Film begins with a prelude showing the cold war between Bergmans (Arjun), who is in seek of a living as a priest and Sam Fernando (Arvindswamy), a rich heir, but attracted towards the principles of christainity in their Bible class to get qualified by the church. Bergmans is studious but cunning and opportunist. When Sam finds out a mis-behaviour of Bergmans, as a true christian and priest he makes the church send him out of the holy place. There starts the combat between Bergmans and Sam with Bergmans challenging to pull Sam down.
Then the story moves on to a coastal village where a son of a whore,Thomas (Goutham) becomes unattended when his other dies. A very usual unattended boy's growing ages with hatred and anger combined with atrocities and obscenities spans out which stops when Sam reaches the village as the priest. He puts him in the right track and the boy becomes a fisherman by profession. When he desires to get registered to the Church and gets baptized, he is insulted by the man who is responsible for him as a whore's son and his dream clashes. At this juncture comes back Bergmans, but as a partly dead man with a gun shot near his intestine. Sam happens to be at the place and saves Bergmans. Bergmans promises he will turn good if he can get his lady love. Sam buys it in and brings the girl where to get himself accused by the girl as a cheater and a dirt on the church. That ends up Sam in jail. When Thomas learns this he loses hope and loses his track of goodness. When Bergmans is summoned by him for why he is supporting Sam, Thomas surrenders himself in hands of Bergmans. He doesn't want to be another 'Sam'. He wants to conquer the land that accused him as a whore's son. There starts the combat again with a different plot, the life of Thomas. What happens to Thomas and principles of Sam forms the rest of the story.
I accept, it's a huge setup. For some it's difficult to digest. But it's the need of the story. You cannot shrink and trim it more than this. Every scene looks like it's loosely hanging but it's not. Why is there a need of Thomas to be insulted in front of everyone when he wants to get baptized? That sows the seed for the resurfacing of the evil which shows it's cruel face when Father Sam is put into jail. I had an annoying feeling when I saw the first few scenes of Beatrice (Thulasi). I consoled myself this is another one of these overacting Jyothika types which we need to accept as cute and childish and mad. But to my surprise, the character really is a mentally challenged one. The subconscious mind has failed or favored (decide yourself by seeing) not to grow after a certain age. The purity of her heart makes a magic and that's why there is a special mention in this post. The climax as commented by many, is not a confusing or not an unsatisfying one. The priest loses his temper or his will and gives in to kill the devil thereby declaring the win of devil. But the so called, made by the society, turned a devil but struggles in the midway, whore's son preserves the justice by rescuing the devil and leaves him on his own to decide his destiny. But there the devil reveals that the angel who has rejunevated the whore's on has made him to fail himself in carrying out his task. What could be a better solution than this!
There are lots of surprises in Maniratnam's movie this time. No short, whispered dialogues. No improper usage of dialects. Adding to it, not a lead actress just as a kiddish mischevious one without purpose. Mani is moving forward in the right direction friends, are we?