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Sigappu Rojakkal (Tamil: சிகப்பு ரோஜாக்கள், English: Red Roses) is a 1978 Tamil thriller film starring Kamal Haasan and Sridevi. Directed by Bharathiraja,music by Ilayaraja and cinematography by P. S. Nivas
In an era of over-dramatised acting in Tamil films, Sigappu Rojakkal was one of the notable exceptions. With an anti-hero who is a psychopathic, sexual killer in the lead, the movie was seen as controversial by traditional and orthodox moviegoers in Tamil Nadu.
Dileep (Kamal Haasan) is a successful businessman with a dark side. He preys on nubile girls and rapes 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 the female sex 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 murdered girls are buried in Dileep's garden and a rosebush is grown above.
Dileep chances upon an undergarments salesgirl, Sarada (Sridevi), and develops an attraction for her. Sarada, a conservative woman, 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 for him. On his marriage day, Sarada stumbles upon a diary containing details of his deranged life and, and names of the girls he had killed scribbled on the walls of one of the rooms in his large house.
Sarada, meanwhile stumbles upon Dileep's father, whom Dileep had told her was retarded and was not to be disturbed, and gets the shock of her life. She somehow manages to shut him in and tries to run out but as she prepares to leave, Dileep returns. As Sarada tries to act normal while planning to escape, Dileep finds that his father has been locked in and 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. In the ensuing chase, Dileep is caught by the police.
He is subsequently jailed but gets mentally retarded and loses his bloodthirsty ways. He keeps repeating Sarada's name, as it is his only coherent thought, and all other memories have been erased from his mind.