Salam Bappu is no novice to the industry. Though ‘Red Wine’ is his debut outing as a director, this cine veteran has been in the field for the past 11 years, having assisted Lal Jose, right from ‘Meesha Madhavan’ to ‘Ayalum Njanum Thammil’. He went from one hit film to the other with the successful director, but Salam’s dream-come-true moment finally arrived in the form of ‘Red Wine’, a thriller with a star-studded cast, including Mohanlal, Fahad Fazil and Asif Ali.
“This movie happened in a totally unexpected manner. I had been planning a project with Mammootty as a priest, which got delayed due to date issues. It was then that one of my friends, Mammen K Rajan approached me with this story, which I could readily relate to,” explains Salam about how the movie came to him.
“’Red Wine,’ set in the backdrop of Wayanad’s lush green environs and the cultural ethos of Kozhikode is a realistic thriller. The film has a tinge of everything from love, mirth, bustling city life and campus capers to crime and the whodunnit theme. It is a story that can happen anywhere, but the difference lies in its treatment,” says Salam.
Speaking further about the film, Salam says, “Anoop and Ramesh, the protagonists of the film are two youngsters who are not familiar with each other. The film is about what happens when their paths cross, owing to the unexpected turn of events.”
While Anoop is a philanthropist with an artistic bend of mind, Ramesh is a conceited man who does not bother much about others. The former, who is from Wayanad, is an amateur theatre artist. Salam says, “Anoop has the temperament of the youngsters of eighties, who had the pluck to voice their opinion. But Ramesh is the archetype of the new generation. A sales executive married to an affluent girl, his only concern is to make his wife feel he is rich enough.” Fahad and Asif play Anoop and Ramesh respectively. “Selecting the young actors was not a difficult task, as they agreed to be part of the project as soon as I narrated the story,” the first-time director says.
The twist in ‘Red Wine’ comes with the entry of an investigative officer, Ratheesh Vasudevan. “It is then that Mohanlal enters the frame. The role was tailor-made for him, and it was the actor who asked me to begin the shooting immediately,” Salam says. The director says that Lal’s role is not a cameo, and that he is present throughout the film. Mohanlal finds the connection between the two youngsters. “The story is narrated in an investigative mode,” he says.
Regarding the title ‘Red Wine’, the director says, “It is not a film that promotes drinking. There is no such scene in the film. Instead, it is a celebration of friendship.”
The film has an ensemble female cast including Meghna Raj, Mia, Anusree, Maria John and Meera Nandan. “This is not a male-centric film, and the leading ladies also have due importance,” assures Salam.
Saiju Kurup, Kailash, Suraj Venjaramoodu, Priyanandan, T G Ravi and Sunil Sugatha are the other actors of the film. The film has been canned at several locations in Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kochi and Salem. Bijibal has set the lyrics of Rafeeq Ahmed to music. The film has been produced by A S Gireeshlal under the banner of Gowri Meenakshi Movies. ‘Red Wine’ is set to hit the silverscreen on March 21.
News Courtesy: By Parvathy Nambidi, The New Indian Express