The London-educated Shakti (Kamal Haasan), son of an village chieftain Peria-thevar (Shivaji) returns home after a long stay abroad. Accompanying Shakti is his girlfriend (Gautami), with who he intends to settle in a city and start a business. However, his father hopes he will don the patriarchal mantle, a role Shakti finds alien and distasteful after several years abroad. Then, an accidental conflagration and its consequences turns a new set of responsibilities on Shakti... Good performance by Nasser as the evil cousin. The film was remade as Virasat in Hindi.