Trailer launch of Rudra a memorable affair

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Ajay Devgn plays the title-role in Rudra—The Edge of Darkness. Photo: Rajiv Vijayakar

It’s all about a gray hero living in the dark to discover the truth, as he conducts an investigation into criminal masterminds. On Valentine’s Day, Disney+Hotstar unveiled the second trailer of their crime thriller, Rudra— The Edge Of Darkness at the Prime Focus Studio, Film City, Mumbai.

Building curiosity, the trailer opens with a terrific line by Ajay Devgn, “Jo andhero mein chhupta hai, main usse wahin milta hoon (He who hides in the dark, I meet him there itself). ” As he introduces himself as ACP Rudra Veer, we sense a man solving the most mysterious crimes in the most unconventional ways.

Helmed by Rajesh Mapuskar, this psychological crime drama is celebrated superstar Ajay Devgn’s digital debut. Produced by Applause Entertainment in association with BBC Studios India and adapted from the famous British series, Luther, the show features a stellar cast including Raashii Khanna, Esha Deol, Atul Kulkarni, Ashwini Kalsekar, Tarun Gahlot, Ashish Vidyarthi and Satyadeep Misra in pivotal roles.

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“In Rudra–The Edge of Darkness, we are excited to bring a riveting thriller that Ajay Devgn. Sameer Nair and his amazing team, Applause Entertainment, have helped deliver and that we hope you will enjoy,” said Gaurav Banerjee, Head, Content, Disney+ Hotstar, and HSM Entertainment Network, Disney Star. Banerjee noted that their OTT platform’s first and highly successful crime thriller, Criminal Justice, was also produced by Nair.

Sameer Nair, CEO, Applause Entertainment, said, “It’s been a terrific experience working on this unique narrative together with an amazing cast, crew and our production partners, BBC Studios. At Applause, we believe in the power of stories and storytelling, and with Rudra…, we take forward our creative partnership with industry leader Disney+ Hotstar, and hope to continue entertaining audiences across the globe.”

Rajesh Mapuskar admitted, “I had loved Luther, but Ajay made me forget Luther! I normally make slice-of-life cinema but here was I slicing life!” he laughed. To a question from me, he stated, “You will have to ask Sameer and Gaurav why they thought of signing me for a crime drama and for this scale! As for me, it was like looking at a different aspect of life. Throughout, I remained as curious as a child about how people think.” He went on,  Rudra… spins a darker and grimmer tale to the usual cop and crime drama. The psyche of criminal minds is explored unusually with a hero who is quite dark himself, all through his pursuit of the truth. It was absorbing and enthralling to make it, and I hope it feels like that in the viewing.”

Ajay Devgn stated, “After this series, and in times to come, we will see a lot of firsts, just the way I am starting out on the web. If I were to compare our show with Luther, I would say that you could find the action better! But in its Indianization, we have added drama, thrills and twists too. I like the way Rudra thinks like a criminal would, for that is needed as an advantage for a cop.”

The team of Rudra—The Edge Of Darkness at the media meet. Photo: Rajiv Vijayakar

“My character is possibly the greyest character you may have witnessed,” he went on. “This has been both challenging and inspiring for me, and I am elated to share the magic of Rudra… with my fans across the world. I hope they fall in love with the show as intensely as we have worked towards the making of it.”

Asked to define the biggest challenge in essaying the role, Ajay replied, “Every day is a challenge for every actor. I wonder if I will be able to pull off that day’s work, and that nervousness keeps me going. I am not one to spend days or weeks preparing for a role or living the character. I prefer to retain my sanity!” he quipped.

Esha Deol put in, “It has been a thrilling ride to once again share the screen with my friend and co-actor Ajay Devgn, who, from the beginning of our shoot, eased me into being back in front of the camera. As for making a comeback, this role was a godsend that fell into my lap at the right time. And I must thank Ajay for that!”

Raashii Khanna, who is also making her digital debut too, stated, “This is a dream project for me. It is the most difficult characters I have played so far and it definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone. I hope the audience loves it as much as I loved playing it. I am also very grateful to be sharing screen space with Ajay Devgn sir,” said the actress, who is also busy in the South and began her career with a role in Madras Café nine years back.

Atul Kulkarni was excited to be a part of the show. “It’s been a pleasure working with actors like Ajay Devgn, and the entire crew. Viewers are going to be absolutely thrilled with the suspense and twists of the script. In films, we have to design an interval point, but over here, the script has been designed not to pause! The audience will want to watch all six episodes at a stretch as they will not want to stop midway!”

We ask him how he chooses his scripts, for Atul has essayed a mindboggling parade of characters across Hindi and Marathi cinema, web and TV. “I go for the story every time!” he explains with a smile. “And early in my career, I learnt to say the word ‘No’!”

Ashwini Kalsekar declared that it has been a pleasure working with Rajesh Mapuskar and the entire cast. “I will miss shooting for Rudra…  as every day was a learning process. I have somehow done more films with Ajay than anyone else and he is a true raja aadmi aur dil se raja (royal person and so big-hearted)! I play his boss here and he was calling me that when the entire unit was addressing him as boss!”

Gaurav concluded by stating that bigger and better things can be expected now from Disney+Hotstar, and he owed Ajay a lot for opening a new door for stars just with his  confidence and enthusiasm. “It was very easy for things to fall in place once Ajay, who is the first person we thought of for this series, read the script, loved it and came on board.”

The six-episode series is an idiosyncratic race-against-the-clock thriller and will be available exclusively on Disney+ Hotstar from March 4 in Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Bengali.

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