The film follows a non-linear narrative.
1987: Guna, "Jawa" Pazhani, Velu, and Senthil kill a "high profile" don at a restaurant in North Madras (Madras is the former name of Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu state in India). Senthil requests Guna and Velu to surrender for the murder while he bails them out. A year later, the pair is still in prison, and it creates a deep rift between them and Senthil, despite Mani and Thambi, the dead don's younger brother intervening.
2000: The new warden of the Madras Central Prison plans to weed out all nefarious activities in the prison, which are being controlled by Senthil from the 7th Block. Senthil sells drugs worth millions every month in a very elaborate manner, and never steps out of the 7th Block, fearing for his life from Guna's men in the 11th Block. Anbu and Velu's brother Siva is brought into the prison for fighting. Anbu saves one of Senthil's henchmen, Raju, from being killed by Siva. Anbu is placed in the 11th Block under Velu and Mani. During a raid, he gives away a mobile phone belonging to Mani and is almost killed for doing so, before being saved by the warden. He is shown to have saved his right hand from any injury, while being attacked.
1991: Anbu, Carrom, & Padma
Anbu, a 20 year-old skilled carrom player, whose friend Siva often gets him to play bet matches. On the night Rajiv Gandhi is assassinated, the entire hamlet where Anbu lives loots nearby shops and makes away with various goods. A masked girl steals a sewing machine from Anbu, but he lets her go. The next morning, local cops, along with Thambi, come to recover the stolen goods. Despite having his goods returned, the shopkeeper is keen on filing a complaint against Anbu, as Anbu had hit him the previous night, under the pretext of not returning the sewing machine. Anbu, in turn, goes and accosts the girl, Padma, but she refuses to return it. Anbu gets beaten up by the shopkeeper and loses badly in that year's carrom tournament. Anbu and Padma begin a relationship, during the course of which Anbu saves Guna from contract killers during a festival. The killers reveal that they are Senthil's men, and things only worsen between Guna and Senthil.
2000: Raju helps Anbu shift to the 7th Block after he cleverly smuggles in contraband for Raju. Meanwhile, Senthil is still trying to harbour political aspirations through a local politician named Muthu, who is also in prison.
1996: Anbu, Padma, & Pazhani
Pazhani teases Padma after she and Anbu are caught kissing. Pazhani also beats up Padma's brother Kannan. Anbu goes to speak to Pazhani but is beaten up as well. After no one is willing to help Anbu, he and Kannan go back with weapons belonging to Guna's brother, to threaten him but end up killing Pazhani. Pazhani's men chase the two, but they escapes without being identified.
2000: Anbu requests Senthil to organise a carrom tournament for the prisoners, which will also help Senthil to make peace with the strict prison Chief and also promote his political aspirations. The tournament is conducted throughout the prison. Senthil, Siva and Anbu all proceed to the knock-out semi-finals. The final two rounds of the tournament are held in the common prison courtyard, which implies that Senthil must come out. Velu and Mani try to utilise the opportunity to kill Senthil and heavily arm their boys. Senthil is alerted and gets ready to kill his to be assassins with their own weapons. However, Senthil's right thumb is injured accidentally, and he withdraws from the tournament. Anbu and Siva proceed to the finals, and Anbu requests Senthil to be present for the finals to raise morale. Senthil agrees and comes to watch the final. Seconds after Anbu wins the final, the tournament tent is collapsed, and two gangs clash. Senthil is able to aptly defend himself. However, Anbu stabs Senthil in the neck with a wooden shard broken from the carrom board, leaving him heavily injured and paralysed for life. Raju is the only witness but does not talk as Anbu spared his life from Siva earlier. Anbu then explains his loyalty towards Guna, to Raju.
1996: Anbu, Guna, & Chandra
After Anbu and Kannan killed Pazhani, Thambi sent them to Guna. While Guna tells the two to leave to someplace afar, Guna's wife Chandra convinces Guna to send his own brother Shankar in Anbu's place to prison, as it will benefit everyone. Guna accepts and Anbu and Kannan are placed on boats for safety. Senthil murders Shankar in prison within two days, leading to Anbu pledging his life to Guna. Sometime later, while trying to confirm a party post, Senthil surrenders himself to the cops and calls for a truce with Guna, but Guna discovers that Senthil has requested Guna and Velu's names to the police hit list. Meanwhile, Anbu goes to Padma's house to ask for her hand, which her father refuses. But with help from Kannan, he brings Padma to his home. At the same time, Guna calls Anbu to help him and provides him with a plan to gain Senthil's trust in prison and subsequently kill him.
2000: Anbu is bailed out of prison by Guna but tells him that he does not want to work for Guna and wants to hone carrom players instead. Anbu then marries Padma.
2003: At a coming-of-age ceremony for Thambi's daughter, a road contractor requests Guna and Senthil to come together to help in evicting people from Anbu's hamlet with the promise of houses and jobs. Anbu's friend and Bank officer Hameed have petitioned against the project, and Guna requests Anbu's help to talk Hameed out of it. Anbu then tells everything to Padma, including Rajan's story and how he had fought for the local people.
1987: Anbu, Rajan, and the Hood
Rajan is the biggest smuggler in North Madras and works for Muthu, who is the MLA of that area. Muthu requests Rajan's help with clearing out the hamlets for a road project, which was initiated for the Pope's visit. Rajan stands against Muthu and vows to protect his hood and stops his smuggling activities. He also marries Chandra. Muthu, seeing that Rajan will not help him, informs the cops about his smuggling activities. When the cops come, Rajan kidnaps the ACP and refuses to let him go until the road project is called off. Rajan is hailed a hero in the hood for stopping the project. When the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu MGR dies, Rajan goes to his funeral.
Muthu, meanwhile, instigates Senthil to smuggle contraband using college students of their area, and then tips the police, leading to the youngster getting arrested. Senthil, Guna, Velu, and Pazhani are beaten up and publicly humiliated by Rajan for working against his wishes, and they hence plot Rajan's death. That night, they get Thambi to call Rajan to a hotel where Rajan tells them that he will help them become big. He tells that he has arranged for release of the boys and he bet them just to pacify the families of those boys. They are hesitant to kill him, but when their plot gets revealed, they hack Rajan (the dead man from the opening scene) to death. Rajan, while dying, requests Thambi to refrain from doing anything and let things be. Chandra vows to avenge Rajan's death.
2003: At the meeting with the road contractor, Anbu, like Rajan, makes a stand for the people of the hood and refuses to endorse the project. Guna, enraged that Anbu went up against him, lets Senthil's brother-in-law Kumar, a cop, know that it was Anbu who stabbed Senthil. Chandra then reveals how she was behind everything that happened. She had sent men to kill Guna during the festival, but Anbu saved him. She decides to marry Guna and to use him to help kill the other three involved in Rajan's death. She added Guna and Velu's names to the hit list and drives a wedge between Guna and Velu. She gets Guna to leave the hood with her. She sends Rajan's men to help protect Anbu from Kumar. Kumar finds Anbu but is heavily beaten up by him.
Anbu then traps Guna and Chandra as they leave the hood and warns Guna to leave him and hood alone. Chandra covertly gives Rajan's old home to Anbu. The film ends with Anbu taking up Rajan's cause of fighting for the people.
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