Filmmaker Raj Kumar Gupta on Working With Ajay Devgn In ‘Raid’
Filmmaker Raj Kumar Gupta won hearts and mind space with his first two films - Aamir (2008) and No One Killed Jessica (2011), his third outing, Ghanchakkar (2013), received a mixed response. Now Gupta is back with a crackling trailer of his upcoming Ajay Devgn-starrer Raid, here’s the director talking about his new project and mulling over the past.
How did you stumble upon the story or idea of Raid? Ajay Devgn, as we know, plays an IT officer whose real name is not being disclosed, but did you meet the man who ran one of the longest IT raids India has seen?
Raj Kumar Gupta: The story was given to me by my producer and I found it very interesting - the content, the time-frame, and at that point it was one of the longest running IT raids. So that intrigued me a lot about the case, about the people involved. We met the officer involved, he told us things related to the case and also how things happen in general. We met other officers because we needed to understand how the department works, how things were in that period of time. Now you get to know everything, if there is a raid in someone’s house - whether it is a big fish or small fish, it will immediately be on Twitter. But at that point in time, if you go on a raid, in a place like UP, it can be very dangerous, you don’t know how many days it will continue, you don’t know whether you will return or not if you get into that kind of space.
So Raid is inspired by a true story, but has fictional elements added to it?
Raj Kumar Gupta: This is a true story, there is enough drama in it, but as filmmakers you try and introduce fictionalised elements to it to make it more dramatic, so me and Ritesh Shah approached it in such a way that we mixed reality with fiction to dramatise certain events, to bring in that balance where it doesn’t become like a documentary and it’s more like a film.
How was it working with Ajay Devgn? He’s quite a recluse when it comes to the media.
Raj Kumar Gupta: Ajay sir is a very economical actor, he knows just how to play his character, and he’s also very, very involved. I remember there was an important scene we were doing with a very important character in the film. While there was a scripted 2 page thing already, the way Ajay Devgn saw the scene was very different from the way in which I saw the scene. When we started discussing, we realised that what Ajay sir was thinking added a lot to the character and the way we have approached the character and that’s when we decided to play it that way. It really really appealed, it really was better than the way I was thinking.
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