It’s just been a day since the Brahmāstra trailer has come to our screens and our expectations are already over the roof, dangling on a micro-nano thread of make or break. We want this to work. Do we have unyielding faith? Most of us do. We want the buildup accumulated over the past 4 years in anticipation of this sci-fi trilogy to find its release. It has all the makings of a fabulous movie that makes us want to throng to the cinemas, set the cash registers at the box office ringing. The stellar cast has Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Amitabh Bachchan, Mouni Roy and Nagarjuna Akkineni, the direction has been heralded by Ayan Mukherjee. This is a movie where they have chosen not to compromise. The budget, the VFX and the interminable delay, they have worked through it all.
The sci-fi genre is tricky business. There’s a fine line between creating something that’ll make people go, “That’s sick, such good production & storyline!” and “Did a 7 year old write and direct this?” While Hollywood boasts of an efficacious formula with an impressive lineup of films like Interstellar, Inception, Dune, The Matrix and the Marvel & DC franchises, Bollywood’s still testing the waters. Mind you, we’ve had good ones like Koi Mil Gaya, Mr. India, Krrish and Ra. One but our history is also tainted with abominable masterpieces like Joker and Love Story 2050 that made us want to gouge our eyes out.
Point (Question) in case: Will Brahmāstra Finally End Bollywood’s Sci-Fi Drought?
It might. Doing what PK, Krrish and Ra. one failed to do would be pretty neat if pulled off well. For starters, it may propel this genre to the forefront and erase the frivolous taboo of childishness associated with it, here in India. Even anime’s mainstream now, come on, anyone who frets about this better have thick skin. It’s not even cool to be a hater anymore. And seeing how Indian audiences have warmed up to Marvel and DC in the past few years, things are looking pretty bright for the makers at this point in time.
With elements of Indian mythology, energies and ancient wisdom, the premise for Brahmāstra seems promising. Ayan Mukerji also termed it a contemporary film with ancient elements and in Ayan, we trust. In the cast, we trust. But a concern that’s universal enough to bug us fans is the expectant over dramatisation of the love story. Here’s hoping that it’s more sci-fi centric rather than relying on the masala romance factor to cater to the masses. Trust us, all that’ll do is serve as a major put off. Our palates have evolved and acknowledging that via the medium of a well balanced film would be great. I’d rather see flying cars and resurrecting vials than the heroine serving as a mere prop to make the hero become the flag bearer of saviour complex.
You can also read my rant on sexist and men will be men kind of advertisements here.