Thalaivaa is about Vishwa (Vijay), a dancer in Australia who lives his good life engaging in dance competitions and managing his water distribution business with his partner and childhood friend Logu (Santhanam). His father Ramadurai/Anna (Sathyaraj) is a don in Mumbai and the people’s leader for Mumbai Tamizhans, a fact that Vishwa is unaware of.
His father keeps him away from India throughout his life and Vishwa is under the impression that his father is a businessman. He comes across Meera (Amala Paul), the daughter of one of his customers, and slowly falls in love with her. She joins his dance team and they win a major competition. Vishwa then asks for Meera’s hand in marriage from her father, who wishes to discuss the matter formally with his father. So, Vishwa, Meera and her father head to Mumbai to meet Ramadurai. This is where Vishwa’s life changes forever. What happens next to Vishwa and his loved ones forms the rest of the plot.