Apart from the dialogues, Brahmastra concepts like the Kesariya song or the deaths of Shah Rukh and Nagarjuna, and much more could've been avoided.
Whether you liked Brahmastra or found it to be a headache, no matter what your opinion is, there's no denying that it's one thing that you can't help but talk about. After a long time, a Bollywood film has become like a festival that has generated so much talk from various theories being discussed to in-depth conversations about what works and what doesn't and also what's going to happen next. Everyone's dying to watch the next part, Dev irrespective of the review of the first. While this Astraverse has us all excited for this homegrown and original verse, there are some Brahmastra concepts that we think could've been avoided in the film to make it a better experience for the audience.
Check them out!
Dialogues that had us rolling our eyes!
Much has been talked about this already and unanimously everyone agrees that the dialogues of the film, though trying to be of this generation, made us roll our eyes. They also come across as rather condescending as if the writer was trying to say that as an audience we don't have the intelligence to understand the astraverse that's created.
The over-smartness and the dumbed-down version
The film in many scenes tries to be over-smart and yet at the same time manages to be a dumbed-down version so that we can understand it better as if mocking our intelligence. Like when Shiva tries to explain how Brahmastra looks (pizza) or Isha repeatedly teases Shiva by calling the villains "his villains". This trick of explaining Brahmastra as pizza seems like the movie tried to be quirky and smart but wasn't and trying to be funny with Isha teasing Shiva by using the dumbed-down version simply makes her look dumb and doesn't bode well for the film. Though Shiva's over-smart observational joke (marr hi nahi raha hai) in the car chase sequence where he speaks what everyone in the audience is also thinking works but not all throughout the film.
The deaths of Shah Rukh and Nagarjuna
While fans believe that Shah Rukh and Nagarjuna aren't really dead in the film, watching them apparently die in this one doesn't bring out any kind of emotion in the audience except wanting to see more of them. And maybe that's because they're both superstars! But imagine if the scientist and the artist would have come back to fight at the end. What a visual spectacle it would have been to combine all the various astras!
The Kesariya song
The song is soulful to listen to and looks stunning but seems out of the place in the larger context of the film. It looks like a music video that was shot separately and was just added later on in the film to show the journey of their love story. But they could have simply just played it as the background score while Shiva and Isha were busy trying to find the artist while falling in love with each other. That would've also made their love story more believable!
The structure of the story and the love story
Isha goes from telling Shiva that she's Parvati to being entirely thrown by Shiva's confession of love. Wouldn't this dialogue work more if she said it when Shiva is reluctant for her to go away to bring his stuff or if they both confess their love later on in the film? Another thing that could have been avoided is all the information being jam-packed in a fast-paced manner towards the end of the film which is too much to take all at once. Like Guru Ji narrating the entire story of Shiva's parents and how he was always destined for this could've been added with some clues and hints from the start.
The focus on the love story rather than the hero's story
To be fair, I didn't feel the lack of chemistry in the love story but too much focus on it definitely bothered me, considering there were larger ideas and themes at play that would have made the love story stronger. For instance, Shiva's fear of always ending up hurting someone he loves could have been made for a better arc that irrespective of being highly attracted to Isha he can't take a step forward until he channelizes this fear. Probably bringing the focus to the hero's journey involving a love story could have brought much-needed dramatic tension to drive the emotion for a film like this.
Isha's lack of depth and her erratic sometimes unbelievable behavior
Isha's jump from the building to go with Shiva during their meet-cute sequence works because this is a fictional Bollywood film so it's nice to watch a grand meet cute. Even her going back to Mumbai to bring Shiva's stuff also works because she was the only one that the Guru knew about who was close to Shiva. But Isha picking up the phone just after a big fall from the building doesn't work because no amount of fiction can rationalize this. If only someone could have saved her during that fall like Dimple Kapadia who was supposed to protect her. The focus on Isha's dialogues and various many theories on Isha in pop culture today is because she has no depth and feels too random in many places. But I could see a minute look of Harry Potter's Hermoine Granger in her given that she's the outsider in this world, and understands things much faster than Shiva. Hence I genuinely have hope for her!
The start of the end battle sequence with too many cuts
When Junoon (Mouni, who is the only one who got the memo!) finally takes hold of the Ashram and Guru, it's shown in very many blackouts which makes it unclear and hazy to understand what's happening. And suddenly we see Shiva rise to the occasion. The end battle starts in such a haywire manner which could have been done because of the film's runtime, but that it makes for a bad start. Why? Well, you haven't even got the precedence clearly and the hero is already preparing for war. And there is too much overload of information in a very short span that you're already busy processing. This experimental filmmaking doesn't work and probably a dumbed-down version here would have been great.
Zor, Raftaar, Guru, Tenzing, and the team are reduced to just their names which are too forgettable
This film is a typical hero's journey from invisibility to rising up to save the world. And usually, there are many hurdles and some helpers that get involved with the hero either to create problems or help. But it feels like the movie took Joseph Campbell's screenwriting lesson too lightly. As the hurdles Zor, Raftaar, or Junoon try to set are interestingly the extension of emotion but they're just reduced to their names while Tenzing and the rest are reduced to being forgettable because we know nothing about them so they act like extras to Shiva. And the Guru (Guru Arvind), the Scientist (Mohan Bhargav from Swades), and the Artist (Ajay Vashisht) are frankly only impactful because of the stars who play them otherwise reducing them to their professions didn't really work for us. Forget about giving any kind of depth to any of them, there's not even a proper introduction.
This all makes you wonder if the film could've been better as a series for the sake of the story?! But then it would have compromised on giving a theatrical experience. Maybe there is no right or wrong answer to this but only learning to do better in the future. Is there anything else that you found unnecessary in this film? Tell us in the comments below!
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