Bollywood actor Sameera Reddy's latest film, Red Alert : The War Within is being released on July 9, after a wait of nearly two years.
The recent spurt in Maoist violence has come as a boon for Sameera's stagnant career. The attacks, especially the Dantewada strike in April, have made people aware of the Naxalite movement, says a media report.
Though the film was screened at a few festivals abroad, it did not find any takers in the Indian market for almost two years.
But now, after a series of Naxalite attacks, the situation has changed and the movie is set to be released on July 9. “ It's sad, but the Maoist movement gaining momentum did help our film find takers in India,” director Ananth Mahadevan says.
Realising that the original Hindi version of Red Alert... may have trouble attracting the multiplex audience, Mahadevan has made a wise move. “ We have readied dubbed prints in Telugu and Chhattisgarhi for release in the Naxalite- hit Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh markets,” he says.
In Red Alert... , Sameera plays a village girl from Andhra Pradesh who, after being raped at a police station, is rescued by the Maoists. She then joins the movement. The actress, known for her bimbette acts in films such as Race, De Dana Dan and Naksha, hopes that her realistic role will change the course of her career.
“ Sameera acquired a tanned look and chose not to wear make- up for the role. The film describes a woman's journey from being a rape victim to the warrior of a cause she believes in,” Mahadevan says.
Sameera's character is based on real- life cases of young girls in the Naxalite- affected areas who have suffered police atrocities. “ The film is an emotional thriller that portrays the Maoist point of view as well as the approach of the police and the government,” Mahadevan claims.
Sameera says she prepared for the role by updating herself on Maoist- related news.
She also saw videos to understand the behaviour and body language of women in Maoist camps. “ We downloaded clippings of Naxalite comments from the internet to get their viewpoint. In the film, we have repeated much of what they have said by way of dialogues,” Mahadevan says.
Struggling to release the film since 2008, when it was completed, the film's producers, T. P. Aggarwal and Rahul Aggarwal, took it to the international festival circuit.
It was premiered at the Stuttgart Film Festival last year.
Red Alert... also stars Sunil Shetty, Naseeruddin Shah, Vinod Khanna and Seema Biswas. Very few Bollywood films have been based on the Maoist movement.
Sudhir Mishra had made Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi based on the issue. Recently, in Mani Ratnam's Raavan, the character of Beera played by Abhishek Bachchan, hints at having a Maoist background.