Red Salute Review

Red Salute is not a badly made film; it gives us what we would look forward to in a Kalabhavan Mani-starrer. The problem is that it doesn’t give us anything more than that. To be precise Red Salute is a well-made typical Kalabhavan Mani film that satisfies you, but doesn’t excite or thrill you or make you elated in any way.


Directed by Vinod Vijayan and based on script by Sajeevan, Red Salute tells the story of Chala Vasu, who is a head-load worker and a trade union activist. His father Karunan was an idealist who had committed suicide when Vasu was a child. For Vasu, the affluent businessman Joseph Thomas, who was his father’s friend, is sort of a mentor and godfather. The trade union leader Hamza too is a well-wisher and father-like figure for him. Madhavi Amma is like a mother to him. He also has some kind of a love for Kolapulli Govindan, who was another friend of his father though he didn’t approve of Kolappulli’s shady dealings.


Like any other Kalabhavan Mani character, Chala Vasu too clenches his fists against corrupt police officers and wrongdoers, creating enemies in the process. In the meantime there is a group of baddies led by Baputty Haji and Marthandan Velayudhan who want to see the fall of Joseph Thomas. They plan and get Jospeh killed and then kill Kolapulli too. Chala Vasu is arrested for the murder of Kolapulli. What happens after that leads to the typical Kalabhavan Mani style climax of Red Salute.


Mani as Vasu is his usual self and does his role convincingly to the satisfaction of his fans. Among the others in the cast, Captain Raju, Vijayaraghavan, Devan, KPAC Lalitha and Cochin Haneefa do their respective roles well. Sreedevika, the leading lady who plays Joseph Thomas’ daughter Annie, has nothing much to do, though she looks good and performs fairly well. Bheeman Reghu as the Tamilian Marthandan Velayudhan is different, but seems to be overdoing at several points.


Sajeevan has delivered a well worked out script in Red Salute. The song “Pineapple sundaran alla…” set to music by Alex Paul and sung by Kalabhavan Mani, would go down well with the audience. In conclusion, Red Salute is a well-made, well-scripted typical Kalabhavan Mani-starrer that would be enjoyed by viewers. But Mani had better watch out because getting typecast could ruin his career.


To be precise Red Salute is a well-made typical Kalabhavan Mani film that satisfies you, but doesn’t excite or thrill you or make you elated in any way. (1.5) - Unni Nair


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