Sigappu Rojakkal

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Sigappu Rojakkal
Sigappu Rojakal.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBharathirajaa
Produced byJ. Padmavathi
Written byBharathirajaa
K. Bhagyaraj (dialogues)
Music byIlaiyaraaja
CinematographyP. S. Nivas
Edited byP. Bhaskaran
K. R. G. Productions
Release date
  • 28 October 1978 (1978-10-28)

Sigappu Rojakkal (transl. Red Roses) is a 1978 Indian Tamil-language psychological thriller film co-written and directed by Bharathirajaa. The film starring Kamal Haasan and Sridevi. It revolves around Dileep, who is traumatised by women's behavior in his childhood, and grows up to be a psychopath misogynist who kills women after having sex with them.

Sigappu Rojakkal was inspired by serial killer Raman Raghav's grisly crimes. It was deliberately meant to be different from Bharathiraja's earlier ventures. The dialogues were written by Bhagyaraj, cinematography was handled by P. S. Nivas, and the music was composed by Ilaiyaraaja.

Sigappu Rojakkal was released on 28 October 1978, and completed a 175-day run at the box office. It won two Filmfare Awards in the Best Actor and Best Director categories. The film was later remade in Hindi as Red Rose (1980).


Dileep is a successful industrialist who runs a company named Minerva Exports & Imports. Despite his humble exterior, he has a dark side; he preys on nubile girls, has sex with them, and kills them. These proceedings are video-recorded and watched by his adoptive father and mentor, another deranged woman-hater who, as with Dileep, had a disillusioning experience with women in his past. The old man stays holed up in a far corner of Dileep's mansion watching his adopted son carry out what he is too infirm to do. The victims are buried in Dileep's garden and a rosebush is grown above.

Dileep meets a garments saleswoman, Sarada, and develops a romantic attraction for her. Conservative Sarada insists that Dileep must marry her if he wants to have his way with her. The romance proceeds and culminates into marriage. On their first nght after marriage, Dileep rushes away to tackle a witness who had seen him taking Chitra, an employee of Minerva, to a restaurant; Chitra was subsequently killed by Dileep. The witness, a waiter at the restaurant, demands money to be silent, forcing Dileep to kill him.

Meanwhile, Sarada, who has been waiting for Dileep, notices several odd situations in the home. Dileep's cat licks Sarada's blood after she inadvertently cuts her finger. The cat chases her and she ends up in a secret room where the entire story of Dileep is written on a wall by him. It contains details of his deranged life and the names of the girls he had killed. Frightened, Sarada rushes out and stumbles into the room of Dileep's adoptive father (who Dileep had told her was mentally ill and not to be disturbed) and gets shocked seeing him watching videos of Dileep having sex with girls and killing them. Sarada screams, catching his attention but manages to lock him and tries to escape from the home, but Dileep returns.

When Dileep goes to park his car, Sarada rushes out of the house. After freeing his adoptive father and realising that his cover is blown, Dileep chases Sarada. The chase culminates in a graveyard where Dileep accidentally gets impaled by a cross but survives. When he continues to chase Sarada while staggering, he is caught by the police. Dileep is imprisoned but becomes mentally imbalanced. He keeps chanting and writing Sarada's name on the wall as it is the only coherent thought that remains; all other memories have been erased from his mind. Sarada, instead of remarrying, regularly visits Dileep in jail, confident that her marriage will be saved and Dileep will be released soon.



After directing two films – 16 Vayathinile (1977) and Kizhakke Pogum Rail (1978) – which were set in villages, Bharathirajaa chose to make his third film, the thriller Sigappu Rojakkal in a different genre to avoid being labelled by people as a director of "village-based films".[3] The film was inspired by serial killer Raman Raghav's grisly crimes.[4] It was produced by J. Padmavathi under K. R. G. Productions.[5] Bharathirajaa wanted actor Sivakumar to act in the lead role in the film, over his assistant directors' objections. But after Bharathirajaa narrated the story, Sivakumar rejected the offer, feeling it was not suitable for him.[3] Kamal Haasan was eventually cast; he claims to have known the story of the film six years before shooting began.[6] For his character's looks, Haasan wore "fitted suits with button-up shirts, ties" and flared bell-bottoms, in addition to "bright printed button-up shirts with enlarged collars and leather jackets".[7] One of the shooting locations was a bungalow in T. Nagar.[8]

Haasan had told Bharathirajaa that his character, a psychopathic killer, should not be singing and dancing but Bharathiraja deflected Haasan's objection, saying that the song "Ninaivo Oru Paravai" was a dream sequence, shot from the heroine's point of view.[9] K. Bhagyaraj was one of the associates in the film and also appeared in a small role of a waiter.[10][3]


The music composed by Ilaiyaraaja.[11][12] When Haasan was singing an English song at a concert, Ilaiyaraaja who witnessed this observed that he sang the higher notes well, and thus provided him to sing "Ninaivo Oru Paravai".[13][14] A remixed version of the song was later included on M. Rafi's album Aasaiyae Alaipolae.[15]

1."Indha Minminikku"KannadasanS. Janaki, Malaysia Vasudevan4:28
2."Ninaivo Oru Paravai"VaaliKamal Haasan, S. Janaki4:45

Release and reception[edit]

Sigappu Rojakkal was released on 28 October 1978, three days before Diwali.[16] In a review dated 19 November 1978, the Tamil magazine Ananda Vikatan rated the film 53 out of 100.[17] Despite facing competition from other Diwali releases, it became a commercial success.[18] It won two Filmfare Awards in the Best Actor and Best Director categories.[19]


Sigappu Rojakkal was remade in Hindi by Bharathiraja himself as Red Rose (released in 1980).[20]

In November 2009, Manoj Bharathiraja was announced to be making his directorial debut by remaking Sigappu Rojakkal. Manoj narrated his script to actors Ajith Kumar and then Dhanush in late 2009, both of whom were unable to do the film.[21] After his stint as an assistant director in Shankar's Enthiran in early 2010, Manoj continued fine tuning the script and stated it was not a full remake and only drew inspiration from the original. He also revealed that director Ram had also helped on work with the script, while expressing interest in casting either actors Arya or Atharvaa to portray the lead character.[22]

In October 2014, the film was confirmed to be on the verge of starting shoot with Manoj confirmed as director, while the original film's director P. Bharathiraja announced that he would produce the venture. G. V. Prakash Kumar was signed on as the music composer, while Rajesh Yadav and Pazhanivel were picked as the project's cinematographer and editor.[23] The film began production in Chennai during November 2014, with a publicity poster revealing that debutant actor Vishakan would portray the lead role.[24] Bharathiraja revealed that he would play himself during the film's first half and stated that filming would take place in India and abroad in Switzerland.[25] He also revealed that the film would not be a sequel, but would tell the story of a youngster who is affected to commit crimes after watching the original film featuring Kamal Haasan.[26] In January 2016, Manoj stated that work on the film had been postponed.[27]


The success of Sigappu Rojakkal inspired more films in Tamil about psychopathic killers such as Moodu Pani (1980), Kaadhal Kondein (2003), Manmadhan (2004) and Nadunisi Naaygal (2011).[28] Footage from Sigappu Rojakkal was also used in Yugam (2012).[29] The line "Kuthunga Yesamaan Kuthunga, Indha Ponnungale Ippadithaan Kuthunga" from the song "Ivaluga Imsai Thaanga Mudiyala" in Kalakalappu (2012) was named after the dialogue of the same name in Sigappu Rojakkal.[30]


  1. ^ Nathan, Archana (28 June 2017). "Before Bollywood, Sridevi showed off her acting chops in Tamil cinema". Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  2. ^ Vandhana (26 November 2018). "'I Played Wife, Mother & Grandmother In My 20s. I Got Used To It': In Conversation With Vadivukkarasi". Archived from the original on 7 April 2020. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  3. ^ a b c Sri (31 December 2010). "Stars : Star Interviews : K.Bhaagya Raj — Chitchat". Archived from the original on 31 December 2010. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  4. ^ Chatterjee, Suprateek (15 September 2015). "Nawazuddin Is Playing Serial Killer Raman Raghav In Anurag Kashyap's Next". HuffPost. Archived from the original on 30 March 2019. Retrieved 13 April 2020.
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  6. ^ Suganth, M. (4 February 2016). "Censoring, I think, should not be done in the modern world". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 27 November 2016. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  7. ^ Raj, Maya (July 2010). "Style Sutra: Kamal Haasan". South Scope. pp. 50–53.
  8. ^ Raman, Mohan V. (16 September 2016). "In Only Five Films, M.S. Subbulakshmi Made Her Way to the Stars". The Wire. Archived from the original on 7 March 2019. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  9. ^ Haasan, Kamal (20 October 2012). "'Of course Velu Nayakan doesn't dance'". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 12 June 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  10. ^ Kingston, Daya. "Director Bhagyaraj — Interview". Behindwoods. Archived from the original on 22 September 2017. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  11. ^ "Sikappu Rojakal (1978)". Archived from the original on 16 August 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  12. ^ Ilaiyaraaja (1978). Sigappu Rojakkal (liner notes) (in Tamil). Inreco.
  13. ^ Rangan, Baradwaj (21 August 2014). "'You can feel the fear in the song'". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 16 February 2018. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  14. ^ Rangan, Baradwaj (28 August 2014). "'He taught me to sing with abandon'". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 16 February 2018. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  15. ^ Srinivasan, Pavithra (18 April 2008). "Remix Rage". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 16 February 2018. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  16. ^ "Sridevi films which led her to road of success". The News Today. 25 February 2018. Archived from the original on 15 June 2018. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  17. ^ "சினிமா விமர்சனம்: சிகப்பு ரோஜாக்கள்" [Movie Review: Sigappu Rojakkal]. Ananda Vikatan (in Tamil). 19 November 1978. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  18. ^ "மேல் நாடுகளில் இந்தியாவின் மானம் பறந்தன!". Dinamalar (in Tamil). Nellai. 14 August 2017. Archived from the original on 6 March 2019. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  19. ^ The Times of India Directory and Year Book Including Who's who. Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd. 1984. p. 234.
  20. ^ "A rose by any name". The Economic Times. 17 November 2007. Archived from the original on 31 January 2017. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  21. ^ "Manoj narrates script to Ajith and Dhanush". Behindwoods. 12 December 2009. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
  22. ^ Srinivasa, Ramanujam (3 October 2010). "It's a challenge to satisfy Shankar". The Times of India. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
  23. ^ "Sigappu Rojakkal is set for part two". Archived from the original on 28 December 2014. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
  24. ^ "`Sigappu Rojakkal-2` starts rolling in Chennai". Sify. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
  25. ^ "I play myself in Sigappu Rojakkal 2: Bharathirajaa". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 5 December 2014. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
  26. ^ "Bharathirajaa Awaiting Eagerly to Act in Son's Direction". The New Indian Express. Archived from the original on 22 December 2014. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
  27. ^ "IndiaGlitz — Yuvan Shankar Raja to score music for Manoj K Bharathis debut directorial — Tamil Movie News". Archived from the original on 19 June 2017. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
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  29. ^ "Yugam Movie Review". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 11 March 2017. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  30. ^ Karthik, Janani. "Crass lyrics, or industry's attitude towards women?". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 1 October 2017. Retrieved 22 May 2017.

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