Thittivasal begins with a self-immolation attempt by a young woman. This is Sembaruthi (Thanu Shetty), who belongs to Mullaipaarai, and she wants the collector to set right the wrong done to her people. She and her tribe have been living on the mountains peacefully for ages, under the guidance of Mooppan (Nasser). However, trouble begins when a cop, a minister and a collector plot to take over the place for their by displacing them and sell it to an MNC. With Mooppan and two youngsters, Muthu (Mahendran) and Kumaran (Kinni Vinod), standing against them, they resort to nefarious ways to bring them under control.
It is thus that Muthu and Kumaran, and a few other villagers, find themselves in prison, where the jailer tortures them to break their resolve. Luckily, they find a mentor in Vanjinathan (Ajay Rathnam), a political prisoner with a penchant for spouting lines like “Ezhuthu dhaan jananayaga puratchiyin aarambam”, who guides them and tries to save them from their plight. Do they manage to save Mullaipaarai?
Thittivasal has a lot in common with the 2014 film Kaadu. As in that film, this one also deals with tribal people who are being forced to give up their land by a collusion of government officials. A character is a political prisoner who mentors the lead characters and turns them into rebels . Even the message is the same — forests should be saved, the MNCs are out to exploit our forests’ wealth, abuse of power by authorities, and how revolution is the answer to the problems of the downtrodden.
But this film lacks the conviction and the competence in filmmaking that one could see in Kaadu. The film touches upon its plot points in a perfunctory manner (this happened, then this happened and then this happened, and so on), with the sloppy writing (the characters are cardboard cut-outs defined in black-and-white) and the amateurish performances, so that we, the audience, hardly feeling anything.