Many may not know that Shankar had written Genteman with Tamil superstar Kamal Haasan in mind. And when he offered the movie to the star, Kamal rejected it.
Filmmaker Shankar, who is celebrating his 59th birthday today, is one of the important cinematic voices in the mainstream Indian film industry. After assisting many top Tamil directors for several years, Shankar made his directorial debut in 1993 with Gentleman and he hasn't looked back since.
Gentleman is a very influential movie as it revived vigilante-themed films in Tamil cinema. Shankar has a natural edge when it comes to making films in this genre. The biggest hits in his career are vigilante movies, including Indian, Anniyan and Sivaji.
And many may not know that Shankar had written Genteman with Tamil superstar Kamal Haasan in mind. And when he offered the movie to the star, Kamal rejected it because he was not able to identify with the movie's politics or ideology. In an old interview, Kamal revealed, "I steer clear of movies that don't align with my ideology. For example, I turned down director Shankar's initial version of Gentleman. The earlier narration was about a militancy of a Bhramin-youth. I told him I didn't like the idea and declined it. I also advised him to make certain changes, if he wishes to make this film. And I understand that he took my advice."
Gentleman tells the story of a man named Krishnamoorthy, whose academic aspiration had suffered due to caste-based reservation and bribery. While he runs a legitimate business as a front, he is dedicated to robbing the rich to fund the education of students from poor backgrounds.
Actor Arjun Sarja played the lead role in Gentleman, which became a big hit in Tamil cinema in the year it was released. It also became a calling card for Shankar, who later went on to direct the biggest superstars, including Kamal Haasan, Rajinikanth and Vijay.