'Rudra: The Edge of Darkness' is a crime thriller that centers around the British television program Luther. It relies on how a police officer Rudraveer Singh who had been suspended for misconduct, rejoins the force to uncover numerous bizarre crimes taking place in Mumbai. Each episode of this series features a different villain, and Rudra is also dealing with a major crisis in his personal life, which he always bears with him. What's ahead for Rudra? How is he going to solve all these puzzles? The plot is developed by all these mysteries.
The series cast Ajay Devgan as DCP Rudraveer Pratap Singh (Rudra), Rashii Khanna as Aliyah Choksi, Esha Deol as Shaila Durrani Singh, Atul Kulkarni as DCP Gautam Navlakha and Ahswini Kaleskar as Jt. Commissioner Deepali Handa. They have been seen in every episode of the 'Rudra' series. While some of the other important actors are Tarun Gahlot as P. I. Prabal Thakur and Ashish Vidyarthi as Jt. CP Raman Acharya, Milind Gunjani as Yashwant Nikose, Rajiv Kachroo as Mandar Naik, Luke Kenny as JK Lamba, Vikram Singh Chauhan as Captain Ashok Nikose, and K. C. Shankar as Anil Sharma (Fake Name) / Siddheshwar Kumar.
'Rudra: The Edge of Darkness,' which is directed by Rajesh Mapuskar, has 6 episodes. In the first episode, named "Genius ki Aukaat," we see DCP Rudraveer Singh (Ajay Devgn) following an offender who ends up in the hospital in a coma. Months later, after an investigation into what transpired, he is restored to the force. But Rudra's fragile mind begins to deteriorate when his wife, humanitarian lawyer Shaila Durani (Esha Deol), leaves him for Rajiv Dattani (Satyadeep Misra).
In the meantime, Rudra encounters Aliyah Chokshi (Raashi Khanna), a smart and appealing woman whose parents and dog were murdered. As Aliyah starts stalking Rudra and tries to cause trouble between him and Shaila, Rudra discovers that Aliyah is a psychopath and killed his own father and mother. This is Rudra's first of many dreadful cases.
In the second episode, "100 Killer", Captain Ashok Nikose killed many police officers and blackmailed Rudra to free his father, Colonel Yashwant Nikose, who is in jail now; Ashok claims that his father once killed a police officer in self-defense, instead of him his father got arrested. Then Rudra, with his team, makes a plan and arrests Ashok Nikose; in this way, Rudra wins this case.
Episode three, named "Bali Ka Bakra," opens with Shehnaz Daruwala seeking help from a false police officer, Anil Sharma, to find her daughter. Instead of helping Shehnaz, Anil kidnaps her. Rudra, with Gautam and Commissioner Deepali Handa, starts investigating this case and finds that Anil is actually Siddheshwar Kumar, who kidnaps women and consumes their blood.
He now spreads the news in the media that police officers are trying to harass him without any reason, but Rudra anyhow gets to know that Siddheshwar has kept Shehnaz in a boat and reaches there to save her. Siddheshwar, in excitement, confesses his crime, and Rudra, without letting him know, records his confession. This episode also ends with Siddheshwar's arrest and Rudra's victory against crime.
In episode four, "Weak Spot," we get to see a character named Mahesh Dubey, who is fascinated with girls' bags, and his wife is in a relationship with others. Mahesh is not capable of having sex with his wife; in this frustration, he kills women. Rudra, with his investigation, arrests Mahesh, but when his wife gets to know that Mahesh murders women, she kills him in front of all the police officers. In this episode, Aliyah Choksi also kills Mandar Naik, the person who was in a coma for Rudra.
In the last two episodes, Rudra gets a new case to solve. A person named Jatin does the business of smuggling diamonds, and he is planning to escape from India with his girlfriend. In the meantime, three goons arrive there; one of them is JK Lamba, who gives threats to give them diamonds. Rudra appears at JK's hotel, where he gets to know that Gautam, his friend, and a police officer, is also involved in this robbery. He attempts to shoot JK, and Rudra tries to stop him, but JK is slain before he can say anything. Rudra assures him to keep his mouth shut, and to make him believe; he gives Gautam his gun.
Gautam, on the other hand, does not believe him and shoots him. Gautam steals the jewels and attempts suicide. Later, Gautam visits Shaila at her residence and requests that she call Rudra. He gets furious and raises the gun to threaten her when she declines. After Shaila's dead body is found, the hunt for the murderer starts. The focus of everyone's suspicion is Rudra as her wife was in a relationship with Rajiv, and Rudra could kill her in anger.
Rudra threatens to kill Gautam in a voice call, and Deepali is compelled to listen to the recording of Gautam's conversation with Rudra. Then Rudra's shoot-at-sight is ordered everywhere. In the climax scene, Rajiv, who has been sent by Rudra, reveals the name of the real murderer, Gautam, in front of every officer. On the other side, Rudra and Gautam face each other, and Gautam tries to instigate Rudra to kill him before any legal punishment. But suddenly, Aliyah reaches there and kills Gautam with a gunshot, and the series ends here.
'Rudra,' adapted for the Indian audience by Jay Sheela Bhansal and Upen Chauhan, does not appear to be a series that has been thoroughly copied and pasted into new terrain. The author works hard to give the novel as much of an Indian flavor as possible. However, it falls short of accurately replicating Mumbai.
The dialogues are well-written, and Ajay Devgan effortlessly delivers some of the film's most heroic one-liners. Rudra differs from the other episodes of the series in part because it lacks the abuse and coarse language that are prevalent in most online series. Darkness in the cinematography is consistent with the setting that the series' director has created.
Although the pacing is a little slow, and there are a few distracting side tracks, the central idea is strong enough to keep viewers' interest. The first episode's speed slows down after giving the characters enough time to express their feelings, and the second episode's crime scene is quickly investigated, leaving you wondering why there was such a big build-up earlier in the episode. But the overall effect of the writing is compelling, so they are only minor flaws.
Regardless of having played a cop in several films, Ajay gives 'Rudra' a new perspective. He proceeds with a natural air of swagger and says his one-liners with the utmost sincerity. His body language, dialogue delivery, and, best of all, his casual demeanor all exude such swagger. Aliyah Choksi, played by Raashii Khanna, is a pretty complex character that calls for a touch of crazy to be fully realized.
'Rudra' operates on a "one case per day" schedule. At times when you do want some characters to be developed further and given more attention, it kills the mood. The strain on the writers and the director to convey each episode and wrap it up in the allotted 50 minutes doesn't work much, and it eventually becomes too obvious.
Rudra, however, goes in a very different direction. It is black both literally and symbolically, not just only in terms of the subject matter. There isn't much sunlight, the setting is purposely claustrophobic, nobody laughs, and the vibe is depressing from beginning to end.
Director Rajesh Mapuskar jumps right into the action as the investigative thriller begins. One can immediately be lured into this gritty, dramatic world of crime, where the police must battle their demons to protect the town. The atmosphere of the story is established right away, and one is interested in watching how Rudra approaches the challenges. Even though each episode of the screenplay deals with a different case, the same thread connects all the protagonists and their histories.
One hopes the last three episodes of the show will perform better. Sadly, it only overflows with dissatisfaction. Along with the cases, the creators attempt to pique our curiosity about Rudra's personal life. But we have little to do with his attachment to Shaila. It feels contrived, much like Aliyah and Rudra's premise. It becomes tedious and unpleasant. Even the major reveal near the end doesn't help the plot regain its allure element. The climax is executed inadequately.
The series has good production values. The show's dark theme is successfully created by the camera crew. However, the close-ups of Ajay's face are a little annoying. Although the editing is poor, the production design is fairly good. The dialogue, fashion, and thrills are all satisfactory.
Rajesh Mapuskar does a merely adequate job for his first OTT production. Although he does a good job with Ajay Devgan's role, none of this is particularly innovative.
Box Office Review
'Rudra,' a six-episode series, was released on Disney+ Hotstar on March 4, 2022. The series' entire budget, including casting and advertising, was 200 crores, and it met the expectations of the viewers and had a significant impact on the audience.
123telugu.com Rating: 2.75/5
IMDb: Rating: 6.7/10
Ambition Box: 3.7/5
Overall, 'Rudra: The Edge of Darkness' is a skillfully produced replica of the psychological crime thriller 'Luther,' which satisfies in every way, from the casting to the gripping narrative. However, the uneven pacing and lack of detail in the solving of crimes make the series' execution fall short.