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Red Alert: The War Within (2009)

An impoverished cook is forced to join a band of Naxalites.


(story) (as Anant Mahadevan), (as Anant Mahadevan) | 1 more credit »

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Credited cast:
Naga Reddy
Ehsan Khan ...
Inspector Krishna A. Rao
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
DIG Rathod
Grah Mantri
Aditya Lakhia


While delivering food in a forest area in Andhra Pradesh, impoverished Narasimha is held against his will by a band of Naxalites led by Velu, and forced to join them. He is anxious to collect his dues and return home to his wife, Uma; daughter, Chinna; and son, Mohan, but Velu keeps on putting it off. Narasimha gets to know and sympathize with members of this band, and befriends Lakshmi, who was gang-raped by several policemen. He is then asked to prove his loyalty by killing an informant/plainclothes police inspector - which he does - and even accompanies the band on an assault on a school, resulting in the death of some children. Traumatized after this incident, he decides to flee - and it is this decision that will not only estrange him from his family but also force him to be on the run from the band as well as the police. Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

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We both fired. He missed. I didn't.


Action | Drama | Thriller | War



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7 July 2010 (USA)  »

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The film won rave reviews and praises at festivals and Suniel Shetty too won praises for his act. See more »

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User Reviews

Watch it if you can appreciate meaningful cinema.
22 July 2010 | by See all my reviews

It is often argued that there is no so called artistic kind of cinema in existence and every movie should be treated with the same yardstick, whose sole purpose is to simply entertain its audience. But whatever may be said, the difference does exists and it's quite visible, mainly in the eyes of the viewers. However, to avoid any further arguments, we can simply segregate cinema into two parts wherein one deals with the mainstream commercial movies supported by the big stars and the other which deals with a more realistic kind of meaningful cinema having a limited appeal in the name of entertainment.

The second category is undoubtedly treated in a not so good manner by both the mass audience and the main exhibitors or distributors. And that's the reason RED ALERT finds less screens, less shows and even less footfall in the theater in comparison to the other commercial releases on the same Friday. But if you are a huge fan of realistic cinema, talking about some relevant issues prevalent in our present society then RED ALERT might be the much desired food for your thought.

To start with, RED ALERT is not for the people who are just interested in buying the ticket to have some good time in the theater with their friends or lovers. It is for all those thinking minds who can well understand and appreciate meaningful, realistic cinema. The movie revolves around the present Naxalite Movement in the country and showcases how the innocent people of the rural areas get involved in the movement unwillingly. It's based on the story of a poor food supplier who when visiting the jungle to supply food, finds himself in the middle of a police encounter and then is forced to live with the Naxalites for many months as their team member.

Without revealing the main storyline of the film, I would like to mention three strong surprises or merits in the movie, which altogether make it a worth watching commendable effort from the team.

The first pleasant surprise is its director Ananth Mahadevan, who comes up with his best product till date, which is in extreme contrast with his entire body of work of his career. Rising above all his previous inspired mystery movies, this time the director emerges as a winner with an original concept and a great attempt. Along with his writer Aruna Raje, Ananth delivers a partly powerful movie which is both thought provoking and exciting together. His execution of all the major sequences in the movie is quite impactful, which in fact forces us to believe that the director truly has rediscovered something in himself secretly. It really looks like a different Ananth Mahadevan behind the shots unbelievably.

The second unexpected merit of the movie is Suniel Shettyplaying the central character of the movie who is forced to become a naxalite. Walking on the similar lines of his director, Suniel's innocent portrayal of a poor food supplier is also in complete contrast with whatever he has done in his famous career till date. The tough suited Anna of the past transforms into a dhoti clad so easily and impresses. The loud shouts get converted into cowardly whispers and the angry eyes start asking for mercy and sympathy in this new Avatar of Anna. If you really loved Suniel Shetty in all his fiery action and funny comedy movies then you got to see this to believe the huge transformation made possible by the talented actor. In short, he is simply amazing.

Coming to its third merit, RED ALERT has some superb supporting performances by Sameera Reddy, Seema Biswas and Vinod Khanna. Sameera, without her glossy makeup shocks you with her brilliant act of a rape victim. She proves that she has got immense talent inside her yet to be explored. Seema Biswas is great as usual. Vinod Khanna shines brightly in his small but important role. Naseeruddin Shah, though is good but including him for only one scene was quite questionable. Zakir Hussain as the Minister is superb and so is Bhagyashree playing Suniel's helpless wife. Gulshan Grover and Makrand Deshpande both play it very calmly and effectively. Ashish Vidyarthi is OK but his role lacked any kind of novelty as such.

The movie mainly finds its grip over the viewers in its second half, when the things start moving at a brisk pace equally supported by its apt background music and terrific Cinematography. Especially watch out for the sequence where the naxalites attack a running school and yet try to save the children from the two way firing.

But the movie has its own share of flaws too which restricts it to be called as a true masterpiece. For instance, if a Police Officer is living with the naxalites under cover, then why on earth will he keep his Police I-Card in his own pocket or baggage? However the biggest drawback remains its climax, which somehow fails to pass on the exact message on to the audience. The final sequence involving the changed Vinod Khanna, talking about his new mind-set and vision should have been more direct and impactful.

All together, after watching it you strongly feel that you have seen something good and something relevant. But you don't take that message along with you to your homes due to the weak concluding moments of the movie. In other words, the film is a very controlled take on the burning issue of the Naxalite movement. Still it's indeed an applaudable effort from its director Ananth Mahadevan and should must be seen if you can seriously appreciate realistic kind of cinema. It's not entertainment, alright ……but it's certainly meaningful entertainment made for a cause, which needs to be given a chance once in a while.

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