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Rajkummar Rao Takes On First Hardcore Action Film ‘Maalik’ Under Direction of Pulkit

Rajkummar Rao, one of Bollywood’s most versatile actors, is set to embark on a new journey with his first hardcore action film, “Maalik.” Directed by Pulkit, known for his time behind the camera on “Bhakshak,” the film is slated to begin production in September. While Rao has built a reputation for delivering stellar performances across a variety of genres in his 14-year-long career, he has only once dipped his toes into the action-thriller genre with “Hit: The First Case” (2022). However, “Maalik” promises to be a game-changer. Backed by producer Jay Shewakramani, the film aims to showcase Rao in an unprecedented avatar and is packed with intense, high-octane stunts.

A glance at Rao’s forthcoming filmography reveals a pivot towards mainstream entertainment. In August, audiences will see him in the horror-comedy “Stree 2,” followed by the quirky “Vicky Vidya Ka Woh Wala Video.” “Maalik” fits seamlessly into this evolving portfolio. A well-placed source elaborates, “Raj has always impressed with his nuanced performances, but he hasn’t yet adopted the persona of a mainstream hero. His next few projects are a conscientious effort to venture into that space. As soon as Jay and Pulkit approached him with ‘Maalik,’ he instantly agreed due to the project’s promise to present him in a completely new light. The film, driven by emotion and action, will feature Raj in some adrenaline-pumping sequences. He has already started working on his physique, getting into the muscular shape the role necessitates.”

Joining Rao in this new venture is Medha Shankr, who recently shined in “12th Fail” (2023). She has been roped in as the female lead to play a character that complements Rao’s action-driven role. The same source adds, “The script needed someone who could bring a combination of softness, intelligence, and sensitivity to the table, and Medha fits the bill perfectly. The filming will kick off in Lucknow and eventually transition to Benares, given that the narrative unfolds in these settings. Pulkit is keen on sticking to a tight, three-month shooting schedule to wrap up the film.

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Rao’s decision to delve into the realm of action films with “Maalik” arrives as a notable turning point. He has consistently pushed the envelope, choosing roles that challenge conventional acting norms. Whether it’s his riveting performance in “Shahid” or the comic brilliance in “Bareilly Ki Barfi,” Rao has made it evident that he thrives on variety. However, the action genre represents uncharted territory, and “Maalik” aims to explore new facets of his talent. The physical transformation and the action choreography are elements designed to be both a challenge and a treat for him and his fans.

Director Pulkit, who has gained acclaim for his previous works, especially “Bhakshak,” brings a unique vision to “Maalik.” His expertise in storytelling and his skill for extracting gritty, heartfelt performances make him well-suited to helm this ambitious project. With action sequences that promise to be arresting and a story driven by strong emotional undercurrents, Pulkit aims to create an experience that resonates with a broad audience.

Medha Shankr, whose star is on the rise, shares her excitement for the project. Fresh from her success in “12th Fail,” she’s eager to explore the dynamic her character will bring to the table. “It’s an incredible opportunity to work alongside Rajkummar and in a film that balances action with deep, emotional stakes,” she says.

Producer Jay Shewakramani, a seasoned hand in the industry, shares his thoughts on the film’s potential. “In pairing Rajkummar and Medha with a script that boasts an engaging mix of action and emotion, ‘Maalik’ is poised to resonate on multiple levels. We believe the film will not only entertain but also bring out a side of Rajkummar that the audience hasn’t seen before.”

“Maalik” is anticipated to elevate Rao’s status to a mainstream crowd-pleaser, reiterating his versatility and ensuring he remains one of the most exciting talents in Indian cinema. While the film’s thrilling action sequences and emotional narrative are set to captivate, it’s Rao’s transformation into a muscular, action-oriented hero that generates palpable excitement. Fans and critics alike eagerly await to see how this versatile actor adapts to his new role, set against the vibrant backdrops of Lucknow and Benares. The countdown to September begins, and with it, the buzz around “Maalik” only intensifies.