Chinna Gounder (translation: Junior Gounder) is a 1992 Tamil language film directed by R. V. Udayakumar and starring Vijayakanth, Sukanya, Manorama, Goundamani, Senthil and Vadivelu. This film was remade into Telugu as Chinarayudu with Venkatesh and Vijayashanti in the lead. It was also remade in Kannada as Chikkejamanru with Ravichandran and Gouthami. The film completed a 100-day run.
Thavasi aka Chinna Gounder (Vijayakanth) is the village landlord and is responsible maintaining law and order in the village. The movie starts with a scene showing how skilfully Chinna Gounder solves a case quickly and is appreciated by an advocate (Ra. Sankaran) seeing his swift decision making skills. Chinna Gounder lives with his mother Aatha (Manorama) and is the most respectable person in the village known for his justice and loyalty. Rivalry exists between Chinna Gounder and his brother-in-law Sakkara Gounder (Salim Ghouse), who is accused of marrying Sundari (Sathyapriya) following Chinna Gounder’s sister’s death.
Sakkara Gounder plans to grab the local temple premises by forging false documents, but Chinna Gounder exposes the frauds committed, thereby preventing the temple premises from going into the hands of the baddies. Sakkara Gounder is angered and waits for an opportunity to knock out Chinna Gounder.
Deivanai (Sukanya) is a poor, talkative girl in the village who has a few goats and runs her life. Deivanai often gets into funny verbal conflicts with Chinna Gounder and his mother. One day Chinna Gounder’s mother is bitten by a snake in their farm and is luckily spotted by Deivanai who offers help and her life is saved. Chinna Gounder thanks Deivanai for her timely help and offers her money which she does not accept. Chinna Gounder is impressed seeing her genuineness.
Deivanai owes some money from the villagers which she had borrowed for her younger sister's education. As she could not repay the debt in the timely manner, she was asked by the villagers to serve food for everyone and collect some money donated by the invitees after having the food (that is the custom followed in the village for those who are unable to repay debt). Chinna Gounder offers a marriage proposal to Deivanai as he says that he is also bound to repay for the timely help offered by Deivanai, which saved his mother’s life.
Chinna Gouder is married to Deivanai, and life progresses smoothly for sometime, until Sakkara Gounder interferes with a plan. Sakkara Gounder poisons the local pond and blames Chinna Gounder for that. He also sets up a false witness to trap Chinna Gounder. Deivanai overhears Sakkara Gounder’s plans and in the act of trying to stop the witness from reaching the panchayat, she attacks the witness with a sickle. Later, the police arrests Deivanai with a murder charge as the man whom she attacked is dead. Deivanai is jailed in the event of saving her husband.
Deivanai’s sister now comes to Chinna Gounder’s home as she is left alone. One day, it is revealed that Deivanai’s sister is pregnant and Chinna Gounder is blamed for that too. As Chinna Gounder also remains silent over the issue, his mother sends him out of their house. Deivanai is shocked hearing this and believes that her husband has betrayed her trust and love. She refuses to even meet Chinna Gounder when he comes to visit her in jail.
A few months pass by, and Deivanai comes from jail to visit her sister who is about to deliver a baby. She scolds her sister for having illegitimate relationship with Chinna Gounder. But her sister reveals that Chinna Gounder is no way related to her pregnancy. A small flashback is shown where Deivanai’s sister was in love with a local villager (the same guy who was falsely set up as a witness against Chinna Gounder and was killed by Deivanai) following which she got pregnant. As Chinna Gounder does not want to tarnish her image in front of the villagers, he accepted the blame. Deivanai realises her mistake and apologizes to her husband. Deivanai’s sister gives birth to a baby and dies.
Now Ra. Sankaran, who already knows about Chinna Gounder, finds out that he is in trouble and decides to offer help. He takes over the case in favour of Deivanai and begins his ground work. He gets the post mortem report and finds out that the cause of death of the man attacked by Deivanai was lack of breath. Meanwhile, Deivanai is kidnapped by Sakkara Gounder. Chinna Gounder comes to the rescue and saves Deivanai. Chinna Gounder produces Sakkara Gounder in front of the village panchayat where it is revealed that it was him who killed the witness and decided to blame Deivanai. In the end, Chinna Gounder and Deivanai come out clean from the accusations made over them. Sakkara Gounder begs pardon to the villagers but no one listens and ignores him.