kannaki movie revolves around Manickan (Lal) and Choman (Siddique) who are best friends in a local village. Manickan excels in the local game of ‘Cock Fight’ and has total mastery of the game and the bird. Manickan is actually fighting for Choman in his regular cockfights with the Gounder (Manoj K.Jayan).
The local beauty is Kannaki (Nandita Das) who has some magical powers and half the village is lusting after her. Choman and the Gounder had fallen out with Kannaki, but Kannaki likes Manickan. She likes him for his courage and macho image. Manickan has another admirer in Choman’s sister Kumudam (Geetu Mohandas).
Kannaki and Manickan become very close and he takes a decision to marry her. When Choman comes to know of this, he is furious. He wants Manickan to marry his sister and goes to the extent of announcing their wedding at a public function. Manickan meets Kumudam and explains to her that he has a sisterly affection to her and not of that of a lover.
The rest of the film is about the intrigue, deceit, lust, blackmail, and treachery in the tempestuous journey of the protagonist.