Krishnaswamy (Kamal Haasan) is a widower living happily along with his mother-in-law Saraswathi (S. N. Lakshmi), daughter Kaveri (Mahanadi Shobana) and son Bharani (Mahanadhi Dinesh) in a village near Trichy. Dhanush (Cochin Haneefa), a con from the city, has an eye on Krishna’s prosperity and asks him to join his chit fund business. At first, Krishna is reluctant; however, when a rich friend from a foreign country visits his house, he too wants to be rich like them. Hence he agrees to Dhanush’s proposal and arrives at the city. However, he is unaware of Dhanush’s tricks and when Dhanush swindles away the chit fund money, the blame is put on Krishna, and he lands up in jail. He finds that even his future father-in-law Panjapakesan (Poornam Viswanathan) is also in jail for the same reason, whose daughter is Yamuna (Sukanya), working as a nurse. He advises Krishna not to be angry if the jailor is cruel, as he might be released sooner if he is submissive in the jail. During Krishna’s tenure in jail, Yamuna takes care of his family. Due to unavoidable situations, his mother-in-law dies and his children go missing. Krishna learns this after coming out from jail suffering unnecessary hardships.
The story revolves around a Tamil pop singer Inderjeet based in Bangalore who has a large female following. The movie opens with the death of a back-up dancer, Sandhya, in Inderjeet’s group. Soon a police detective is put in charge of the investigation. Although the police suspect Inderjeet as he is very short-tempered, they have no evidence linking him to the crime. Meanwhile, Divya, Sandhya’s sister, arrives at her aunt Dr. Prabhavathy’s house to find out the truth about Sandhya’s death. She goes to meet Inderjeet but is put off by his arrogance. She talks to his manager, Dr. Harichandra Prasad, and other musicians who all have differing opinions about Sandhya.
In Ooty, Krishnamoorthy alias Kicha (Arjun) and Mani (Goundamani) perform a swashbuckling heist of money of several crores while being in disguise diverting the attention of police, and escape in Nilgiri Mountain Railway, much to the frustration of a chasing police officer Ratnam (Ajay Rathnam). Kicha is a respected citizen who runs a home-based pappadam business along with Mani in Chennai. Susheela (Madhoo), one of Kicha’s many female employees, has a crush on him and is constantly demanding his attention. Another thing adding to her woes is the arrival of her jovial cousin Sugandhi (Subhashri). She makes the place so lively and playful with silly fights between Mani and Babloo (Senthil). Sugandhi later develops a crush on Kicha, especially after being saved by him from some molesting goons. Kicha reveals to her that he has no such feelings for her and wants her to find a suitable mate. Before leaving Chennai, Sugandhi steals Kicha’s ring as a souvenir.
Vaanavaraayan (Rajinikanth) is a feudal chieftain, adored and respected by the people of his village. He lives with his grandparents (M. N. Nambiar & Manorama). Following his advice, they abstain from voting in the elections and instead, pool the money given by the candidates to get themselves some basic amenities. Vallavaraayan (Napoleon) is his arch enemy. Their enmity is further sharpened when Vaanavaraayan wins the hand of Vaitheeswari (Meena), whom Vallavaraayan had also wished to wed. Vallavaraayan then convinces the priest of the village temple to mix poison in the holy water that Vaitheeswari drinks. As a result, she becomes incapable of conceiving a baby. But surprisingly, Vaitheeswari soon becomes pregnant-though she has pretended with the help of the mid-wife (S. N. Lakshmi), to do so to uphold her husband’s honour. She takes poison and kills herself unable to bear the grief of being incapable of giving her husband a child and on her deathbed makes Vaanavarayan swear to take Ponni (Aishwariya) as his wife. Vaanavarayan however refuses until Ponni agrees to marry Sembattai (Thalapathi Dinesh)- Vallavarayan’s hechman-who abandons her to Vallavarayan’s vice. Infuriated, Vaanavarayan attacks Vallavarayan and spares his life after giving him a sermon on how to win the heart of the people.
Sharat Kumar wants to become a high ranking policeman and is also a hard working man who fights against bad people. But Sharat Kumar’s father doesn’t like Sharat fighting with people and always quarrels with him to not interfere in other people’s problems. Sharat, while travelling in a bus, saves Heera from bad people. Heera gets a file of Sharat in the bus and later goes to Sharat’s house to return the file. Heera finds out that she was the school time girlfriend of Sharat and knows Sharat’s father who used to give food to anybody who came to his house. Heera tries to learn cooking and help Sharat’s father, but spoils the whole kitchen. Sharat and Heera falls in love and marry. Meanwhile, Sharat gets appointed as a commissioner and tries to deal with a riot. During the riot, Sharat shoots at an innocent man who accidentally came in the front of the riot. The news comes in the newspapers. Sharat’s father, after reading the news, goes the area where the victim lived with his wife. Sharat’s father helps the victim’s wife Sharanya and her child. Sharat, now staying in another house, finds his father is missing from the house. Sharat encounters a new politician enemy who was behind the previous riot, which made Sharat kill the innocent man. Sharat’s father and Sharanya become witnesses for a policeman’s death due to rowdies of the politician. Sharat, investigating the policeman’s death, finds out evidence to the killing of an old man and Sharanya, but doesn’t know his father is the witness. Sharat enters Sharanya’s house and accidentally finds out his father is living with Sharanya and he while leaving the area, gets attacked by rowdies of the politician. Now Sharat’s father helps in hospital and takes care of Sharat. Later all of them stay in one place. Now at night, the politician and his rowdies try to kill Sharat’s family. During the attack, the house’s electricity goes off. Sharat also enters finally to the house and a fight in the darkness happens, with Sharat finally defeating the politician villain and his rowdies.
Marupadiyum is an emotional and psychological drama that focuses on the central female protagonist, a wife caught up in marital discord played by Revathi and her life henceforth. Revathi is married to Ravi, a movie director who has an extra marital affair with his star heroine, played by Rohini. Revathi discovers this intimacy between her husband and Rohini but is treated with indifference by her husband. Ravi moves on to get a divorce from Revathi. Revathi pleads with Ravi not to proceed with the divorce and asks Rohini to leave her husband but both disagree to do so. Arvind Swamy, a stranger, helps and befriends Revathi after she leaves her husband. Rohini faces mental anguish as she feels guilty with another woman’s husband and becomes psychologically affected. Ravi ends up in dilemma between his wife and his lover. (Aravind Swamy) turns into a dependable friend and asks Revathi to marry him but Revathi has to choose her own path.
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Diwakar (Sarath Kumar), an Indian Brigadier, is charged to eradicate the terrorism in Kashmir. Diwakar lives with his beloved sister Anu (Shenbagam). His neighbour Priya (Tisca Chopra) falls in love with him. One day, the terrorists kidnap Anu and they kill her thereafter. In the past, Diwakar promised Anu to get married to Priya. To fulfil his sister’s wish, Diwakar eventually gets married to Priya. But Diwakar cannot live happily as long as he will not eliminate the terrorists.
Valli (Priya Raman) returns to her village after studying for 15 years in Madras. Her cousin (Hariraj) celebrates her arrival back to the village. He was in love with Valli since childhood days, but she has changed after she went to study in the city. She is no more in love with him. She falls in love with a city guy called Shekar (Sanjay), who comes to the village with his friends for hunting. Shekar has sex with Valli promising to marry her, but cheats her and he escapes to the city. It is then found out that he is the only son of the chief minister of the state. Later, after widespread protests, Shekar is brought back by Valli’s cousin. Instead of marrying Shekar, she kills him for cheating her. She is put in jail for 10 years. Finally when she returns home, she finds her wedding hall ready with pomp and fun for her marriage with her cousin. Her marriage is arranged by Veeraiya Valliyappan (Rajinikanth) and Shiva (Vadivelu), who know her terrible past. She thanks them for wholeheartedly helping her.
The village chairman Kalingarayan (Sakthivel) and his son Rajappa (Uday Prakash) spread terror among the villagers. Whereas Kattabomman (Sarath Kumar) is an angry man who cannot tolerate injustice. He was brought up by his grandfather (Nagesh) and his widowed mother. His family and Kalingarayan’s family are in a feud for several years. Kattabomman falls in love with Kalingarayan’s daughter Priya (Vineetha) and he gets married to her without their family’s wishes. In angry, his grandfather tells their past. What transpires later forms the crux of the story.
Rajini is working as a coolie in a factory. He is asked by three brothers (Nizhalgal Ravi, Radharavi, S. S. Chandran) to act as a foreign-returned rich man, the heir of a property. Rajini acts, but always escapes as he doesn’t want to face consequences. But then he comes to know that he is the heir to the property, his father was killed by three brothers to take away the property and mother (Sujatha) became a mental patient. He avenges the death of his father by killing the villains. At last, he says he doesn’t want to be an heir to money and always remains as a coolie.