As Brahmastra: Part One-Shiva gears up for a pan-India release, producer Karan Johar says the aim is to “penetrate” into every corner of the country with the film. Directed by Ayan Mukerji, Brahmastra features Ranbir Kapoor in the lead alongside Alia Bhatt, megastar Amitabh Bachchan, Nagarjuna and Mouni Roy.
The film will hit the theatres across India on September 9, with RRR director SS Rajamouli on board as presenter for the south region, where the movie will also be released in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam.
“We are trying to penetrate into every corner… This is Indian cinema. Let’s not call it anything else. We keep giving it wood, Tollywood, Bollywood. But we are not up in the woods anymore. We are out of them. We are now proudly part of Indian cinema. Each and every film will now be from Indian cinema,” Johar said at a promotional event of the movie here on Friday.
The event also saw Ranbir, Alia, Nagarjuna and Mouni in attendance along with Rajamouli and his “RRR” star Jr NTR, who was the special guest. Rajamouli said it was important for creative minds to promote cultural exchange between north and south India.
Citing the example of recent blockbusters KGF, Pushpa, RRR and Karthikeya 2, the director said it was about time Hindi filmmakers also ventured into the south market. “We started flowing with our movies from the south, like ‘Baahubali’, ‘KGF’, ‘Pushpa’, ‘RRR’, ‘Karthikeya 2’. It is about time that love starts flowing from north to south. We are one country and we (should) make Indian films, not language films,” he added.
The director, who has received global success with his latest period actioner RRR, said Ayan’s vision lured him to present “Brahamstra” in the south. “Karan sir, Ranbir, Alia and all the cast and crew of ‘Brahmastra’, I like them all very much. But the reason why I associated with the film is not any of them. The reason is the story, the vision that Ayan had. Everything about ‘Brahmastra’ is about Indianness, Indian story, Indian emotions,” Rajamouli said.
The filmmaker had first collaborated with Johar on Baahubali franchise, which was presented by the Bollywood producer in the Hindi belt. He revealed Johar had shared the idea of “Brahamastra” with him five years ago. “He said, ‘I am attempting a film like this with a mad boy called Ayan Mukerji. We are attempting even a madder film and I want you to listen to it and be part of it’,” Rajamouli said.
Jr NTR thanked both Johar and Rajamouli for “uniting” the Indian film industry. The RRR star said he has been a huge admirer of Bachchan and Ranbir’s work and both the actors inspire him to do better.
“I have been a big fan of Mr Bachchan’s intensity, his voice, eyes, the way he stood, swung his left hand. He created a mark on me as an actor. After Amit ji, one actor who I connected to is Ranbir. His films have really inspired me as an actor and my most favourite is ‘Rockstar’. The intensity Ranbir had while he was performing his role, left a mark on me,” he said.
Jr NTR also praised Alia, with whom he worked on RRR, saying she is a gem of a person. “She is a gem of a person. She is one of the finest actors we have. This film ‘Brahmastra’ is going to be another feather in her cap,” he added.
At the event, Alia sang the Telugu version of film’s love song “Kesariya” and later said as the movie inches closer to the release she is going through a range of emotions. “Being here today, talking about ‘Brahamstra’ feels very emotional. We dreamt about this film with our eyes wide open, with our hearts and soul. None of the efforts that we have put in can be compared to anything that Ayan has put. He is our guiding force,” she added.
Ranbir thanked Rajamouli, Nagarjuna and Jr NTR for supporting the film. “It’s been quite a journey. I have a quote at my bedside, which reads ‘Humility is an artist’s greatest virtue’, and we have seen that in these three great artists, who have been such a strong support to our film and our vision selflessly and gracefully,” he said.
Veteran actor Nagarjuna, who essays a pivotal role in Brahamstra, billed the movie as a “visual treat”. “It is going to be a wonderful journey, a visual experience, a visual treat,” he said.
Popular TV actor Mouni Roy, who plays the antagonist in the film, said she feels “honoured to be sharing screen space ” with Bachchan, Nagarjuna, Ranbir and Alia.
Brahmastra Part One: Shiva is a joint production of Star Studios, Dharma Productions, Prime Focus and Starlight Pictures.