Idhu Namma Aalu (Eng: He Is Our Man) is a 1988 Tamil language comedy film written by K. Bhagyaraj and directed by writer Balakumaran.
Gopalsamy, a poor graduate of Bachelor of Arts, travels to the city in order to financially provide for his mother’s eye surgery. Being unable to meet both ends meet, he encounters a Brahmin priest and food seller that employs young men forging their identity in order to deceive his customers. The priest obliges Gopal to impersonate a Brahmin and sell food in the neighboring agraharam. Being a non-Brahmin Gopal finds it morally reprehensible to wear the sacred thread. Being forced in the circumstances to put on the Brahman identity, he sets off to perform Ganapati homam with three other priests.
Srinivasa Sastri is an orthodox Brahmin priest who will preserve his Brahmin regulations mentioned in the Vedas. Though he helps non-Brahmin low caste people, he cannot tolerate them touching his clothes. Gopal comes to Srinivasa Sastri’s home for the Ganapathy homam and meets Banu. Srinivasa Sastri figures out that Gopal does not know any sacred chants but understands that Gopal is an educated Brahmin who is looking for a job. He offers him a job as a clerk in a temple and lets him stay in his out-house. Gopal’s innocence attracts Banu and she falls for him. Gopal keeps away from her to not encourage a relationship, causing a fight. Srinivasa Sastri gives money for Gopal’s mother’s operation and Gopal is loyal to him. Banu’s mother wants Gopal to marry her daughter, but Gopal falsely insists that he has a bride waiting for him. Banu finds that Gopal loves her. She kisses him in front of her parents, Srinivasa Sastri accepts their relationship and arranges for marriage. Gopal reveals that he is not a Brahmin, but Banu does not believe him and both marry in Brahmin’s traditions. Gopal’s parents (Kumarimuthu and Manorama) come to marriage without their son’s knowledge and they are shocked by the wedding. They reveal themselves to a priest, Srinivasa Sastri, and ask him to convey their blessings. On knowing the truth, he furiously tells Gopal to swear that he does not live as husband to his daughter to which Gopal promises as a punishment.
Srinivasa Sastri is disappointed on his daughter’s marriage. Gopal’s parents seeks for apology for their son’s act and requests him to unite Gopal and Banu, which Sastri does not accept. Gopal is strong to keep up the promise given to his father-in-law and declines to live as husband and wife. Banu goes to meet her husband which angers Sastri and he tells her to get out of his house. Banu goes back to Gopal and Gopal does not let her enter his home hence Banu starts to live opposite to his home. She tries to provoke Gopal and seduces him, but Gopal does not co-operate. Gopal attempts to make Sastri accept non-Brahmins. Gopal’s father gets frustrated on Banu being a virgin after marriage due to the promise and compels Gopal to marry again as he wanted to see grand children. Banu seeks lawful permission from her father to permit second marriage of her husband or accept him as his son-in-law and take back the promise. Sastri is now in dilemma whether to protect his orthodox or to protect his daughter’s life. His staunch orthodox makes him sign the legal document permitting Gopal’s second marriage. Gopal does not want to marry again as he is the reason for Banu being a virgin. The compulsion of his father finally make him break the promise and unite with Banu.
Srinivasa Sastri understands that he has spoiled his daughter’s life and decides to kill himself by setting fire so that his daughter’s life will be happy, but Gopal saves him. Gopal reveals that he broke the promise for Banu’s sake and they have united. Srinivasa Sastri realises his mistake which he had done in the name of orthodox and accepts Gopal as his son-in-law.
The film explores the meaning of being a Brahmin in context of being principled, honest and keeping one’s word under any circumstance separating it from rituals.
The screenplay is applauded as one of the best screenplays ever made in Indian films and is being taught in the Pune film isntitute where the director studied his art.
Directed by Balakumaran
Produced by K. Gopinathan
Written by K. Bhagyaraj
Screenplay by K. Bhagyaraj
Story by K. Bhagyaraj
Starring K. Bhagyaraj, Shobana, Manorama, J. V. Somayajulu
Music by K. Bhagyaraj
Cinematography K. Rajpreeth
Edited by A. P. Manivannan
Production Bhagavathi Creations
Distributed by Sharanya Cine Combines
Release date 5 August 1988
Running time 157 mins