Velu is a state-level Kabaddi player living in Chennai. His father, Assistant Commissioner of Police Sivasubramaniam, constantly chides him for neglecting his studies and favouring Kabaddi. In contrast, his mother dotes on him, and his younger sister Bhuvana, a sharp and inquisitive schoolgirl, constantly gets Velu into trouble with their father, but nevertheless adores him. One day, Velu gets sent to his relatives' wedding in Trichy, but skips the wedding to go and play in a kabaddi match in Madurai, unknown to his parents.
In Madurai, Muthupandi, a ruthless gang leader, lusts for a girl named Dhanalakshmi and would do anything to marry her. Muthupandi kills Dhanalakshmi's oldest brother as he rejects his offer to marry her. Dhanalakshmi's second oldest brother is also killed by Muthupandi when attempting to avenge his brother's murder. Dhanalakshmi's father is a meek man who gets terrified by Muthupandi's acts and asks Dhanalakshmi to leave Madurai and lead a peaceful life with her uncle in the United States, giving her money and her university certificates. Muthupandi catches her when she runs but Velu, who happens to pass by, clashes with Muthupandi and rescues Dhanalakshmi and then takes her to Chennai. Muthupandi swears revenge.
Velu takes Dhanalakshmi to his house and hides her in his room, unknown to his family. With the help of his friends, he arranges a passport, visa, and plane tickets for Dhanalakshmi so that she can go to the United States. Meanwhile, Muthupandi and his father, who is the Home Minister, ask Sivasubramaniam to search for Dhanalakshmi and the apparent kidnapper. When Sivasubramaniam discovers that it is his own son who did the "crime", Velu and Dhanalakshmi run away and hide in the lighthouse.
Dhanalakshmi has by now fallen in love with Velu, and has been accepted by his mother and sister. So she is reluctant to go to the US. Velu however, is adamant on sending her to the US, and he, along with his friends, get her to the Chennai International Airport in time for her flight before their kabaddi match against Punjab in the final match of the National League.
Sivasubramaniam, enraged that his son is a wanted criminal and yet plays in a kabaddi match, goes to the stadium to arrest Velu. By now, Velu too has fallen in love with Dhanalakshmi and begins to miss her, only to spot her in the stadium during the match. Velu's lack of focus in the game is replaced by his best performance on seeing Dhanalakshmi, winning his team the championship. Soon after, Velu is arrested by his father, but is then stopped by Muthupandi, who wants to fight Velu, having been incited by Dhanalakshmi to do so to prove his worth. Velu defeats Muthupandi and embraces Dhanalakshmi, but when Muthupandi regains consciousness and tries to kill Velu, a floodlight broken during the fight accidentally hits Muthupandi, who gets electrocuted to death.