Mookaiyah and his sister Bhairavi are children of a drunkard who are left to fend for themselves. After Bhairavi is lost in an accident, Mookaiyah becomes a manservant at the home of a local landlord, and grows to become the landlord's faithful crony, taking unquestioning orders from his boss. The boss, Rajalingam, gets Mookaiyah to abduct a young girl from a neighbouring village - Bhagyam, who he proceeds to rape. Manikkam, Bhagyam's brother, swears vengeance on Mookaiyah who gets the blame for the incident. Meanwhile a revelation is in store for Mookaiyah. This film was the turning point in Rajnikant's career - his first starring role as a hero.