The Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt-starrer Brahmastra: Part One-Shiva is mired in boycott calls almost a week prior to its theatrical release. The Dharma Productions-backed film will hit the silver screen on September 9 in Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu.
It, however, is critical for Bollywood that Brahmastra works at the box office as a spate of flops – Aamir Khan’s Laal Singh Chaddha, Akshay Kumar’s Raksha Bandhan and Vijay Deverakonda’s Liger– failed to make a mark.
The upcoming Ranbir-Alia film seems to be at the receiving end of a boycott campaign which is triggered by Alia Bhatt’s comments, Ranbir Kapoor’s food habits and Ayan Mukerji’s post about earlier preparations for the film.
Bhatt told Mid-Day that she cannot defend herself all the time and went on to urge people to not watch her if they don’t like her. Kapoor, on the other hand, went viral for an old video with food blogger and writer Kunal Vijaykar. In this video, he says, “Since my family is from Peshawar, I am a big beef guy.”
Mukerji said in his Instagram post that Brahmastra’s lead character was initially called Rumi and not Shiva, while adding how “Dragon” became Brahmastra.
A lot is riding on Brahmastra, Kapoor is known for some top-billed films, like Sanju, which earned Rs 34.75 crore at the box office. Similarly, his other top-grossers include titles like Besharam (Rs 21.56 crore), Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (Rs 19.45 crore), Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (Rs 13.30 crore) and Tamasha (Rs 10.94 crore), as per film critic and trade analyst Taran Adarsh.
However, Kapoor's latest offering, the period-thriller Shamshera, from the stables of Yash Raj Films, proved to be a complete dud at the box office. The movie, also starring Sanjay Dutt, raked in a mere Rs 42.48 crore in its three-week run at the box office.
Ranbir-Alia's Brahmastra, which has been made in three sprawling parts, is made at a budget of around Rs 300 crore and a lot is riding on it for Bollywood. Also, to add to the problem, this year has one of the worst years for Bollywood, with several headline-grabbing films, like Laal Singh Chaddha, Raksha Bandhan, Liger, Anek, Samrat Prithviraj, Dobaaraa, Runway 34, Heropanti 2 and Ek Villain Returns among several others, bombing at the box office.
The upcoming Ranbir Kapoor film is part of a trilogy known as the Astraverse and will be helmed by Ayan Mukerji. Mukerji is well known for his projects like Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and Wake Up Sid, both of which featured Kapoor. Besides Kapoor, the film features Alia Bhatt, Amitabh Bachchan, Akkineni Nagarjuna and Mouni Roy in significant roles.
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