Bharatham movie story is about Kalliyur Gopinathan alias Gopi (Mohanlal) who is a member of a happy family with carnatic music heritage and he himself is a good singer. Kalliyur Raman (Nedumudi Venu) who is an excellent singer, is Gopi's elder brother, guru and role model. Raman is married to the character played by Lakshmi and Gopi is in love with the character played by Urvasi. Raman reigns in the family and in the society with his music. But he turns alcoholic. Despite several attempts by family members to make him give up the habit and several failed assurances to his family members, he is unable to give up the habit. movie depicts Raman reaching for a concert in an inebriated state and Gopi takes over. He is an instant hit with the masses. This has been depicted quite symbolically during the song Sree Vinayagam...Gopi's music, which was hidden behind his brother's charisma now flows out in full strength.
Taking this as an insult, Raman starts hating his brother and strives hard to recover from alcoholism. His morale is shattered when organizers of the Tyagaraja Aaradhana select his brother over him to perform. He attends the concert in a drunken state but is able to appreciate his brother's talent. With a longing to get rid of the alcoholism and perform a concert with his brother, he sets on a pilgrimage, but was never to return. Gopi, getting to know that Raman is killed in an accident, is forced to conceal this truth because of their vocally disabled sister's marriage. Gopi gets lot of moral support with his love-interest, who also knows about the truth. Gopi's trauma reaches penultimate when his family comes to know about Raman's death and that Gopi was concealing it. Everything ends fine when the family understands his intentions.