‘Hope, Brahmastra gives us wings to fly’: A heartfelt note on journey of this Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt film
Let’s be honest. Very honest. I still remember July 2014 for various reasons. Having cleared SY BCOM, the college had just commenced classes for TY BCOM. I had taken tiny steps into film journalism, writing for my own website with a couple of friends back in the day. I still remember, the PR and marketing team handling Brahmastra at the moment, had come to my college to promote one of their releases back in 2014. Probably a year into journalism (that was not even professional), I had attended the press screening of four films – Xpose, Holiday, Bobby Jasoos and Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania – and also interviewed one celebrity with a group of journalists – Sonakshi Sinha for Holiday. Well, that’s personal. July 2014 is also remembered for what is now touted to be Hindi Cinema’s biggest release, Brahmastra fronted by Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Amitabh Bachchan and Nagarjuna.
July 22, 2014 is when Karan Johar announced a new film with Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt with Ayan Mukerji as the director. He blocked the Christmas 2016 date for the film’s release. Months later, the film got a title, Dragon. It has been a journey since then. Dragon became Brahmastra, and Ayan’s lead became Shiva but one thing that remained constant through the journey is the dedication of team Brahmastra to make the biggest Hindi film. We won’t get into the details of budget, but at this point of time, we can assure our readers that this is by far the costliest Hindi film till date by miles.
According to insiders, the feature film rides on over 3000 VFX shots, which is among the highest for an Indian film till date. The visual effects are done by Prime Focus, and as we speak, the work is on to polish and give the finishing touches to their labour of love. From the time of announcement till date, it’s been nearly 3000 days meaning, it has taken 3000 days for Ayan to bring his dream project and vision to the big screen. Through this period, some of the crew members remained constant, whereas some left the journey mid-way. Being a VFX heavy film, what happened behind the scene took longer than the time taken to shoot on camera. Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Amitabh Bachchan, Nagarjuna and Mouni Roy shot for over 200 days, which includes a fair chunk of patch work scenes too to get the visual effects right.
Brahmastra has also formed a core part of my journalism career too. The memories of those newsbreaks around the film are still fresh in my mind. From writing long articles around the world of Brahmastra for the newspaper I was working on, to writing details about Shah Rukh Khan’s cameo in the film – it’s all there in the mind. The memory of being dancing is fresh in my mind when I heard of and exclusively wrote about Shah Rukh Khan shooting for his cameo at Filmcity in Mumbai. From writing about the delay in releases to the film release in merely 9 days… It just sounds surreal. One of the most emotional moments of my journalism career has to be the day when I broke the release date of Brahmastra – September 9, 2022. While the news flew like wildfire, there was still an element of nervousness in me. ‘What if I go wrong’ was the question pondering in my mind. A couple of weeks after the break, I was invited by the team to get a glimpse of the motion poster. It turned out to be an emotional moment, the minute I saw the release date there – September 9, 2022. Till date, I consider it among my most special exclusive updates on the film. If I was nervous for a mere newsbreak, I can’t even imagine what must be going through the minds of Ayan, Ranbir and Alia at this point of time. Someone who I know has seen Brahmastra, and if I go by his words, he was shocked and surprised in a good way with the film (since he didn’t like the trailer) and this just raises some hopes, though fingers are still crossed.
The 8 years of Brahmastra coincides with personal growth too over the span of time. From being a rookie, and even a fanboy, to somewhat maturing and being here… is again a journey. 8 years, and 7 jobs later, Brahmastra is round the corner. Every job of mine has a Brahmastra story. Some rehashes and many exclusives. Let’s hope, it’s all worth the wait. Let’s hope, all the efforts to create a true-blue spectacle of Hindi cinema yield rich dividends. Let’s hope the film succeeds and gives the wings to the others to fly. And on a lighter note, let’s hope, the film also paves a path for some of the minute newsbreaks that I have written about the characters in Brahmastra 2… which introduces Dev aka. Mahadev to the story. Who is Dev? Probably shall try and bring it a day before the release of First part, if you guys wish to know it. (Winks)