Actor Alia Bhatt in an interview addressed the criticisms that the film brahmastra received for the way he treated his character, Isha. Directed by Ayan Mukerji and starring Ranbir Kapoor, Brahmastra is the first installment in a planned trilogy of fantasy films.
In an interview with India Today, Alia was asked about Isha’s arc in the film, which seemed to revolve entirely around the protagonist Shiva. She also spoke about the memes Isha inspired online, mostly centering around her repeated shouting of Shiva’s name. Alia said she had already pointed this out to Ayan while filming the movie.
She said, “So, two things. About Shiva, I find it hilarious because I made that joke myself. I told Ayan, “People can literally play a drinking game depending on how many times I said Shiva in the movie.” This joke, I find it hilarious, because I also felt it.
Citing the example of the character Dimple Kapadia, who has a one-shot cameo in the film, she added, “As for the arc part, I know the larger thought Ayan has in mind for every character you saw in Brahmastra Part One. You have to understand that it was conceptualized as a trilogy. I take it as a compliment that people want to see me, but you also have to see the moment when Brahmastra was conceptualized, which was in 2014-2015, you have to understand, when I came on the scene, I barely had movies… Now, after that, I’ve had so many movies that I’ve directed, so people who love my work will always feel some protectiveness about anything I do.
Alia’s explanation matches what Ayan previously told indianexpress.com. He said, “It could be people who come with the baggage of seeing her in Gangubai and other stuff. I’ve also heard people say something that seems superficial, “Oh Alia is so pretty in this movie.” This happy and cheerful girl in love – as simple as it sounds – is a role that Alia has not had the opportunity to play. This year, Alia starred in well-received films such as Gangubai Kathiawadi, RRR and Darlings.
Brahmastra spent an unusually long time in production, due to its large-scale visual effects and multiple pandemic-related delays. The film was announced in 2014 and started filming in earnest in 2018. Brahmastra also stars Amitabh Bachchan, Mouni Roy and Nagarjuna Akkineni, and features cameos from Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone and Dimple.