Review: Sigai – Where is sensitivity?

It’s been a trend to defame transgenders. Not just in society, but this has been the trend in Tamil cinema as well. In the name of comedy, people belonging to the LGBT community get trolled for their romantic interests and biological characteristics.

Going on level up, some movies even portray them as people with psychological complications.

Sigai, starring Kathir and directed by Jagadeesan Subbu, is just another flick in that long list that humiliates people belonging to the third gender but ironically tags itself as the one speaking for them.

The movie starts off with a very interesting storyline like a thriller. It has dealt with the shadow prostitution industry of Chennai. As it picks up pace, there comes, out of nowhere, this theme of ‘respect third gender’. What’s more hypocritical is that the film has no evidence of giving them respect.

Just because a transgender person is mocked at for his nature, he kills two people, one of them his own love interest. The story is developed as if he is mentally ill.

Kathir who has been choosing some coming-of-age scripts, has made a big decision to play the role of a transgender. But, he has ended up in the wrong movie. Beyond violence, there is a lot more about being LGBT.

But, Sigai has not touched any of them. During the end credits, the movie has used Santhosh Narayanan-Vivek’s independent single Sadhaiyai Meeri.

Had Jagadeesan perceived the lyrics of Vivek rightly, at least, he could have added sugar to the third gender – as the lyrics say “Avargal paalai avargal sollatum… Naam sarkarai mattum kalappom.”

If the movie is said to have a crux with such and such a message, there has to be evidence of it from the beginning. At rock-bottom, it has to have it here and there.

When the case gets solved, there is no proper justification for why the movie gets into this idea at all. In some few scenes it is there like when Nimmi (Meera Nair) smiles at a TV debate where transgenders participate. That’s it, after that, the reference to LGBT appears only during the pre-climax and climax. It was like a forced imposition of an outlandish idea to this whole story.

Similarly, the screenplay of Sigai has big scope of detailing the prostitution industry, but even that is left with a loose end. At the end of the day, the film speaks not for LGBT or for the rough trade.

There has to be enough understanding about a serious and a sensational subject when it is made into a movie. Apparently, Tamil film industry lacks that big time when it comes to the third gender. With only a handful of flicks like En Magan Magizhvan or Vanjagar Ulagam, that could speak out the emotions of LGBTQ, the industry needs to gear up to make more such sensible movies.

Santhosh Mathevan