Red Movie Review: This whodunit thriller fails to impress
An underwhelming remake of the Tamil hit Thadam
During the initial portions of RED, Siddharth (Ram Pothineni), a construction engineer, asks his colleague Mahima (Malvika Sharma) to join him for a date. "Shall we have a cup of coffee together?", he asks gently. She refuses with a smile on her face, telling him that the question is wrong. Believing that she is a feminist, he reframes the question: "Can you take me out for a cup of coffee?" Once again, he draws a blank. Because Mahima is not a feminist but a clone of Keerthy Suresh in Miss India. She wants to drink tea. Jokes aside, what RED lacks is the 'dum' of chai and the class of coffee.
This remake of the Tamil-language hit Thadam doesn't take the intelligence of its cops seriously. Neither does it stick to the success formula that tight and taut thrillers like Kshanam have offered in recent years. RED doesn't strive for perfection, it is just content with dumbing down the investigators and over-simplifying Aditya and Siddharth, identical twins played by Ram Pothineni.
Cast: Ram Pothineni, Nivetha Pethuraj, Malvika Sharma
Direction: Kishore Tirumala
The cops take forever to ask the basic questions and understand obvious details. It takes a public prosecutor (Posani Krishna Murali) to educate an Inspector (Sampath Raj in a key role) that if there are two identical suspects, one of them must be innocent.
After a point in the film, Nivetha Pethuraj is made to give sighs of exasperation and she hardly does any fruitful investigation. Sampath Raj's character, who exerts undue pressure on her to wrongly frame Ram's Siddharth, also feels underutilised. The actor, who is otherwise very talented is not earnest here, his potential is just wasted.
The film suddenly cuts to poignant touches after a silly comedy moment several times. If the constables are seen making light of the situation in one scene, they are way too emotionally involved in the next. All this looks contrived.
The backstory of the identical twins, which ideally should have been a saving grace, feels jaded. The unique plot point, which was executed well by Magizh Thirumeni in the original, gets wasted due to its poor execution here.
Mani Sharma's background music is inconsistent. It is racy in several moments but, dull for the rest of the part. The casting of RED doesn't quite hit the bullseye. But it was interesting to see Pavithra Lokesh play a con artist. Ram looks handsome, but his performance feels inferior when compared to the impact he made with iSmart Shankar.