Rudra, an official version of the mega popular British programme Luther, starring Idris Elba, is Ajay Devgn’s first online series (he had already made his digital debut on the same channel last year with Bhuj: The Pride of India). Before the rise of digital streaming platforms, the UK original was a watershed moment in British criminal drama. So, how well does Rudra work as an adaptation to Indian culture? How much does Ajay Devgn personalise the character? And would filmmaker Rajesh Mapuskar (Ferrari Ki Sawaari, Ventilator) choose for a frame-by-frame recreation that just captures Luther’s energy while imprinting his own on Rudra? For openers, Ajay Devgn is the web show’ brooding heart and soul on Disney+ Hotstar.

Rudra (Ajay Devgn) is a super-cop who is always the perfect guy for the most dangerous crimes since he doesn’t mind breaking the law, which frequently puts him at odds with his department as well as his private life.

Rudra is Ajay Devgn, and Ajay Devgn is Rudra, not only because he plays the main protagonist, but also because he does all the heavy work, carrying the web series on his massive shoulders, head and shoulders above that could’ve fallen. As the heart, soul, brain, character, and anything else of Rudra, the superstar is gloomy, fierce, and absolutely fantastic. Of course, Atul Kulkarni, Ashwini Kalsekar, Milind Gunaji, and Ashish Vidyarthi show off their skills when given the chance, but with underdeveloped character arcs and a half-baked script, they aren’t given enough chances, but more on that later.

Raashii Khanna is elegant and sensual in her role, but the substance is lacking once again. Other pluses include some stunning cinematography and startling images, with Mumbai virtually taking on a life of its own. When it comes to the web series itself, there are a few scenes that stick with you, but you hope there were more of them.

Ajay Devgn convincingly demonstrates why the infectious combo of a superstar and a talented actor can buffer over even the most prominent problems in a script in Rudra.


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