This writeup may include spoilers, just in case you mind that.
Brahmāstra started with a 15 minutes scene of Shah Rukh Khan. I was sold for the movie in those very instances. Watching SRK on the big screen, those expressive eyes, that beautiful voice, and laugh. The magic of SRK can momentarily make you forget your biggest of woes, not that I was in one. But SRK had a cameo presence and it lasted for only few minutes. It then went straightaway on to the shoulders of Ranbir Kapoor. With his great dance performances (that were in reality simply out of context), not much of a character building, the same old Hindi film plot of either the hero or the heroine being extremely loving towards poor little children (started in Mr. India with Anil Kapoor, Asin in Ghajni, and went on and on with hairline differences), Alia and Ranbir falling in love in between two scenes itself, and some obnoxious dialogues, the movie became weird and worth laughing only. The first half was just this, and some VFX sprinkled here and there.
By intermission, it became a weird love story saga with Alia being a damsel in distress many a times. It was personally unfortunate for me to see Alia being so underutilized. After the second half, with some great scenes of Nagarjuna with his immaculate pronunciation of Sanskrit, the movie started to get exciting. Amitabh Bachhan is soon introduced, and he as always, gives a spectacular performance in terms of dialogue delivery and movements. His grandeur is definitely not dimming anytime soon. Mouni Roy has also played a great role as the female lead as a vamp. Towards the end of the movie, it becomes a treat to watch. The story becomes interesting and the visuals do most of the heavylifting.
But since I am sharing my experience, there are a few things I experienced while watching Bhramastra. The first is that the magic which SRK, for that matter even Salman Khan, and Amir Khan had even during their youth on the audience was enchanting. Actors like Ranbir Kapoor, or others may dance far better, have the physique to die for, and may even act well, but the charisma the Khans had and still have is unbeatable. Today SRK even in the 15 minutes cameo left a far more lasting impression on me, than the hour-long scenes of Ranbir. The second experience was that even though visuals can be made appealing yet the depth and arc of a character reside in its words. Unfortunately, the writing here is so shabby, with mix and match of Hindi, English, and local words that they just don’t pierce through. The third experience was that I found the movie heavily inspired by LOTR and Harry Potter series. There is nothing wrong with taking inspiration, but my calculative and comparative mind couldn’t help but draw similarities for most parts of the movie.
Nevertheless, it was a visual treat to watch a movie of this scale in a theatre. I wish Alia was given a more meaty role, and the overdose of lovey-dovey scenes of the hero-heroine could be shortened to the least possible, Ranbir could work on his pronunciation more, etc. In a nutshell, the first half was too filmy for me, and the second half was genuinely good.