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Naan Sigappu Manithan: Where Vishal Shines More

Posted on the 15 March 2015 by Haricharanpudipeddi @pudiharicharan

When you're making a film that surrounds you, the biggest need is to know, how far can you pitch yourself. It's not very often we see a poster of a Vishal film and say, I've been dying to see him on the big screen for long. He did win the bulk of his audience through old-world Tamil films with disjoint families, 'mama ponnu' sentiments and yes, his job was literally tying the knots.Well done. Where do you go next ? Vishal, I guess, found his answer with utmost clarity in Pandianadu. A resembling theme but an intelligent topping we can call it, if he has planned something on similar lines. Naan Sigappu Manithan helps the actor to a major extent, throwing hints of treading, the Dhanush way. He mocks his modest appearance and makes us enjoy the fact that he is just another actor with no larger-than-life innuendos. By the end of the film, we probably root for the character more than him but we get the high of watching a good film, by an actor who knows what he can or at least,what he can't do on-screen.

Naan Sigappu Manithan's premise is attention-worthy. Although the maker Thiru does indulge in glorifying narcolepsy as the film's biggest blessing for quite a while, he uses that in the right amounts to add credibility to what otherwise remains an ordinary revenge drama.

Another side to this film that surprises is the way it brings the physical intimacy of a couple in place, a territory often dismissed in regional cinema as being a taboo. Sometime into the subject and we have a medical student questioning a professor about, "Does narcolepsy mean, he can't have sex as well ?". The fear of this question being restricted to this very scene did concern me. But,the director justifies that soon. When Indran goes to his girl's father confirming his intention for marriage, he simply puts it on the face. "I don't care about caste,creed,colour or religion. I need a grandchild. Can you provide me that ?" He doesn't have an answer.

Delving into a medical disorder with a fixed timeline, say 10 minutes and he's-all-up-model, Naan Sigappu Manithan reminds us of Ghajini in a way. There's a pattern to everything. Just as Suriya did write on his chest to remember his intentions forever, here, Vishal is able to hear the world during the little time he's down due to excitation. In a bid to undo his very weakness, the character finds a solution in the second hour. There's an organised setup to this canniness. It's not the best of ones, but, he has a wave of some wittiness surrounding it. The fact that his ailment turns a barrier for him to take revenge, it gives us better moments in store.

The truth behind the antagonist is delayed for long in an attempt to fuel the narrative with the twist and when it actually surfaces, it is done with a hurry. The maker, we realise isn't the man for great detailing either and only acts an over-fascinated kid in unravelling mysteries. It's the over-reliance on this little intelligence in the latter hour that hurts. We lose touch with the emotional angle to the story and the villainy dominates. We don't complain, but why give that space so late into the narrative, to hurry towards the climax for an answer ?

With a director like Thiru of a past that boasts of Theerada Vilayattu Pillai and Samar, we expect the masala moments to work better but surprisingly, it's the romance and the emotion that he scores. The first hour proceeds with such momentum. The very-much urban lady love of Indran, Lakshmi Menon isn't the embodiment of dignity we come across in the Gautham Menon-brand of cinema, but respectable enough that we're pleasantly surprised. The middle-class atmosphere and the protagonist's equation with his mom have a certain degree of authenticity attached to it. Naan Sigappu Manithan works best when it's viewed as a first-rate Vishal film more than a wannabe-smart drama.

Three stars

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Tagged as Iniya, Jagan, Jayaprakash, Lakshmy Menon, Naan Sigappu Manithan, Naan Sigappu Manithan Review, NSM, Review of Naan Sigappu Manithan, Saranya Ponvannan, Sunder Ramu, Tamil, Thiru, Thriller, Vishal

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