Lal Jose was born in Valapad in Thrissur, Kerala. Lal Jose did his schooling at NSS KPT School and NSS College Ottapalam. After completing his degree, he left for Chennai, with an aim of getting into movies. He got into the world of cinema by assisting noted director Kamal. He worked with Kamal in 16 films, from Pradheshika Varthakkal to Krishnagudiyil Oru Pranayakalathu. He also worked as associate director to prominent filmmakers like Thampy Kannamthanam, Lohithadas, Harikumar, Vinayan, K. K. Haridas, and Nizar. In 1998, he made his debut as an independent director with Oru Maravathoor Kanavu, which starred Mammootty and was scripted by Sreenivasan. It was actor Mammooty who asked Lal Jose to direct a film for him. The huge success of his debut movie Oru Maravathoor Kanavu earned him a positive reputation. The photography and narration style was appreciated by many critics. His next venture was Chandranudikkunna Dikhil in 2000, with Dileep as hero, which did well at the box office. In 2001, Lal Jose directed Randaam Bhavam starring Suresh Gopi. Even though was critically appreciated, this film flawed at the box office. In later years, it was widely acclaimed later as one of the best action films of 2000’s.
In 2002 Lal Jose, teaming up with screenwriter Renjan Pramod, who had earlier scripted Randaam Bhaavam, came up with Meesa Madhavan, which was a milestone in his career along with that of Dileep. Meesa Madhavan was a huge hit and established Dileep as a new super star. But his next film Pattalam, starring Mammootty, bombed in 2003. The next film, Rasikan, released in 2005 was also a huge flop. But Lal Jose proved his critics wrong in the same year with Chanthupottu, starring Dileep. The huge box-office success of Chanthupottu took Lal Jose’s career to new heights. Dileep’s performance in this film was also highly appreciated. In 2006, Lal Jose brought out Achanurangatha Veedu, a low-budget film, which failed to bring audiences to the movie halls, though it won critical appreciation.
Lal Jose created a mania in Kerala in 2006 with Classmates, which broke all the collection records in the Malayalam cinema industry. Released without much publicity, with no big stars, this film became the highest grossing film in Malayalam, until its record was broken by Twenty:20 two years later. In 2007, he did Arabikkatha, with Sreenivasan in a leading role. Arabikkatha was both critically and commercially a big hit. His next movie Mulla, starring Dileep, got a cold response and did no good for either Lal Jose or Dileep. In 2009, Lal Jose directed Neelathamara, written by M. T. Vasudevan Nair, which was a remake of the 30-year-old movie with the same name. This film was accepted well by the critics and the masses. He also directed a story with Mammootty as lead in Kerala Cafe in 2010. He then directed the hit film Elsamma Enna Aankutty without multistars. In 2011, he also became a judge on a reality show on Surya TV called Vivel Active Fair Big Break, where the winner would be the heroine on his next movie.
Most of his films have music composed by Vidyasagar , except for a couple of low-budget ventures.
Lal Jose has now been the project director of “Celebrate Keralam”, a platform for creative and skilled professionals including documentary makers, photographers, writers, journalists, film makers, musicians, actors and art lovers to put their hands and minds together to fulfill their passion and give something back to their cherished homeland Keralam.