This hard-hitting, socially relevant saga delves into the life of Sethumadhavan (Mohanlal), an intrepid young man who has just been released after serving an imprisonment of seven years in central jail for murdering Keerikadan Jose, a hardcore criminal. Though it was an accident, which he did to save his life, society is not ready to accept it. For them, he is now a hardcore criminal, who had killed someone who ruled the streets for long years.
Upon release, Sethu visits the medical college to meet his younger brother who is doing a course in medicine. But his brother responds coldly and openly ask him not to make any visit as it may hurt his reputation. Sethu realizes that the world around him has undergone a severe change.
At home, though his mother (Kaviyoor Ponnamma) is elated to have them back, his father Achuthan Nair (Thilakan) is not too keen to have him at home. Achuthan Nair, who always wanted Sethu to be a police inspector broke down completely after Sethu's conviction and has turned into an alcoholic.
Remorseful, Sethu looks forward to rebuilding his life outside jail, but fails to find a job due to the tag of 'ex-convict' labelled on him. Sethu tries to catch up with his old friend Najeeb (Maniyan Pillai Raju), who tells him about the present physical condition of Parameshwaran (Johny), whom Sethu had severely assaulted in a bid to save his own life.
Fully paralysed, Parameshwaran now runs a cycle repair shop with the help of his wife and daughter. Sethu meets Parameshawaran, who, now is now a completely changed man. With the help of Parameshwaran, Sethu begins selling fish for a living. But the siblings of Keerikadan Jose, who were looking for a chance to revenge on Sethu, attack him violently. He is saved by a girl (Surabhi), who happens to be the daughter of Keerikadan. She expresses sympathy for him and encourages him to start earning an honest livelihood and lead a decent lifestyle.
Will Sethu's attempts to leave behind a life of crime, and lead a straightforward and honest life be successful? Or, will circumstance and societal pressures send his life spiralling towards violence and crime once more?