Naan (English: I) is a 2012 Indian Tamil-language psychological thriller film written and directed by Jeeva Shankar. Composer Vijay Antony plays the lead role of a psychopathic killer; he also produced the film and worked as the music director. Siddharth Venugopal and Rupa Manjari appeared in supporting roles. The filming of Naan began in April 2010.
The film was released on 15 August 2012. The movie was remade in Bengali in 2015 as Amanush 2 and in Kannada in 2016 as Asthitva. The movie is inspired by the 1999 movie The Talented Mr. Ripley.
As a little boy, Karthik (Vijay Antony) is a brilliant student but already shows signs of criminal behavior, forging his friend’s parent’s signature on a mark sheet. Sent home from school early for this misdeed, Karthik is shocked to discover his mom in bed with his uncle. His mother begs him not to tell his father, but he does so, and his father commits suicide. Karthik’s mother and uncle continue their relationship; Karthik then kills his mother and uncle by setting the house on fire. He is sent to a juvenile home where he grows up. On his release, the warden gives him the address of another of his uncles and asks him to concentrate on his studies.
His uncle and aunt are not interested in taking him in, so Karthik goes to Chennai to start a new life. As fate would have it, the bus meets with an accident and his co-passenger Salim dies. Karthik steals Salim’s documents, adopts his identity, and enrolls in medical school. He develops friendships with a rich fellow-student named Ashok (Siddharth Venugopal), his girlfriend, Rupa (Rupa Manjari), and their friend Suresh (Vijay Victor). Ashok allows Karthik to stay in his house rent-free. Later, Karthik and Ashok encounter the warden from the juvenile home, who seems to recognize Karthik. However, since Karthik is now impersonating Salim, he picks a fight with the warden and swears that he is not Karthik. This incident causes Ashok to doubt his friend’s identity.
One day, Ashok and Suresh plan to go to a farmhouse without Rupa. Suresh suggests that they take some other girls along. Karthik lets Rupa know of this plan. Rupa starts to suspect Ashok’s fidelity, and Ashok worries that Karthik betrayed him to Rupa. Ashok slaps Karthik and asks him to get out of his place. Karthik, seeing no other way, apologizes to him and looks for another lodging.
Ashok is still full of suspicion. While Karthik is showering, Ashok opens Karthik’s briefcase. He finds a photo of Karthik’s real-life father, and realizes it is a different man from the one that Karthik had introduced as his father earlier. Suddenly Karthik enters the room and asks Ashok to give back the photo. Ashok refuses, removes Karthik’s towel, and confirms that he is not a Muslim, as he was not circumcised. Karthik gets angry and pushes Ashok; Ashok dies. At first, Karthik is shocked by this unexpected accident, but he then covers up the murder so intelligently that no one ever finds out that Ashok is dead. Karthik then takes on Ashok’s identity. When a family friend of Ashok’s, who has seen Ashok only in his childhood, plans to meet him, he successfully impersonates Ashok in front of Ashok’s own parents and Rupa.
Suresh, however, discovers Karthik’s deception. Karthik then kills Suresh. The next day, the police come and reveal that they have found Suresh’s corpse. They interrogate several people in the community including Karthik, but cannot find the truth. They conclude that Ashok killed Suresh and then absconded; meanwhile, they consider Karthik (now back to impersonating Salim) an innocent student. Karthik continues to live as Salim, after seeking permission from Salim’s father, and promises to take care of him. The film ends with the tagline “To Be Continued”, which suggests there could be a sequel.
Directed by Jeeva Shankar
Produced by Fathima Vijay Antony
Written by Neelan K. Sekar (Dialogue), Jeeva Shankar (Additional Dialogue)
Screenplay by Jeeva Shankar
Story by Jeeva Shankar
Starring Vijay Antony, Siddharth Venugopal, Rupa Manjari
Music by Vijay Antony
Cinematography Jeeva Shankar
Edited by Sathish Suriya
Production Vijay Antony Film Corporation
Distributed by Sri Devar Pictures
Release date 15 August 2012
Running time 143 minutes