Ajay Devgn and Raashii Khanna make this somewhat absorbing crime thriller sparkle
The British TV series Luther was quite a mix of many sourceful materials. The series has been adapted four times (American, Russian, Korean and French) before Roudra, and a few of them managed to convert some things while keeping the essence intact. With Roudra, it was not possible because those things which are quite normal in foreign countries cannot be called logical in India. For a long time, there has been a big difference between our culture and foreign cultures, despite the fact that we have been in a process of westernization for a long time. The only possible chance for Roudra was to Indianize things and rely heavily on performance. Well, somehow he misses the first game while winning the second. Located in Mumbai, Roudra is about a smart and dedicated investigator, Rudra (Ajay Devgn), who is consumed by the darkness of crime and his relationship issues with his wife, Shaila (Esha Deol). In the series’ first murder investigation, he meets a brilliant and intelligent psychopathic killer, Aliyah (Raashii Khanna). He knows she is the killer but is unable to arrest her due to lack of evidence. During this time, she develops an interest in him and later becomes his assistant in crime. The first episode is all about Rudra and Aliyah, while later episodes have different murder cases and different conflicts.Roudra starts off on an average note, and you don’t even feel that satisfaction after watching the first episode. But then it picks up in the second and third episodes, where intriguing murder mysteries keep it gripping. Then he has another good case in the 4th episode which kind of carries the momentum forward, only to lose it in the next two episodes. The conclusion part is really messy and even seems out of context. Nevertheless, they don’t bore you to death. The middle part definitely adds to the passing grades, and that’s all you can expect from it.As stated earlier, Roudra highly dependent on the performance of the large cast unit. Ajay Devgn scores high on merit on his digital debut. Those intense eyes, his dialogue delivery, not a scene where you see him stepping out of character. He’s so focused on this messy world of Roudra, and all of this is unbelievable but acceptable. The best after him is, of course, Raashii Khanna. This girl is here to stay. She nailed this psycho persona, and she looks sexy too. Don’t tell me you often see these two things together. Esha Deol is pretty good with all the scenes she has, but I think the writer could have offered more variations on her character. This paragraph is incomplete unless I mention those two supporting actors who made this acting unit shine brighter than it deserves. Ashwini Kalsekar and Atul Kulkarni. What a talented cast they are. Believe it or not, in the last two episodes, Atul Kulkarni is even better than the main cast.Without caring about many of these places, Roudra could have easily found better things to display. From the episode, you know he’s kind of stuck in the same places, except for those murder locations that take place somewhere else. Rudra’s cinematography was a tough job to do as she had to bring darkness to the series as well as the screen. You can’t make it too dark because a small screen experience might make it duller, so a middle ground had to be found. The same goes for editing, and I have to say that both results are pretty cool. The background score is just superb. It reminded me of Hans Zimmer’s score of The black Knight. Now you can imagine how great it is.The crime thriller genre is new to director Rajesh Mapuskar. He made vibrant and light films like Fan and Ferrari Ki Sawaari and even his filmography as an assistant director belongs to the “Hirani genre”. Roudra is far from these movies; it’s very dark and intense, so for a new student I have to say it’s a nice attempt. However, there are some unforgivable flaws in the second half of the series that he could have avoided, and he deserves the blame for them.Rest assured, this is a must-watch crime thriller for crime thriller fans and a must-watch for fans of Ajay Devgn and Raashii Khanna, as these two literally lit up this dark-toned half-dead series.