Rudra: The Edge of Darkness
Onto the final review of the weekend and besides this there are still two new releases remaining which I will cover over the next couple of days. But it is a record of sorts – covering 4 new webseries in a single weekend is no mean feat and with the review of Rudra this challenge has been accomplished. If you have enjoyed our reviews on Popcorn Reviewss then do bookmark our site and do spread the word. And now back to the review. I have finished watching Rudra on Hotstar which is the official adaptation of the British series Luther. It marks the debut of Ajay Devgn in the OTT space(in a webseries) and so I was curious about his outing. Here I must say that I haven’t watched the original Luther and hence I have no reference of it. So this is an independent review of Rudra in the truest sense. Is it worth your time, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
An official adaptation of the English series Luther, Rudra follows the story of a cop solving multiple cases involving psychopaths and serial killers. Now there are a couple of things here – the concept of the show(yes I am aware that it is an adaptation) is similar to the Hindi series Abhay, where there is a new case in each episode. Additionally, this show doesn’t take up much of your time as it comprises of just 6 episodes of roughly 50 minutes each. So the story is thrilling although it has nothing new to offer. While reading some of the other reviews, I came across a point of this being a frame to frame remake of the original. So a word of caution, for those who have watched the original may not enjoy Rudra as they maybe aware of the twists and turns. But since I did not have any reference of it, I was intrigued by the screenplay.
The screenplay begins on a wobbly note where the first episode just lacks bite and excitement. The whole concept of an investigation just seemed off. But things start getting better with every passing episode(so it would be a good idea to be patient). The thrill factor is evident from thereon where some grizzly and twisted murders are investigated. While there is a common thread which connects each episode, there is a new investigation in each episode which keeps you glued to the screen. Towards the backend of the series, there is a little more urgency culminating into a satisfying finale. But one drawback which remains is the surface level treatment which doesn’t really allow you to invest in the characters. But overall a well penned screenplay.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are well pointed minus the melodrama which keeps the mood of the drama intact. The BGM is decent but the cinematography is really good. The colour grading adds well to the mood of the drama. Director Rajesh Mapuskar who is known for some light hearted dramas like Ventillator or Ferrari Ki Sawari, ventured into a slightly unknown territory of a thriller and he does a pretty good job. He keeps the drama taut and thrilling which means a job well done.
The performances are well measured here. Meghana Kaushik as Pooja, Siya Mahajan and Amaara Sangam as Shehnaz shine in their respective roles. All of them were excellent despite a limited screentime. Luke Kenny as JK, Milind Gunaji as Yashwant and Vikram Singh Chauhan as Ashok are intimidating in their respective roles. KC Shankar as Siddheshwar is outstanding and does a fine job here. Priyanka Sethia as Rashmi is first rate and does a pretty good job here. Hemant Kher as Mahesh is fantastic and ruthless. Ashish Vidhyarthi as Acharta is well measured here. Satyadeep Misra as Rajiv is pretty good in a slightly underwritten role. Ashwini Kalsekar as Deepali commands your attention throughout. Esha Deol as Shai makes a bit of a comeback here and she is pretty good in her role. Tarun Gehlot as Prabal is wonderfully restrraint here and probably the find of the series for me(although I have seen him earlier in other series as well). Ajay Devgn as Rudra is his usual self and does a good job here(again I do not have any reference of Luther essayed by Idris Elba). But the show belonged to Gautam essayed by Atul Kulkarni and Aliyah essayed by Raashi Khanna. Atul Kulkarni had recently played a cop in A Thursday too. But the brilliant actor that he is, he is able to deftly modulate his performance such that the roles don’t seem to be similar. And he is an absolute joy to watch particularly towards the end. Raashi Khanna has been a revelation here. In her first Hindi outing, she constantly teases the audience and does a fantastic job with it. Needless to say she looks pretty and has a good screen presence too.
While I do not have any reference of the original, Rudra is a well structured and engaging crime thriller. Available on Hotstar.