Sigappu Rojakkal (Eng: Red Roses) is a 1978 Indian Tamil-language psychological thriller film starring Kamal Haasan and Sridevi in lead roles. Co-written and directed by P. Bharathiraja, it features music by Ilaiyaraaja and cinematography by P. S. Nivas.
In an era of over-dramatised acting in Tamil films, Sigappu Rojakkal was one of the notable exceptions. The film completed a 175-day run at the box office. It won two Filmfare Awards in the Best Actor and Best Director categories.
Dileep (Kamal Haasan) is a successful industrialist who runs a company named “Minerva”. He is a humble man but with a dark side. He preys on beautiful women, 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 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 (Sridevi), and develops an 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 appears to be Dileep’s salvation before things begin to collapse. Marrying Sarada, Dileep brings her to his home. Sarada learns about Dileep’s past by accidentally entering a room where he scribbled on a wall everything about himself.
On the same day, Sarada stumbles upon Dileep’s father who was watching Dileep’s sex video in a room where their gardener was also present. They try to catch her; she manages to shut the door and tries to run out. As she prepares to leave, Dileep returns. Sarada tries to act normal while planning to escape. Dileep finds that his father has been locked in. When he saves his father, he realizes that Sarada knows the truth about his deeds. A tense chase ensues, which ends in a graveyard in the dead of night, with Dileep stumbling and falling on a cross which pierces him. Dileep is caught by the police.
He is jailed but becomes mentally disabled and loses his bloodthirsty ways. He keeps repeating Sarada’s name — it is his only coherent thought, and all other memories have been erased from his mind.
Directed by P. Bharathiraja
Produced by J. Padmavathi
Written by P. Bharathiraja & K. Bhagyaraj (dialogues)
Starring Kamal Haasan, Sridevi, Goundamani, Vadivukkarasi, K. Bhagyaraj
Music by Ilaiyaraaja
Cinematography P. S. Nivas
Edited by P. Bhaskaran
Production K. R. G Productions
Distributed by K. R. G Productions
Release date 28 October 1978