Ayya Aadhimoolam is a veteran theater actor who refuses to act in films because he only wants to act in front of a live audience. In recent years, due to films and various other means, Ayya's plays attract a meager audience which bothers him. During an act of Sujatha's Oonjal, Ayya dies. After his death, Ayya's assistant Parasuraman and his troupe decide to stage plays frequently. During the rehearsals of Panjali Sabadham, Parasuraman observes that two actors perform significantly better than usual. During the play, he observes that Saravanan, a budding actor performing beyond expectations and also bowing to the audience even when the curtains are closed. Parasuraman affirms that Ayya's spirit is still acting.Saravanan's performance is also observed by Thyagu, a film director on the lookout for the male lead for his next film. He is convinced by Parasuraman that it was Ayya who acted through Saravanan. Thyagu signs Saravanan on in the hope that Ayya will act. Ayya acts through Saravanan and the film becomes a success making Saravanan a sought after actor. It is revealed that Ayya acted in the film because he liked the story of the film.Saravanan signs a film without Parasuraman's knowledge who selects the script for him. During director Sundar's shoot, Ayya's spirit suddenly stops acting after which it is revealed to the public that Ayya acted in the films which featured Saravanan as the lead.Various producers approach Ayya for their film and Parasumaran selects the scripts of the film on the basis of content. This makes Ayya a huge superstar in Tamil Cinema. A producer Dhanapal wants Ayya to act in his film but doesn't reveal that he inserts action and song sequences.When Parasumaran discovers Dhanapal's involvement in this, he is aghast. Afterwards, due to Dhanapal's deception, Ayya stops acting permanently but Dhanapal who wants to complete his film at any cost pressurizes Parasumaran and Ayya's family. After lodging a complaint, the Producers' council alleges that Ayya didn't act in the first place and that they are fraudsters. The case goes to court where Ayya's family gets footage of Dhanapal's film. Dhanapal alleges that they stole his film but the film is presented as an exhibit for the Judge who observes Dhanapal's acting and tells him to act in the film but Dhanapal refuses to act which implies that Ayya acted in the film. The Judge concludes that a man cannot be separated from his art and Ayya though not here but somewhere he is there for his art. After the case ends, a statue commemorating Ayya is consecrated in front of his theater. Elsewhere, a school play is shown where the lead actor bows down for a long time implying that Ayya's spirit is still alive.