Ananth Mahadevan directed Red Alert – The War Within is making people sit up and take notice worldwide. In the recently concluded Stuttgart Film
Festival 2009, the ‘naxalite drama’ received a standing ovation after it was screened as the closing film of the festival. Not just that, it was also hailed
by international critics and also presented with ‘Director’s Vision Awards’.
“Red Alert – The War Within is the kind of film that always had the
potential to qualify as world cinema”, exclaims Ananth Mahadevan who still gets nostalgic while remembering the standing ovation that the film received in
the festival, “The way German critics as well as audiences have warmed up to the film, it makes me quite hopeful that it would break further grounds across
As per film critic Peter Jesben (Senior Editor, Audio-Video-Foto BILD) who gave it a 5 star rating to the film, Red Alert – The War Within is a
‘gripping, differentiated story of farm labourers trapped in a war between Naxals and cops’.
“His words have humbled me”, says Ananth, “With the phenomenal response that the film has gained at Stuttgart Film Festival, we are now looking at taking the
film to more such prestigious film festivals at Toronto and London”.
Starring Suneil Shetty in the central role of Narsimha, Red Alert – The War
Within is based on a real life story. Though the film is the account of one man, it asks a few questions that do people fight to protect a nation
that has forgotten them? Or, do people fight to survive and feed them? The film features Suneil Shetty as a farm labourer, who desperately needs money to
fund the education of his children. He finds himself in the midst of Naxalites where his mission becomes a mere subset of a greater cause that the militant’s
Talking further about the character of Narsimha, Ananth says that he could be a part of any movement in any part of the world.
“The film is set in India but then it could have been anywhere else in the world as well, whether it was Cuba or Ireland! Whenever a revolution has taken
place somewhere, there are men like Narsimha who get trapped”, he says.
Buoyed by international acclaim that the film has earned for itself, Ananth Mahadevan now plans to bring Red Alert – The War Within in India.
“I most definitely want to premier the film in Goa film festival”, he says, “However, if before that distributors decide to pick up the film and arrive at
the right theatrical release for the film, I would be quite okay with that too. Still, the film will certainly be shown in Goa film festival regardless of it
seeing an early global release.”
“Since the film is traveling internationally and has been gathering world wide support, I hope that a studio like Miramax picks it up”, Ananth adds in a
positive tone, “There are other studios also in my mind. Fox and Sony are spreading their wings in India and so far they have been backing block busters. It
would be good if they also wake up to films like ‘Red Alert – The War Within’ which are made on controlled budget but are high on content and have something
unique to tell. Hopefully they start showing interest in us.”
On a parting note, Ananth adds, “Me as well as my producers (TP Aggarwal and Rahul Aggarwal) understand that from Red Alert – The War Within, we are not aiming at making pot loads of money.
What we want is making a reputation for Indian cinema and tell the world that even we can explore subjects like these.”