Brahmastra: Part One - Shiva: Why The Bollywood Movie Is A Must-Watch For Marvel Fans

The Brahmastra cover
(Image credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Not too long ago, I wrote about two reasons why I’m considering canceling my Disney+ subscription (and also reasons why I’ll probably end up just keeping it) and one of the reasons was because all I really watch on the platform is Marvel, Star Wars, and occasionally The Simpsons. And, that’s pretty much it. Well, lo and behold, quite recently I tuned into Disney+ to see if the new Willow was out (it is, by the way), and I saw something new called Brahmastra: Part One-Shiva, which immediately caught my attention since I LOVE Indian cinema (see my Toolsidas Junior article, and then, actually watch the movie on Netflix, because it’s incredible).  

I assumed this was something action-oriented from the image on the screen, but when I watched the trailer, I was blown away, because it looked like nothing else there, to which, upon investigation, I learned it WASN’T like anything else on the platform. Here we had a Hindi-language (dubbed, of course) fantasy film that was totally unique to Disney+.  

It’s a Star Studios production, which is an Indian motion picture company, and released in India back in September. So, I watched it, and…I have a lot to say about it, especially as a teetering Marvel fanboy who has gotten off the Marvel hype train as of late, but will likely get back on with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania…because I’m fickle like that. Anyway, fickleness aside, here are four reasons why you should check out the Indian flick, Brahmastra: Part One-Shiva if you’re a fan of Marvel movies.  

Shiva with fire

(Image credit: Walt Disney Studio Motion Pictures)

The Action Is Really Fresh And Exciting 

Now, I’ll be frank. The story of this movie isn’t anything mind blowing, but it is pretty interesting, especially watching it from a western point of view. The story concerns a young man who has pyrokinetic abilities, sort of like in Stephen King's Firestarter. So, it’s a dude with superpowers. Pretty standard stuff.    

But, what makes this particular story unique is the Hindu mythology, as our hero, Shiva, who is a wicked cool DJ, is also an astra, which is a supernatural weapon. And, once he learns of his true potential, he must work to prevent the most powerful of all astras, the Brahmastra, from getting into enemy hands. 

That said, while I was engaged with the story, it was the action that really held my attention, as it’s like nothing else I’ve ever seen in a live-action movie. I’m talking dudes running up the sides of walls with flames shooting out their feet, people transforming into massive fire monsters, and seismic explosions the likes of which you might see in some kind of anime. 

And, in a lot of ways, with the story of the astras existing for ages, it almost reminds me of a cross between Marvel’s Eternals (my favorite Marvel movie), and the Z fighters from Dragon Ball Z. If that sounds awesome to you, then Brahmastra: Part One-Shiva is probably right up your alley. It was certainly right up mine.      

Shiva and Isha in Brahmastra

(Image credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

It's A Bollywood Production, So It Has A Different Personality From The MCU 

What’s especially cool about this film is that while upon first glance, it might look like a rip-off of the MCU, once you start watching it, you’re like, no. This is something totally different. I mean, besides a brief Bollywood number in Eternals, I don’t remember anybody singing and dancing in an overall celebration of life in the MCU films. And, that’s how I often view Bollywood movies, at least the ones with big, elaborate dance numbers—as a massive celebration of culture. 

That flair is definitely here, as there is also a romance that carries on throughout the entire film between the protagonist, Shiva (Ranbir Kapoor) and his love interest, Isha (Alia Bhatt). I enjoyed every second of this, and was also treated to some of the aforementioned awesome action sequences as well. So, it really does feel wholly different from anything that the MCU has to offer, and I mean that in the best possible way. 

Intensity in Brahmastra

(Image credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

The Special Effects Are Really Charming And Unique 

Here’s the thing about the MCU, especially in Phase 4, which has definitely had some issues, some of the visual effects are kind of all over the place. Yes, some of the effects look awesome, like She-Hulk at times. And, in other instances, the effects don’t look so awesome, like, um…She-Hulk at times. And, that’s just fine. These MCU projects are being pumped out a lot these days, and budgets, while high, also probably can’t always meet the threshold all the time, so the effects sometimes suffer.   

I would say that the effects in Brahmastra: Part One-Shiva don’t always reach the MCU when it’s at its best. That said, they look so unique and different with all the astra powers and abilities, that I find it a whole lot more charming than the MCU. I mean, a dude literally goes on fire, and the earth breaks beneath his feet, and rather than thinking, this looks so fake, I’m instead thinking, this actually looks badass, and I think the visual effects team did an amazing job of creating the unique world that these characters inhabit. 

It also helps that I don’t have a frame of reference, like Spider-Man swinging in the comics, or Black Panther doing his acrobatics in the video games. Instead, I’m left with something I’ve never experienced before, and as a fan of the MCU who is looking for something a little different, I think I’ve found it in Brahmastra: Part One-Shiva, which is as different (but also strangely similar) to the MCU as you could possibly get.  

Shiva and Isha sharing a moment in Brahmastra

(Image credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

It's Creating Its Own Cinematic Universe Like The MCU, Called The Astraverse 

Lastly, even though I’m kind of getting fed up with all these “verses” these days (you know, like the Snyderverse, the MonsterVerse, etc.), my interest is actually kind of piqued for the Astraverse, which is supposed to follow up this movie with two more films, making this a trilogy. I really dig the concept of further exploring Hindu mythology, and after doing a simple search on the astras, I saw all the awesome possibilities that we could get in upcoming films.   

I mean, I’ve seen a ton of Greek Mythology, and we’re just recently getting a lot more Norse Mythology with Thor and the recent God of War games, but Hindu mythology is something I know pretty much nothing about, and I’m actually learning about it through this movie.

Now, I had no idea how much was at stake with this movie when I checked it out on Disney+, but apparently, the first film had a lot on its shoulders with “reviving” Bollywood. That said, I hope it met its goals, since I’m all in now for a Part Two and Part Three. This movie was dope. 

Have you checked out Brahmastra: Part One-Shiva yet on Disney+? For (hopefully) more news on the Astraverse, make sure to swing by here often.  

Rich Knight
Content Producer

Rich is a Jersey boy, through and through. He graduated from Rutgers University (Go, R.U.!), and thinks the Garden State is the best state in the country. That said, he’ll take Chicago Deep Dish pizza over a New York slice any day of the week. Don’t hate. When he’s not watching his two kids, he’s usually working on a novel, watching vintage movies, or reading some obscure book.