Red Chillies, Mohanlal's first release of 2009, directed by Shaji Kailas, is nothing less than a visual treat with quirky cuts, immaculate close-ups, hard-hitting punch lines and sizzling effects. Of course, we know that there are not many who can match director Shaji Kailas' technical finesse in Malayalam, when it comes to stylish visuals! After his The Tiger (2005), Baba Kalyani (2006), Chinthamani Kola Case (2006) and Sound of Boot (2008), the director once again displays that he is an expert in utilizing technical gimmicks to deliver the same edge-of-the-seat kind of thrillers.
Produced by M. Ranjith under the banner of Rejaputhra Visual Arts, Red Chillies is essentially a murder mystery, revolving around a gang of nine talented Radio Jockeys, working with FM 919.1 in Kochi. OMR (Mohanlal), a business tycoon based in Singapore, is the owner of this FM radio station. An impeccable personality with multi-lingual talents, OMR has lots of enemies, some of whom even send professional killers to eliminate him. All the nine RJ's think they are madly in love with this high flying businessman, whom they have never met in person.
On a New Year's eve, OMR promises his jockeys that he would come over to meet them and reveal something to one of them. But in a terrible twist in the plot, the girls get entangled in a multiple murder, drunk driving, disobeying police officers, dancing and singing at a posh bar and drug abuse. The next day, the city wakes up to the news that a youth, presumably a gigolo, has been found dead in the lodgings of the girls, who are now absconding.
When the police start investigating the crime, another shocking piece of news surfaces: a group of ten workers, led by Comrade Mani Varghese (Thilakan), who had been staging a round-the-clock protest in front of a factory, have been run over and killed in the night, allegedly by the girls. The police, led by Mani Varghese's IPS son Stalin (Biju Menon) and Commissioner Vyasan (Siddique), track the car involved in the gory hit and run case. Now, OMR is forced to arrive on the spot to protect and save his staff from a tricky plot which is actually aimed at him. The rest of the plot is about how he takes on the entire system singlehandedly to rescue his girls and safeguard the reputation of his empire.
Mohanlal is certainly the high point of the flick with another effortless rendering of style and substance. With his stylishly trimmed beard and hairdo, Mohanlal looks absolutely convincing as OMR and his way of delivering the punch line 'Onnum Marakkilla Rama' is a treat to watch. Thilakan as Mani Varghese, Biju Menon as Stalin, Siddique as Police Commissioner Vyasan, Ganesh Kumar and Vijayakumar as the other Police Officers in the group have done justice to their roles. Interestingly, Malayalam playback singer Ranjini Jose is making her first appearance on the silver screen with this film, playing the main character Isabella (one of the nine Radio Jockeys).
Though the movie keeps us engaged for the first forty minutes, the second half, starting with OMR arriving in Kochi, tends to drag a little. Shaji's camera keeps the suspense thriller moving at a rapid pace, though it is a bit too long at 2 hours 35 minutes. The background score is composed well. Red Chillies would have been even better, if the makers had spent more time on the script, especially the climax, which could have been a little more impressive! However, Mohanlal's latest offering Red Chillies is a film that you should watch at least once if you are a Mohanlal fan.
Banner Rajaputhra Movies
Director Shaji Kailas
Cast Mohanlal, Vijayaraghavan, Thilakan, Ganesh Kumar, Vijayakumar, Jagadeesh, Manian Pillai Raju and Sreekumar
Script A.K. Sajan
Music Vinu Abraham