hope they continue to rise from here. It’d be incredible to see what happens from this vantage point.

To conclude, this feels as if we finally have a way to launch a cinematic universe on a Marvel/DC scale though it’d be better if they don’t force it. Would love to watch an extended cut of the film when it comes out just so it can flesh out the love angle even more. There could be connected comic book storylines which could be another amazing addition if the creators ever plan to. At last, I’m grateful to watch this on the big screen and I’m eager to know what happens next. I hope that with this film, Bollywood regains its status quo. It would be amazing to see Bollywood rise along with its south Indian film industry counterpart.

I would rate this film an amazing 4/5 and would recommend everyone to watch it.

Jainam Turakhia

Jainam Turakhia has been a fan of DC for as long as he can remember, but what really tickles his inner creativity is Zack Snyder's vision for the DC Universe. From there Turakhia has traveled to a lot of destinations exploring works of other artists who make movies or write books/comics. Zack Snyder however, is always his hometown. He loves watching, and analyzing, anything and everything. Still a student from India studying Chartered Accountancy, Turakhia's passion for stories doesn't seem to end.

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