Shaji Kailas

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Shaji Kailas
Shaji kailas.jpg
Born (1965-08-15) 15 August 1965 (age 53)[1]
Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
OccupationFilm director, scriptwriter, producer
Years active1989–2015

Shaji Kailas is an Indian film director who works in Malayalam cinema. He is best known for his action films of the 1990s. Shaji got a break in the industry with the comedy film Dr. Pasupathy (1990). He frequently collaborated with screenwriters Renji Panicker and Ranijth. With Renji Panicker, Shaji made popular political thrillers such as Thalastaanam (1992), Sthalathe Pradhana Payyans (1993), Ekalavyan (1993), Mafia (1993), Commissioner (1994), and The King (1995). Shaji's collaboration with Ranijth brought forth stories set in a feudal background, such as Aaraam Thampuran (1997), Narasimham (2000), and Valliettan (2000).


Early years[edit]

Shaji Kailas started his film career as assistant director under renowned writer director Balu kiriyath in 1984.Shaji Kailas's debut as a director was in 1989 with News, starring Suresh Gopi in the lead role. Scripted by Jagadish, this investigative thriller was an average grosser. But, with this film, Shaji succeeded in gaining attention of film viewers. But his second release Sunday 7 PM, came out in 1990 was a big flop. Later in the same year, he directed Dr. Pasupathy, a political satire, with Innocent in a leading role. Dr. Pashupathi, written by Renji Panicker, ended up as one of the biggest grosser of the year. This film also marked the beginning of Shaji Kailas- Renji Panicker combo, which later went into making of several super hits. But, the success of Dr. Pashupathy was followed by huge flop Souhrudam, starring Mukesh and Saikumar in the leading roles. However the comedy film Kilukkampetti, with Jayaram as hero was hit. Shaji Kailas then switched to action films.


In the year 1992 Shaji Kailas got his first real career break. His association with Renji Panicker brought out Thalastaanam, with Suresh Gopi in the leading role. Revolved around student politics, Thalastaanam also marked the rebirth of Renji Panicker as a scriptwriter. This film also marked Suresh Gopi's first step to super stardom. The cinematography of the film was done by Ravi K. Chandran. This film also saw the rise of Narendra Prasad, who later became one of the most acclaimed villains in the Malayalam industry. In the same year Shaji Kailas tried out a comedy flick, Neelakurukkan, which was above average grosser. But in the beginning of 1993 Shaji Kailas landed up again with another blockbuster, Sthalathe Pradhana Payyans, again penned by Renji Panicker. This film turned into a landmark in the career of Jagadish, who until then limited to comic roles. In 1993 Ekalavyan was released. Scripted again by Renji Panicker, Ekalavyan was a feather in Shaji Kailas' cap. Suresh Gopi got established as an undisputed super star with this political thriller. Produced by P. V. Gangadharan for Grihalakshmi Productions, Ekalavyan also had a back up of a huge star cast including Vijayaraghavan, Siddique, Narendra Prasad, Geetha, Janardanan, Madhu, Devan and Maniyanpilla Raju and completed a run of 150 days in the theatres. In 1993, the Shaji Kailas-Renji Panicker-Suresh Gopi team returned with Mafia, an underworld film completely shot in Bangalore.

In 1994 Commissioner, (again with Suresh Gopi in title role) broke several box office records. This film, like previous Shaji-Renji films, created several controversies in Kerala political circles, prompting various political groups to demand a strict censoring of political films. Later in 1994 Shaji Kailas joined with Ranjith for the first time to bring out Rudraksham. This film starred Suresh Gopi and Annie. In spite of the huge initial pull, Rudraksham bombed at box office. It was on the sets of Rudraksham he met Annie, later he married Annie & she joined Hindu religion & renamed as Chithra Shaji Kailas. In the year 1995, The King was released, becoming one of the biggest hits in the history of Malayalam cinema and running for 200 days. Again, this was a political thriller written by Renji Panicker, but it starred Mammooty in the lead role. Like Commissioner, The King also evoked sharp criticism from different corners for its sharp language against the political system. This was to be his last film with Renji Panicker. In 1996 Shaji Kailas directed Mahathma, another underworld thriller, again with Suresh Gopi in a lead role. Scripted by T. Damodaran, the film was a flop. In the next year, in 1997 Shaji Kailas again joined with Ranjith for a low-budget action film titled Asuravamsam, with Manoj K. Jayan, Siddique and Biju Menon in leading roles. This film was criticised by many for its extremely violent scenes. He also done some cinematography for action scenes of the film. Asuravamsam was also an average grosser. In the same year, he again joined with Ranjith to make Aaram Thamburan, a turning point in his film career. In this film, he joined with Mohanlal for the first time. This film was a sensational hit and completed 200 days in theatres. For the first time Shaji Kailas gave importance to songs. Then came The Truth, in 1998, with Mammooty as hero. It was an investigative thriller. In 1999, he directed FIR, another action flick with his friend Suresh Gopi as hero scripted by Dennis Joseph.


In 2000, he directed two films. Narasimham, released in the first weeks of the year, with Mohanlal in the lead role swept the box office and became the highest-grossing Malayalam film ever. Scripted by Ranjith, this film completed 150 days in theatres. Just after the big success of Narasimham, again Shaji Kailas paired with Renjith, but this time it was Mammootty in the leading role. Valliettan, the Onam release of 2000 also successfully completed 100 days at box office. Following the these two films, Shaji made his debut in T Tamil film, with Vaanchinathan in (2001). But he failed to create any impact in Tamil as this film starring Vijaykanth, ended as a Hit . It was followed by Shivam in 2002, starring Biju Menon, again an average film. In spite of initial pulls, this film performed no magic at the box office. Then came Thandavam, though evoked one of the biggest initial pulls in the history of Malayalam cinema, Thandavam failed at the box office. He took a break for one year. It was at this time, Shaji again tried out his luck in Tamil with Jana in (2004). Despite having Ajith Kumar, in the title role, Jana was a big flop at the box office. His Telugu debut with Vishnu, the launch pad of Vishnu Manchu failed at the box office.

In the year 2004 Shaji Kailas made a comeback in Malayalam with Natturajavu. With Mohanlal in lead role and, scripted by T. A. Shahid, Natturajavu was a commercial success in the box office. In the year 2005 Shaji Kailas directed The Tiger, an investigative thriller starring Suresh Gopi. In 2006, Chinthamani Kolacase, a vigilante suspense thriller with Suresh Gopi in a leading role, was released.

However, his first film with Dileep, The Don, turned into a huge flop in 2006. The next film, Baba Kalyani, starring Mohanlal, was a moderate hit at box office which completed 75 days in theatres. But later, Shaji failed to find his rhythm. Time in 2007, Alibhai and Sound of Boot in 2008 was not up to the mark. In January 2010, Shaji Kailas directed Drona 2010, which turned out to be another fiasco. Beginning of 2011 showcased his attempt to reclaim his position within Malayalam industry with the sequel of yesteryear mega hit "August 1", 15 August which garnered heavy negative reviews from critics and audiences alike and was finally declared as another flop by Shaji Kailas. His next movie was with Mammotty and Suresh Gopi named The King and the Commissioner the movie was the next part of the yesteryear blockbusters The King and Commissioner.

His next movie was Simhasanam with Prithviraj Sukumaran and Sai Kumar in the lead role. The movie was released in July 2012 and ends up with a huge disaster.

After a series of biggest flops in Malayalam he decided to turn to comedy and he joined hands with popular star Jayaram for Madirasi. Meghna Raj is the heroine of the film. This was another devastating movie in Malayalam in 2012. He also said once that he will stop directing if Madirashi also becomes a failure. Then he joined hands again with Popular Star Jayaram for Ginger but that too failed miserably at Box Office.

Recently it has been announced that Shaji will direct a film scripted by Ranjith and Renji Panicker jointly which will star Mohanlal and Mammootty in the lead.[2] It was later shelved.

Personal life[edit]

Shaji was born to Shivaraman Nair who worked as an executive engineer in P.W.D & Janakiyamma on Independence Day 15 August 1965.[1] Shaji Kailas got married to Annie on 1 June 1996 at the residence of his close friend Suresh Gopi, in the presence of a few close friends. Annie later adopted the name Chithra. She had earlier acted in his film Rudraksham. They currently reside at Thiruvananthapuram and have three sons Jagannathan, Sharana, and Roshan.[3]


Filmfare Award

Asianet Film Awards


No. Year Title Language Cast Script Cinematography
01 1989 News Malayalam Suresh Gopi, Ranjini, Babu Antony, Lizy, Jagadish, Madhu Jagadeesh Anandakuttan
02 1990 Sunday 7 PM Malayalam Saikumar, Silk Smitha, Nimmy Daniels, Lalu Alex, Siddique Kaloor Dennis Santhosh Sivan
03 1990 Dr. Pasupathy Malayalam Innocent, Parvathy, Jagathi Sreekumar, Kuthiravattam Pappu, Jagadish, Nedumudi Venu Renji Panicker Santhosh Sivan
03 1991 Souhrudam Malayalam Mukesh, Saikumar, Parvathy, Urvashi Sasi Shanker, Kaloor Dennis Saroj Padi
04 1991 Kilukkampetti Malayalam Jayaram, Suchitra Krishnamurti, Janardanan, Innocent, Saikumar Rajan Kiriyath-Vinu Kiriyath Ravi K. Chandran
05 1992 Thalasthanam Malayalam Suresh Gopi, Geetha, Vijayakumar, Narendra Prasad, Ashokan, Janardanan, M. G. Soman, Biyon Renji Panicker Ravi K. Chandran
06 1992 Neelakurukkan Malayalam Mahesh, Baiju, Ganeshan, Saikumar, Ashokan Kaloor Dennis Anandakuttan
07 1993 Sthalathe Pradhana Payyans Malayalam Jagadish, Narendra Prasad, Siddique, Janardanan, Suresh Gopi, Geetha, Biyon Renji Panicker Ravi K. Chandran
08 1993 Ekalavyan Malayalam Suresh Gopi, Geetha, Narendra Prasad, Vijayaraghavan, Siddique Renji Panicker Ravi K. Chandran
09 1993 Mafia Malayalam Suresh Gopi, Janardanan, Vikram Geetha, M. G. Soman, Babu Antony Renji Panicker Ravi K. Chandran
10 1994 Commissioner Malayalam Suresh Gopi, Shobhana, Ratheesh, M. G. Soman, Vijayaraghavan Renji Panicker Dinesh Babu
11 1994 Rudraksham Malayalam Suresh Gopi, Annie, Geetha, Vijayaraghavan, Devan Ranjith S. Kumar
12 1995 The King Malayalam Mammootty, Murali, Vani Viswanath, Suresh Gopi, Vijayaraghavan, Devan Renji Panicker Ravi K. Chandran, Dinesh Babu
13 1996 Mahathma Malayalam Suresh Gopi, Ramya Krishnan, Biju Menon, Rajan P Dev, Ganeshan, Devan T.Damodaran Dinesh Babu, Tony
14 1997 Asuravamsam Malayalam Manoj K. Jayan, Siddique, Priya Raman, Biju Menon, Rajan P Dev, Narendra Prasad Ranjith Manikandan
15 1997 Aaram Thamburan Malayalam Mohanlal, Narendra Prasad, Saikumar, Manju Warrier, Priya Raman, Kuthiravattam Pappu Ranjith P. Sukumar
16 1998 The Truth Malayalam Mammootty, Saikumar, Thilakan, Balachandra Menon, Vani Viswanath, Murali S. N. Swami Anandakuttan
17 1999 F.I.R Malayalam Suresh Gopi, Saikumar, Rajeev, Biju Menon, Indraja, Devan Dennis Joseph Anandakuttan
18 2000 Narasimham Malayalam Mohanlal, Saikumar, N. F. Varghese, Aishwarya, Jagathi Sreekumar, Narendra Prasad Ranjith Sanjeev Shankar
19 2000 Valliettan Malayalam Mammootty, Saikumar, N. F. Varghese, Shobhana, Manoj K. Jayan, Siddique Ranjith Ravi Varman
20 2001 Vaanchinathan Tamil Vijayakanth, Prakash Raj, Sakshi Shivanand, Ramya Krishnan Liyakath Ali Khan S. Saravanan
21 2002 Shivam Malayalam Biju Menon, Saikumar, N. F. Varghese, Nandini, Rajan P. Dev B. Unnikrishnan Ravi Varman
22 2002 Thandavam Malayalam Mohanlal, Saikumar, Kiran Rathod, Manoj K. Jayan, Nedumudi Venu, Jagadish Suresh Babu Sanjeev Shankar
23 2003 Vishnu Telugu Vishnu Manchu, Vedika (Shilpa Shivanand), Neetu Chandra Mohan Rao Duriki, Paruchuri Brothers S. Saravanan
24 2004 Janaa Tamil Ajith Kumar, Sneha, Raghuvaran, Rajan P. Dev, Siddique Himself, Mona Palanisamy Rajeev Ravi
25 2004 Natturajavu Malayalam Mohanlal, Meena, Ranjith, Siddique, Vijayaraghavan, Nayanthara T.A. Shahid Anandakuttan
26 2005 The Tiger Malayalam Suresh Gopi, Siddique, Saikumar, Gopika, Rajan P. Dev, Murali B. Unnikrishnan B. Shadath
27 2006 Chinthamani Kolacase Malayalam Suresh Gopi, Bhavana, Saikumar, Thilakan, Kalabhavan Mani A. K. Sajan Rajarathnam
28 2006 The Don Malayalam Dileep, Gopika, Lal, Saikumar, Bheeman Raghu J.Pallassery Rajarathnam
27 2006 Baba Kalyani Malayalam Mohanlal, Mamta Mohandas, Indrajith, Saikumar, Siddique, Murali S.N. Swami Shaji
28 2007 Time Malayalam Suresh Gopi, Vimala Raman, Manoj K. Jayan, Saikumar, Siddique, Lal Rajesh Jayaraman Rajarathnam
29 2007 Alibhai Malayalam Mohanlal, Gopika, Cochin Haneefa, Saikumar, Siddique T.A. Shahid T.S. Sharavanan
30 2008 Sound of Boot Malayalam Suresh Gopi, Bala, Murali, Rajan P. Dev, Bheeman Raghu Rajesh Jayaraman R. Raja Rathnam
31 2008 Ellam Avan Seyal Tamil R.K., Bhama, Ashish Vidyarthi A. K. Sajan, Himself, V. Prabhakar Raaja Ratnam
32 2009 Red Chillies Malayalam Mohanlal, Biju Menon, Siddique, Thilakan, Vijayaraghavan, Jagadeesh A. K. Sajan Shaji
33 2009 Lalitham Hiranmayam of Kerala Cafe Malayalam Suresh Gopi, Jyothirmayi Rajesh Jayaraman Manoj Pillai
34 2010 Drona 2010 Malayalam Mammootty, Thilakan, Kanika, Manoj K. Jayan, Devan A. K. Sajan Ekambaran
35 2011 August 15 Malayalam Mammootty, Siddique, Saikumar, Meghna Raj S. N. Swami Pradeep Kumar
36 2012 The King and the Commissioner Malayalam Mammootty, Suresh Gopi, Renji Panicker Bharani K. Dharan, Sharavanan
37 2012 Simhasanam Malayalam Prithviraj, Saikumar, Riyaz Khan, Siddique, Thilakan, Biju Pappan Shaji Kailas Shaji, Saravanaan, Vishnu Namboothiri
38 2012 Madirasi Malayalam Jayaram, Meera Nandan Rajesh Jayaraman Shaji
39 2013 Ginger Malayalam Jayaram, Muktha George Rajesh Jayaraman Raja Rathnam
40 2015 En Vazhi Thani Vazhi Tamil R. K., Poonam Kaur V. Prabhakar Raja Rathnam
41 2017 Vaigai Express Tamil R. K., Neetu Chandra, Iniya, Suja Varunee, Komal Sharma V. Prabhakar Sanjeev Shankar

As second unit director or assistant director[edit]

  • Geetham (1986) (assistant director)
  • Snehamulla Simham (1986) (assistant director)
  • Naayakan (1985) (assistant director)
  • Pattabhishekam (1985) (assistant director)
  • Thathamme Poocha Poocha (1984) (assistant director)
  • Padamudra (1988) (associate director)

As writer[edit]

As co-producer[edit]


  • 2019:Jananayakan (Amrita TV) as Judge


  1. ^ a b ദി കിംഗ്‌ മേക്കര്‍. (1 December 2012). Retrieved on 28 December 2013.
  2. ^ Mohanlal and Mammootty in Shaji Kailass film
  3. ^ Mrs Shaji Kailas speaks. The New Indian Express. 16 May 2012.

External links[edit]