iconimg Thursday, September 03, 2015

Gautaman Bhaskaran, Hindustan Times
Chennai, April 12, 2014
Much as you may wrack your brains, you will not be able to link the title, Naan Sigappu Manithan (I Am A Red Man) to the plot. Which, by the way, is a novel. About narcolepsy - a rare sleep disorder where the patient falls asleep at the slightest excitement - the film weaves a love story that turns into a thriller. 
Naan Sigappu Manithan (I Am A Red Man)
Direction: Thiru
Cast: Vishal, Lakshmi Menon
Running Time: 149 minutes
Rating: **

So, how would you classify it? Love thriller, maybe. Whatever it is, the movie ends up in a heap of dead bodies - men, some friends, murdered for love, lust and revenge. Director Thiru spices his story further with a gang-rape, the crime here committed by paid rapists! That is new for you.

Naan Sigappu Manithan, despite the novelty of its subject, falls into the same pit that so many other Indian movies do. Thiru, who also penned the script, messes up the narrative by crowding it with silly songs and sillier situations/locales and needless subtexts, and in the end narcolepsy looks like a mere excuse to tell this tale of blood-soaked vengeance.

Indran (played well by Vishal) suffers from narcolepsy, and even a loud noise or the mildest of excitement is just enough to push him into deep sleep. He falls, time and again, but never seems to get hurt, and when Meera (Lakshmi Menon) begins to love him, her rich businessman father ( a restrained Jayaprakash) tells her that he is fine with economic disparity or cast differences, but he cannot do without an heir.

So what does Meera do? She knows that Indran has an armour against his malady. Water acts as an antidote for his sleepiness, and she takes him underwater to have sex. And, viola, she gets pregnant. Thiru must have been sleepwalking when he visualised this utterly bizarre solution.  (In Maan Karate, we saw a sage meditating under water.)

This is Tamil cinema for you. When it cannot come up with something plausible, it creates the implausible. And, not surprisingly, therefore, Naan Sigappu Manithan cannot rise above its dreary drowsiness.