The movie is about the love between a Tamil man, Vasu (Kamal Haasan), and a North Indian woman, Sapna (Rati Agnihotri), who are neighbours in Goa. They come from totally different backgrounds and can hardly speak the other’s language. Their parents despite each other and they have regular skirmishes. When Vasu and Sapna admit their love, there is chaos in their homes, and their parents reject the idea .
As a ploy to separate the lovers, their parents impose a condition that Vasu and Sapna should stay away from each other for a year. After such a period, if they still want to get together, they can get married. During the year there should be no contact between them whatsoever. Vasu and Sapna reluctantly agree to the condition and decide to separate.
Vasu moves to Hyderabad, and they both initially suffer a lot tolerating the separation. Vasu then meets Sandhya (Madhavi), a widow who teaches him Hindi. Meanwhile, Sapna’s mother brings a family friend’s son, Chakram (Rakesh Bedi), to Goa to distract Sapna from her devotion to Vasu, but she is not impressed. At a chance meeting in Mangalore, Chakram lies to Vasu that Sapna has agreed to marry him. Vasu gets upset and decides to marry Sandhya on the rebound. However, Sandhya comes to know of Vasu’s real love and goes to Goa to know the exact situation and to clear the misunderstanding between the lovers.
Vasu then returns to Goa and impresses Sapna’s parents with his Hindi skills. When Vasu goes to meet Sapna he is attacked by a group of goons hired by Sandhya’s brother (Raza Murad). Meanwhile, Sapna is raped by a familiar person (Sunil Thapa, who plays a librarian) at a temple and is left to die. The movie ends tragically when Vasu and Sapna commit suicide by jumping off a cliff.