The story of this film is set during the late 70's and early 80's when job prospects in India were very poor. The movie dwells on the premises of social satire and through its characters (the young unemployed graduates) critically analyzes the state of Indian polity and social situation. Kamal Hassan comes to Delhi in search of a job and finds it difficult to earn one job without bribes, recommendations or using influence. He follows the words of Mahakavi Sri Sri (Srirangam Srinivasarao). He criticizes the government for not providing jobs and health and basic amenities to the public. He and his friends share a room and they live in abject conditions such as staying hungry for more than a day and wearing torn clothes. He meets Sridevi, who is his neighbor, and soon they fall in love. As the story proceeds, misunderstandings crop up between the duo. Eventually, Kamal settles as barber and gets married to Sridevi at the end.