Rajesh Mapuskar shares insights into Ajay-Raashii chemistry

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Ajay Devgn as Rudra and Raashii Khanna as Aliyah show a rare chemistry in Rudra—The Edge of Darkness. Photo: Trailer Video Grab

Director Rajesh Mapuskar has now shared insights into the much talked-about twisted chemistry between Rudra and Aliyah in the Disney+Hotstar presentation, Rudra—The Edge of Darkness.

Ajay Devgn’s digital debut series has garnered appreciation from critics and audiences alike. The Hotstar special has recorded the highest viewership received for any drama.

One of the main takeaways from the series is the twisted chemistry between Ajay Devgn’s character Rudra and Raashii Khanna’s character Aliyah. Their path crosses with a crime and it went goes on to become an unexplainable, enigmatic relationship. This series is one of the top names among those made with leading stars in the industry, like Aashram (Ajay’s friend Bobby Deol), Criminal Justice  (Jackie Shroff) and Aarya franchise (Sushmita Sen).

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Talking about how he planned to create the Rudra and Aliyah chemistry, Rajesh Mapuskar said, “The equation was a tricky one, and I’ve been fascinated with it from the start. Both actors have tremendously value-added to the written lines with their own interpretations. Aliyah’s character is more volatile, about action and physical activity, while Rudra is more stable, steady and deep. But they found themselves in their pauses. These pauses were very important for me. The chemistry lies not in what they say but in their silences—when they don’t speak, and just look at each other and she waits for his next words or move.”

The seamless chemistry has been creating a lot of buzz, and Rajesh goes on, “They’re both extremely intelligent and talented actors. Along with getting under the skin of their characters, they have each drawn from a part of themselves. In addition, Sanjay Memane’s cinematography created the frames and backdrop to this contradictory, complicated relationship. And, most importantly, Antara Lahiri’s editing ensured there was an impact. It was a delicate balance to maintain – but she has done a wonderful job of holding onto the silences, the looks. The drama of the chemistry lies in that.”

The director defines the relationship between the two, as Yin and Yang. “Sometimes she’s Yin, he’s Yang, sometimes the reverse,” he muses. “Essentially, they’re connected to each other and complement each other. They become more interdependent as the series progresses, and more overlaps happen in the Yin and Yang. Black bleeds into white, white into grey – in each of them.”

Produced by Applause Entertainment in association with BBC Studios India, Rudra—The Edge of Darkness is now streaming on Disney+ Hotstar. Esha Deol, Satyadeep Dubey, Atul Kulkarni, Ashish Vidyarthi and Ashwini Kalsekar co-star.

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