Kamal Haasan plays a widower, whose attempt at running a chit fund company lands him in jail. While his own existence is made miserable by fellow convicts and corrupt wardens, his family disintegrates. Mahanadhi has two main sequences which would soften even the hardest heart. The first is when Kamal realises that his daughter, who visits him in jail has now grown up. The other sequence occurs when Kamal rescues his daughter from a red-light area in Calcutta. He is now left to reconstruct his family while struggling to resist the temptation for vengeance. Ilaiyaraaja’s music scores.