The film begins with Gaythri (Sneha) getting married to an irrigation engineer (Vikramaditya) against her wishes. As she conducts her marriage ngs with mechanical unconsciousness, her sunken heart reflects her past.
Gayathri, a marine student goes to Rameswaram to study coral reef and other marine eco-system while staying with her uncle (Vinu Chakravarthy) in a fisherman hamlet. She witnesses Chinna (Arjun) and his assistants Mansoor Ali Khan and Ponnabalam- local mobsters working for a gang- committing pitiless and violent crimes. Though she wanted to report these crimes to the local SP (Vijay Kumar), her uncle dissuades her.
Meanwhile, she asks her uncle for a guide to take her to locations rich in marine life. Vinu Chakravarthy directs Chinna to help Gayathri in her pursuit. After couple of close encounters with Chinna, Gayathri understands his soft nature and vows to reform him as a socially acceptable man. Later love blossoms between Chinna and Gayathri.
Even as Chinna tries to make his life straight, a violent feud ensues between the local gang and Chinna. Trying to save Gayathri, Chinna kills the gang leader and is sentenced to life imprisonment. Taking the opportunity of Chinna's absence, Gayathri's parents forcibly marry her to the irrigation engineer.
As the story ploughs through in the second half, Chinna, characterized by obsession with "Gayathri", kills people working against his goal to attain his ladylove.
At the end, after much drama, when Chinna almost killed Gayathri's husband, she shot Chinna in order to save her husband. Chinna asked her if she had feelings for him before this, at least for a second. Just after she shook her head saying yes, he jumped off the building. The movie ends there indicating his death.
Arjun Sarja as Chinna
Sneha as Gayathri
Livingston as Police Officer
Vikramaditya as Gayathri`s Husband
Vijayakumar as Gayathri`s Uncle and Ex-Police Officer
Mansoor Ali Khan as Chinna`s Friend
Ponnambalam as Chinna`s Friend
Vinu Chakravarthy as Gayathri`s Uncle
Kiran Rathod as Item Number
The soundtrack was composed by D. Imman and the lyrics were written by Pa. Vijay, Palanibharathi and Manohar.
Tholaidoora Nilave — D. Imman
Bailare Bailare — Sunitha Sarathy
Yaar Yaaro — SPB
Kaalangathale — KK, Anuradha Sriram
Osthara — Karthik, Devan, Ranjith
Balaji B of Thiraipadam wrote "Chinnaa takes over the crown from Anbe Sivam for being the most un-Sundar.C-like Sundar.C film ever! Confusion, chaos and comedy, atleast [sic] one of which is always a trademark of his films, are nowhere to be seen here." Indiaglitz wrote "Sundar C has a penchant for comedy capers that are low on logic but high on entertainment. Chinna is unlike Sundar C's film, which is not just very serious but also lacks his trademark humour. However thanks to a fast narration and good performance by Sneha, Chinna manages to leave an impression with the audience."