On the occasion of Guru Purnima on Wednesday, director Ayan Mukerji has shared a new behind-the-scenes featurette introducing audiences to the lore of his upcoming film, Brahmastra. The fantasy epic takes inspiration from Indian mythology, and gives audiences a new homegrown superhero.
“While Brahmāstra is a work of fiction, my attempt has been to celebrate Indian spirituality, in my own way, through this movie,” Ayan wrote in an Instagram post. He added, “On this very auspicious day of Guru Purnima, I wanted to share a little more in depth about the the concept of Brahmāstra – a movie through which I personally found myself transforming into a forever-student of the infinite wisdom that exists in our ancient Indian roots… Hope you guys enjoy our imagination!”
In the 4-minute video, Ayan explains the premise of the film, which he said is the first instalment in a shared universe of cinema, ‘based on the concept of ‘astras’. These ‘astras’, or weapons, are based on the elements — earth, wind, fire, water — and can also harness the power of animals such as monkeys and bulls. But there is one ‘astra’ that is more powerful than them all, the ‘brahmastra’. The film ‘begins with an image’ of a group of sages, meditating in the mountains, harnessing the ‘Brahm shakti’. These sages (who name themselves the Brahmansh) remain hidden through history as a ‘secret society’, existing alongside humanity as it evolves and progresses, aiding it along the way.
“This puts us in a unique position,” Ayan says, “as no one has done what we are doing with ancient Indian inspiration, in the modern world, ever.” Ayan then moves on to the protagonist of the film, whom he describes as ‘a young man’ named Shiva. Played by Ranbir Kapoor, he is a ‘miracle’ in the world of ‘astras’, because he is an ‘astra’ himself.
Ayan concludes the video by explaining why his hero is called Shiva; it’s because he himself is a devotee of Lord Shiva, whom Ayan describes as ‘the God who is most dear to (him) personally, the most mystical, the all-powerful, and (his) greatest inspiration’.
Brahmastra Part One: Shiva will be released in theatres on September 9. The film also stars Amitabh Bachchan, Alia Bhatt, Nagarjuna, Mouni Roy and others. In an effort to break into the South Indian markets, the film will also be released in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam.