While Indian fans are still wondering why Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor weren’t the faces of Brahmastra’s marketing campaign, it seems that no stone is left unturned to promote the film in Hollywood. While Ranbir and director Ayan Mukerji were interviewed by Hollywood “specialist magazines”, the film’s US distributor – Disney-owned 20th Century Studios – shared the film’s trailer on social media on Monday, including YouTube.
While the trailer doesn’t feature new footage from the film, it certainly comes with a new synopsis. “BRAHMĀSTRA – the trilogy, is a 3-part film franchise and the start of India’s first original universe, The Astraverse,” reads the synopsis. “This is an original new cinematic universe inspired by concepts and tales deeply rooted in Indian history but set in the modern world, with an epic storytelling of fantasy, adventure, good versus evil, of love and hope; all told using state-of-the-art technology and never-before-seen visual glasses. BRAHMĀSTRA: PART ONE, is the story of SHIVA (Ranbir Kapoor) – a young man and our protagonist, who is on the verge of an epic love affair, with a girl named…Isha (Alia Bhatt). But their world is turned upside down, as Shiva learns that he has a mysterious connection to the Brahmāstra…and a great power within him that he does not yet understand – the power of Fire. In this film, we live the adventures of Shiva as he travels the world of Astras and in turn discovers his destiny as the DIVINE HERO of the universe.
It was revealed at CinemaCon in April that Disney had put Brahmastra on its global slate for 2022. Brahmastra is produced by Fox Star Studios, Dharma Productions, Prime Focus and Starlight Pictures, and will be released in Indian cinemas in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada on September 9. This year has been particularly notable for Indian cinema abroad, thanks to the resounding success of RRR in the USA.
Indian fans flooded the comments section of the trailer and seemed quite proud of the film, directed by Ayan Mukerji. “The concept of this film brings a whole new dimension to Indian cinema. If this works, other projects of this type will emerge, which will appreciate the rich mythological and cultural fields of the Indian subcontinent. This needs to be supported,” one fan wrote. “The first Bollywood movie in years that I really can’t wait to see. No high hopes or disappointments, I’m going to watch it with a clear mind, let’s see how it goes and I don’t want it to be boycotted” , commented another fan.
Billed as one of the most expensive Bollywood films of all time, Brahmastra is a CGI-heavy fantasy film that has been in the works for nearly a decade. The film will come at a particularly difficult time not only for Bollywood films, but also for Ranbir, whose latest release – period drama Shamshera – crashed and burned at the box office. It was his first film in four years. In recent days, he has also drawn criticism online for old comments perceived to be sexist.
Alia, on the other hand, had a successful 2022. She played in Gangubai Kathiawadi, which remains one of the few box office hits Bollywood has produced this year, and followed it up with the Netflix release Darlings. She’s also made her presence felt not just in Hollywood – she’ll co-star alongside Gal Gadot in the upcoming Heart of Stone – but also in Europe, following Gangubai’s premiere at the Berlin Film Festival.