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Big black money hunt

Their last film Baadshaho did not do well at the box office but their on-screen chemistry was appreciated by the audience. The duo—Ajay Devgn and IlleanaD’Cruz—is back again in director Rajkumar Gupta’s Raid. Set to release on March 16, the film is based on the real-life story of Sharda Prashad Pandey, an Income Tax Commissioner of Lucknow who had raided the house of a powerful businessman, SardarInder Singh, in 1981 and recovered assets worth Rs 1.6 crore in cash and gold. While Ajay plays the IT Commissioner, Ileana is his wife.

Ajay says, “This is the first time, a story on such a topic is being made. When I heard the script for the first time, I felt so excited.” Illeana says she said yes to the film because Ajay was starring in it. “There was a certain comfort level working with him, when we did Baadshaho. I honestly don’t think I would have done the film if it was a different actor. The movie’s story is very different. It’s good to be part of an important film. I can’t believe that the officer went through so much,” she says.

Ajay claims that they have not gone beyond the boundaries of the story. “But we had to dramatise certain situations. There’s not even a single film where we have not taken the liberty. As actors and co-workers, we bring certain things to the table and ask everyone for their inputs. After all, filmmaking is a team work,” says the actor, who has been in the industry for 27 years now.

About his role in the film, he says that the character is very heroic. “At the same time we had to keep him real. So, we followed it as realistically as possible, even though we have given him a lot of punchlines,” he adds.

Illeana’s character, on the other hand, is set in the 80s. And the look is influenced by Silsila’sRekha. “This woman considered herself equal to her husband, even then. She fought for the man she loved,” says Illeana, who has come a long way after her debut film Barfi in 2006. She has regrets that she hasn’t met the people on whom the film is based. “I would love to meet the officer. He was unbelievably brave,” she adds.

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