We’ve noticed that quite a few films have been flopping in Bollywood these days. There seems to be a bit of a curse in the Indian film industry, given how poorly Aamir Khan’s Laal Singh Chaddha, Akshay Kumar’s Raksha Bandhan and Vijay Deverakonda’s Liger performed at the box office. Enter Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt’s Brahmastra, which seems to have broken free of the curse and is doing well at the box office.
The supernatural film released on Friday and, according to Bollywood Hungama, minted between INR 365 million and INR 385 million, making it the biggest non-holiday release of Bollywood ever. Apart from a few exceptions this year, such as Gangubai Kathiawadi, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 and The Kashmir Files, no other film has been able to perform well at the box office.
Brahmastra was made with a budget of INR 4.1 billion, making it the most high-priced film of Hindi cinema. The previous record holder for such a large scale film was Aamir Khan and Katrina Kaif’s Thugs of Hindostan at INR 3 billion.
But while the film is performing well at the box office, reviews by Indian movie critics aren’t too complimentary, according to The Indian Express. Their critic Shubhra Gupta gave the film 1.5 stars and wrote in her review that it offered never-seen-before special effects with a winsome couple, Kapoor and Bhatt, but didn’t offer as much as it should’ve with Amitabh Bachchan and a strong cast.
Prior to its release, the film and its stars were mired in controversies, starting with the famous song ‘Kesariya’ that came under fire for ripping off Call’s song ‘Laree Chootee’. Kapoor made some remarks at a promotional event that landed him in hot water for weight shaming his pregnant wife — he said she had “phailoed [spread]*”. Bhatt and film producer Karan Johar also drew flak for using her pregnancy as a way to promote the film with her baby on board outfit.
Most recently, a comment Kapoor made 11 years ago about being a “beef guy” was recirculated and resulted in protest outside a temple and the couple not being allowed entrance to pray.
Brahmastra stars Kapoor as Shiva, a man on the verge of falling in love but his world turns upside down when he discovers that he has superpowers to control fire and a connection to a secret society of guardians. Bhatt plays his love interest Isha.