Ethir Neechal (Eng: Swim against the Tide) is a 2013 Tamil film written and directed by R. S. Durai Senthilkumar, a former assistant to Vetrimaran and produced by Dhanush. Sivakarthikeyan, Priya Anand and Nandita play lead roles. The movie released on 1 May 2013 to highly positive reviews from critics as well as the audience. The film was declared as a super hit at the box office. It was later dubbed into Telugu as Naa Love Story Modalaindi.
The films starts in 1987 with the doctors struggling to protect a woman and her baby. Meanwhile, the woman’s husband prays to his native deity that if his wife delivers his baby successfully, he would name the baby with the name of the deity. The baby is born without any problems and as per the wish, they name the baby, Kunjithapadham (Sivakarthikeyan).
As a boy, Kunjithapadham faces lots of problems and embarrassments due to his name. He decides to change his name. But his mother falls seriously ill and he prays to god that he would never again wish to change his name.
Years later, the adult Kunjithapadham’s mother dies. His friend Peter (Sathish) advises him to change his name in order to have a change in his life. Thus, he meets an astrologer (Manobala) and renames himself Hareesh. Luck starts to him from that day onwards. He falls in love with Geetha (Priya Anand) and succeeds her heart. He later gets a job and life goes smoothly for him. One day, his lottery ticket hits victory and he must cash it in for a television as a prize. But, the lottery has registered his name as ‘Kunjithapadham’. He makes up the drama with Peter and gets the television, but later faces problems and Geetha finds out his true name. Geetha tells Hareesh that she is angry at him for lying to her about his name and that he needs to succeed something in life in order to win her heart.
Hareesh decides to participate in Chennai Marathon 2012 to achieve something in life. He meets with a trainer (Jayaprakash) who takes him to his former student Valli (Nandita) who had quit athletics. She agrees to train Hareesh and later, Hareesh sees her crying in the terrace with a photo of her dead father. Hareesh asks her to tell her past.
Valli was a naturally talented athlete from her young days. Her father (Sharath Lohitashwa) supported her talent and spoke with many men to get her past many tournaments. She got into State level tournament where she beat the rookie of the corrupt coach Raja Singh (Ravi Prakash). Infuriated, Raja Singh accused Valli of failing a gender verification test. The board punished Valli and stopped her from participating. Heartbroken, Valli’s father died of a heart attack.
Hearing this flashback, Harish is moved and decides to win the marathon. Geetha also urges him to win it for the sake of Valli. During the marathon, Hareesh faces stiff competition from another one of Raja’s rookies but eventually wins the race and publicly reveals Valli’s innocence. Raja Singh is arrested, and Valli resumes athletics.
Hareesh later opens and runs a training academy under his original name. A man named Dinakaran (Attakathi Dinesh), acting on Hareesh’s advice, proposes his love to Valli, and she accepts.
Directed by R. S. Durai Senthilkumar
Produced by Dhanush
Written by R. S. Durai Senthilkumar
Starring Sivakarthikeyan, Priya Anand, Nandita
Music by Anirudh Ravichander
Edited by Kishore Te.
Production Wunderbar Films
Distributed by Vendhar Movies
Release dates 1 May 2013
Running time 122 minutes