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Bollywood has always been looked upon as providing high-quality entertainment to the public. But certain events in the recent past have made the audience boycott a specific genre of Bollywood films and actors. So, is there a proverbial twist in the tale now, with the imminent release of the most anticipated Indian Sci-Fi movie in recent times, Brahmastra?
Brahmastra, the name sounds apt to rescue Bollywood from the hole it has created for itself. After all, Brahmastra has always proved to be the ultimate weapon in warfare. Sanatana Dharma scriptures and texts have ample reference to Brahmastra used during the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
Brahmastra is a combination of two words, ‘Brahma’ and ‘Astra.’ So, it signifies an Astra (a weapon) created by Brahma. Brahmastra is regarded as one of the three foremost weapons designed by Brahma, after the Brahmandastra and the Brahmashirsastra.
Our spiritual texts describe Brahmastra as a highly devastating and dangerous weapon capable of annihilating anything that comes in its way. Brahma devised this weapon to control everything in the cosmos that he created. It is reputed to have immense power and is considered to be the equivalent of the hydrogen bomb of modern times. However, Brahmastra can devastate the entire creation far beyond anyone’s imagination.
Acquiring the Brahmastra is amongst the most challenging endeavors for any warrior. Brahma does not bestow his blessings on those he finds incapable of using and controlling the weapon. So, very few people had the power to acquire and wield it properly.
The Ramayana references the Brahmastra used by Brahmarishi Vishwamitra against Brahmarishi Vasishta. Similarly, Bhagwan Shri Ram, Lakshmana, Indrajit, and Vibhishana possessed the power to wield this weapon. Mahabharata documents Parasurama, Dronacharya, Bhagwan Shri Krishna, Arjuna, and Ashwatthama as warriors who possessed this ultimate weapon. Karna knew how to use the Brahmastra, but Parasurama had cursed him that he would forget the invocation mantra at the most opportune moment. Ashwatthama could operate the weapon but did not know how to control it.
Brahmastra has always been used as a weapon to change the outcome of wars in ancient times. This celestial weapon not only destroys the person against whom it has been used but also causes immense environmental damage and makes the land barren. So, it is the equivalent of a nuclear weapon today. But, maybe, it had more power than what modern-day science could conjure.
Our sacred texts describe various powerful weapons, like Narayanastra, Pasupatastra, Vajra, Rudrastra, Nagastra, and many more that can equal or even surpass the Brahmastra. But, no Astra has captivated human attention as much as Brahmastra. Even today, people use the word Brahmastra to describe their ultimate effort or endeavor to achieve their objectives.
So, we have people asking, ‘What is your Brahmastra to pass this exam or ace this interview? Or Who is your Brahmastra to win you a crucial match in any sport?’ Therefore, is the name Brahmastra apt for this film, especially considering the troubled times that Bollywood is encountering now? Maybe, ‘Brahmastra – Part I Shiva’ (the movie’s name) could prove to be the Brahmastra to turn Bollywood’s fortunes.
Bollywood movies and their superstars have recently faced massive backlash from the film-going audience. For example, 2022 can be termed the Year of Bollywood Flops. Other than The Kashmir Files and Bhool Bhulaiya 2, no other proper Hindi film has been certified as a blockbuster movie. On the other hand, RRR and KGF Part 2 were blockbusters. But they cannot be classified as actual Bollywood movies because they are dubbed versions of South Indian products.
Bollywood is presently under a dark cloud for various reasons.
So, the question is, “Will Brahmastra (the movie) prove to be the Brahmastra (the weapon) that could signal Bollywood’s revival?” The initial indications are that Brahmastra could be the catalyst that could propel Bollywood, provided used appropriately. That is also true of the actual Brahmastra because incorrect usage can spell doom for everyone.
For example, Ashwatthama was clouded with rage when using the Brahmastra. He did not know how to control it. Therefore, it destroyed the last surviving heir of the Pandavas, Abhimanyu's to-be-born son, in Uttara's womb. So Bhagwan Shri Krishna had to use his divine powers to revive the fetus.
Brahmastra (the movie) has a star-filled cast led by the mercurial Ranbir Kapoor, supported by the immensely talented Alia Bhat. Besides, the star cast includes the Bhishma Pitamaha of Bollywood, Amitabh Bachchan. The supporting cast includes Nagarjuna Akkineni and Dimple Kapadia. In addition, the Badshah of Bollywood, Shahrukh Khan, plays a prominent cameo. Karan Johar is a co-producer of this film. So, there is no dearth of stars.
It has a power-packed storyline with high-quality graphics. This Sci-Fi movie produced on a massive budget has all the ingredients required for a potboiler entertainer. However, will it appeal to the angry audience bent on teaching a lesson to the Bollywood Super Brat brigade spearheaded by Karan Johar, of which Alia Bhat and Ranbir Kapoor are prominent ingredients?
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It is difficult to predict the movie's fate. First, Lal Singh Chaddha, the latest superstar release, had a horrible run at the box office, with theaters empty even during the initial days. Secondly, the immature comments made by Kareena Kapoor-Khan and Alia Bhat in various interviews add fuel to the fire. Finally, Karan Johar's unapologetic behavior is another reason people might continue with the Boycott Bollywood trend.
So, a lot depends on how Bollywood fires the Brahmastra. It can change Bollywood’s fortunes if the producers, distributors, and marketers know how to control it. Finally, it comes to controlling the Brahmastra. The movie will succeed if you have an archer like Arjuna handling the Brahmastra. On the other hand, an impulsive character like Ashwatthama can spell misfortune and doom for Bollywood.
Time alone will tell whether Brahmastra (the movie) will prove to be the Brahmastra (the Astra) for reviving Bollywood.
✍️ By- Team Astroyogi