Ethir Neechal is a Tamil comedy drama film directed by R. S. Durai Senthilkumar, a former assistant to Vetrimaran and produced by Dhanush in the banner Wunderbar Film Pvt Ltd. Sivakarthikeyan, Priya Anand and Nandita play lead roles. The other cast includes Jayaprakash, Ravi Prakash, Vaali and Suza Kumar. Speacial appearance made by Dhanush and Nayanthara. Distributed by Vendhar Movies. Music composed by Anirudh Ravichander. Cinematography handled by Velraj and Editing by Kishore Te.
The film starts with Kunjidhapadam (Sivakarthikeyan) narrating about his past life and how he had troubles and embarrassing moments because of his name right from his childhood. Once he wins 100 metres, 200 metres and 1500 metres running race in his school level, but he is embarrassed to collect the medal on his stage due to his name. His name is Kunjidhapadham named after his family deity. He loses his father at an early age and then he is brought up by his mother (Surekha Vani) and has his childhood buddy who is now a tailor, Peter (Satish). During college days he loves his neighbour’s daughter (Suza Kumar);She too reciprocates his love but rejects him due to his name.Then one day his mother too passes away. Then Kunjidhapadam lives alone in his house.
The film rolls now to the present of Kunjidhapadam where he is working as a sales representative in a company. There too he gets embarrassed because of his name.Due to anger he resigns the job. On his friend Peter’s advice he shifts his house to a new area, he gets a new job in another office and mainly decides to change his name. so he goes to a numerologist (Manobala) for that and successfully changes his name to ‘Harish’. on his way back he sees Geetha (Priya Anand) and immediately falls for her. He tries to impress her and finally succeeds in it.
One day Harish gets caught before his lover where his real name is revealed to her in a hilarious turn of events. Geetha gets angry because Harish has hid some details about his past to her whereas she has told everything about her to him and decides to break up. Harish convinces her saying that he will be real with his new name. Geetha asks him to achieve something in life for the sake of his new name. So he decides to run and make his mark in the annual Chennai Marathon 2012.
On recommendation of Geetha’s friend he approaches a coach (Jayaprakash). But Coach refuses saying that he can’t coach Harish due to his injury and instead diverts him to one of his best students Valli (Nandita) as his coach. Initially Harish feels that he is tortured by Valli on giving various tasks other than running as part of training. Then he reluctantly follows her coaching techniques. One day Harish introduces Geetha to Valli But Valli completely ignores her and this irritates Geetha and Harish questions Valli on why she is not having any emotions towards anyone. Valli initially refuses to say but eventually reveals her past.
Valli was in school and her father was very proud of her running abilities and he arranges a coach for her. Initially she wins the district level and gets selected in national level, during the prelims she breaks the national record too. On seeing this another coach Raja Singh (Ravi Prakash) offers money and asks Valli to quit in order for his student- a daughter of VIP to participate. But Valli and her father refuses the money. Vengefully, he sets up a nasty plot and creates a problem stating that Valli is not a female after hormone test. Hence, her records are cancelled and her medals are taken back. Valli’s father is heartbroken and dies due to heart attack. An orphaned Valli leads a poor life with her grandma after this.
Hearing this flashback, Harish is moved and decides to win the marathon. Geetha also urges him to win it for the sake of Valli. So he participates in the marathon. Raja Singh’s student Rahul also participates and is highly expected to win. In the middle of the race, Rahul trips Harish, causing him to fall and injure himself. However, he gets back up and outruns Rahul, winning the marathon by inches. Harish finally gives his victory speech. There he reveals his true name and also tells about Valli’s condition and dedicates this win to her. Valli’s case is reopened and Raja Singh is arrested for his guilt.
The film ends on a happy note where Harish reverts to his original name Kunjidhapadam and starts an academy of his own for upcoming athletes. Also, there is a guy in the academy (Dinesh) who is in love with Valli. Acting upon the advice of Harish, he proposes to Valli and she accepts with a blush and the credits roll.