Shaji Kailas

Shaji Kailas (born 8 February 1965) is an Indian film director and scriptwriter known for his works in Malayalam cinema.[2] Shaji got a breakthrough with the comedy film Dr. Pasupathy (1990).[3] Shaji is best known for political thrillers such as Thalastaanam (1992), Sthalathe Pradhana Payyans (1993), Ekalavyan (1993), Mafia (1993), Commissioner (1994), The King (1995), Aaraam Thampuran (1997), Narasimham (2000), and Valliettan (2000).[4]

Shaji Kailas
Shaji kailas.jpg
Born (1965-02-08) 8 February 1965 (age 56)[1]
Years active1989 – present
(m. 1996)
  • Shivaraman Nair
  • Janakiyamma

Personal lifeEdit

Shaji was born to Shivaraman Nair who worked as an executive engineer in P.W.D & Janakiyamma on 8 February 1965.[1] Shaji Kailas married Annie. They currently reside at Thiruvananthapuram and have three sons Jagan, Sharon and Rushin.[5]

Early yearsEdit

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 Sai Kumar 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. In the same year, Ekalavyan completed a run of 150 days in the theatres & played a crucial role in elevating Action King Suresh Gopi to superstardom.[6] [7]Again in the same year, the Shaji Kailas-Renji Panicker-Suresh Gopi team returned with Mafia, an underworld film completely shot in Bangalore. The action superhit is still known for its neatly choreographed action scenes that pitted Rising Mafia King Ravishankar portrayed by Suresh Gopi against the ever-threatening Gowda Brothers portrayed by Tiger Prabhakar & Babu Antony.[8]

In 1994 Commissioner, (again with Suresh Gopi in title role) broke several box office records. Like Commissioner, The King also evoked sharp criticism. 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 the highest-grossing Malayalam film at the time and completed 250 days in theatres. 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 150days at 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).

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 leading role and Baba Kalyani with Mohanlal released ,Both were hits. 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.


Filmfare Awards South

Asianet Film Awards



No. Year Title Language Notes
01 1989 News Malayalam Also story writer
02 1990 Sunday 7 PM Malayalam
03 1990 Dr. Pasupathy Malayalam
03 1991 Souhrudam Malayalam
04 1991 Kilukkampetti Malayalam Also story writer
05 1992 Thalasthanam Malayalam
06 1992 Neelakurukkan Malayalam
07 1993 Sthalathe Pradhana Payyans Malayalam
08 1993 Ekalavyan Malayalam
09 1993 Mafia Malayalam
10 1994 Commissioner Malayalam
11 1994 Rudraksham Malayalam
12 1995 The King Malayalam
13 1996 Mahathma Malayalam
14 1997 Asuravamsam Malayalam
15 1997 Aaram Thamburan Malayalam
16 1998 The Truth Malayalam
17 1999 F.I.R Malayalam
18 2000 Narasimham Malayalam
19 2000 Valliettan Malayalam
20 2001 Vaanchinathan Tamil
21 2002 Shivam Malayalam
22 2002 Thandavam Malayalam
23 2003 Vishnu Telugu
24 2004 Janaa Tamil
25 2004 Natturajavu Malayalam
26 2005 The Tiger Malayalam
27 2006 Chinthamani Kolacase Malayalam
28 2006 The Don Malayalam
27 2006 Baba Kalyani Malayalam Also co-producer
28 2007 Time Malayalam
29 2007 Alibhai Malayalam
30 2008 Sound of Boot Malayalam
31 2008 Ellam Avan Seyal Tamil Remake of Chinthamani Kolacase
32 2009 Red Chillies Malayalam
33 2009 Lalitham Hiranmayam of Kerala Cafe Malayalam Anthology film
34 2010 Drona 2010 Malayalam
35 2011 August 15 Malayalam
36 2012 The King and the Commissioner Malayalam Crossover sequel to The King and Commissioner
37 2012 Simhasanam Malayalam Also story writer
38 2012 Madirasi Malayalam
39 2013 Ginger Malayalam
40 2015 En Vazhi Thani Vazhi Tamil
41 2017 Vaigai Express Tamil
42 TBA Kaduva Malayalam

Other creditsEdit

Year Title Credit Notes
1984 Thathamme Poocha Poocha Assistant director
1985 Naayakan Assistant director
1985 Pattabhishekam Assistant director
1986 Geetham Assistant director
1986 Snehamulla Simham Assistant director
1988 Padamudra Associate director
1989 News Story writer Also director
1991 Kilukkampetti Story writer Also director
1999 Ustaad Co-producer
2006 Baba Kalyani Co-producer Also director
2012 Simhasanam Story writer Also director
2019 Jananayakan Judge Reality TV show on Amrita TV
2019 Thakkol Producer


  1. ^ a b ദി കിംഗ്‌ മേക്കര്‍. (1 December 2012). Retrieved on 28 December 2013.
  2. ^ Desk, The Hindu Net (15 October 2019). "Prithviraj to team up again with Ajith's 'Jana' director Shaji Kailas" – via
  3. ^ "Prithviraj to team up with director Shaji Kailas, shares poster of 'Kaduva'". The Week.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Mrs Shaji Kailas speaks. The New Indian Express. 16 May 2012.
  6. ^ Desk, The Hindu Net (15 October 2019). "Prithviraj to team up again with Ajith's 'Jana' director Shaji Kailas" – via
  7. ^
  8. ^ Desk, The Hindu Net (15 October 2019). "Prithviraj to team up again with Ajith's 'Jana' director Shaji Kailas" – via

External linksEdit