‘Brahmastra’: Ayan Mukherji clarifies why Ranbir Kapoor is entering temple with shoes

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‘Brahmāstra’s’ explosive trailer was released last week and it generated all the buzz and more that the cast and crew of the movie were expecting. This magnum opus three-part epic fantasy story is Ayan Mukherji’s most ambitious project that has been nearly 8 years in the making (counting pre-production) with the shoot itself taking nearly 5 years to complete.

In general, the response to the trailer has been very positive and many are now eager to watch the movie in the big screen when it releases in September 2022, however, some eagle-eyed viewers managed to find something objectionable in one scene of the trailer.

The movie is a fantasy mythological drama and in one specific scene it is shown that Ranbir Kapoor’s Shiva is entering a temple with shoes on.

For the unversed, in Hinduism, it is considered a mark of insult and disrespect of a sanctum to enter a temple with shoes on.

As is the case these days, once a negative comment in social media snowballs into a viral thread and soon that’s all anyone is talking about.

Anticipating that director Ayan Mukherji was quick to clarify that the objectionable scene in question where people believe Ranbir Kapoor is entering a temple with shoes on is actually about him attending a Durga Pandal (a festival that takes place in the auspicious nine-day celebration called Navratri) and not a temple premises as many believe.

The ‘Brahmastra’ scene that many found blasphemous shows Ranbir Kapoor walking towards the idol of Goddess Durga with his shoes on. As mentioned earlier, in Indian culture, wearing footwear at temples, or inside the house is considered insulting and unhygienic. But a Durga Pandal is different.

Explaining the scene, Ayan Mukherji said, “As the creator of this film (and a devotee), I wanted to humbly address what happened here. In our movie, Ranbir is not entering a temple, but a Durga Puja Pandal. My family has been organizing a similar kind of Durga Puja Celebration for… 75 years! One, which I have been a part of since my childhood. In my experience, we only take off our shoes, right on the stage where the Goddess is, and not when you enter the Pandal.”

Ayan Mukherji also apologised to anyone who was offended by the scene and added, “It is personally important for me to reach out to anyone who may have been upset with this image… because above all, Brahmastra is created as a movie experience which pays respect to, and celebrates Indian culture, traditions and history. That is at the heart of why I made this movie, so it is very important to me that this feeling, reaches every Indian who is watching Brahmastra.”

‘Brahmastra Part One: Shiva’ is the first of a trilogy and it stars newlyweds Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt in lead roles. The movie also features Nagarjuna Akkineni, Amitabh Bachchan and Mouni Roy in important roles. Dharma Productions is one of the production houses backing the project. The movie will release in theatres on September 9, 2022.

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