RED ALERT- THE WAR WITHIN begins with the shot of a newspaper clipping on a Naxalism case followed by a two paragraph hurried narration on the origin of Naxalism. The filmmakers believe that this succinct information is good enough for a 'backgrounder' on Naxalism.
Narasimha (Suniel Shetty) is a poor farmer who supplies food to a naxal group for a living. Suddenly, he finds himself being a part of the Naxalite movement; his only motivation being money to support his family. He takes up reprehensible activities such as shootouts and kidnappings.
Lakshmi (Sameera Reddy) who is raped by the police, is given shelter by the same Naxalite group, which is lead by Velu (Ashish Vidyarthi). Soon, she's part of the movement too.
There comes a point where Narasimha can't take it any more and has a confrontation with Velu which goes horribly wrong. Narasimha flees and finds himself trapped between the Maoists and the law.
The main drawback of the film is its weak script that makes you indifferent to all the characters. You don't really know what the group actually wants. There is just a meek dialogue 'there's a difference between terrorism and revolution. While terrorists are against the country, revolutionaries are against the system', we are told.
Nothing much happens in the sluggish first half apart from a few action sequences, which are bereft of finesse. It picks up slightly in the second half. Though the twist in the climax is novel, it's very unreal.
Out of nowhere, there is an intimate scene between Narasimha and Lakshmi which induces farce. There is also this police informer in the Naxal group who keeps his original police identity card with him, guess it was intended or is it?
Cinematography by K. Rajkumar is strictly average. The music by Lalit Pandit is decent.
Suniel Shetty is good in his role but it is nothing extraordinary. Sameera Reddy is passable. Naseeruddin Shah has a blink and miss role yet again after RAAJNEETI. Bhagyashree doesn't have much to do in the film. Vinod Khanna is completely wasted. Ashish Vidyarthi stands out with his superlative performance. Seema Biswas is decent in her miniscule role.
RED ALERT- THE WAR WITHIN doesn't hit you hard. In fact, it leaves you numb.