Indian mythology is rich with tales of heroic deeds by humans, superhumans, and gods. These stories often draw upon the gods in the Hindu pantheon to deliver us from evil. Brahmāstra, the much-awaited Indian superhero film, is a modern-day take on such tales.
I was fortunate to watch the press release for the film on Zoom, with the director, Ayan Mukerji, and stars Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt interacting with a limited, COVID-screened audience. It was surreal to see them share their experience about the movie, and the filming of this long-awaited tale, delayed by the pandemic. The energy the romantic duo shared on stage was infectious, frequently spilling into the applauding crowd. And of course, no epic film can be complete without involving the legendary Amitabh Bachchan. I look forward to seeing him on-screen with Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Mouni Roy, and Nagarjuna Akkineni.
The film will be distributed by Walt Disney Studios and slated for release in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada on September 9, 2022. A magnum opus spanning a decade, Brahmāstra is a big-budget trilogy. It is written, directed, and co-produced (along with Karan Johar and Ranbir Kapoor) by the young and incredibly courageous Ayan Mukerji. As a part of this promotion, I had an opportunity to talk with Ayan from the comfort of my home in the US. It was a delightful experience. It seems incredible that he has dedicated an entire decade of his life to this venture!
In an interview with India Currents, Ayan said that in wanting to create a modern-day epic incorporating Indian myths and legends, he was influenced by The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Shiva Tripathy (played by Ranbir Kapoor) is born as an ordinary human being, but with innate subconscious powers unknown to him. He discovers his strengths when he travels thousands of years back in time. I love movies about time travel. It will be interesting to see how Ayan depicts India in pre-Mahabharata times.
The film was shot in part in Bulgaria, and the cinematographic credits go to Pankaj Kumar, known for Haider (which I have enjoyed) and Tumbbad (which I’m yet to see). The music of the film will be composed by Pritam, while the lyrics will be penned by Amitabh Bhattacharya – both are incredible!
I learned that the logo of the film Brahmāstra was launched on Maha Shivratri at the Kumbh Mela on March 4, 2019 (which, in an unrelated incident, is also where the first gigantic wave of covid spread in India).
Monita Soni grew up in Mumbai, India, and works as a pathologist in Alabama. She is well known for her creative nonfiction and poetry pieces inspired by family, faith, food, home, and art. She has written two books: My Light Reflections and Flow through my Heart. She is a regular contributor to NPR’s Sundial Writers Corner.