Gentleman is a 1993 Tamil-language vigilante action film co-written and directed by S. Shankar in his directorial debut, and produced by K. T. Kunjumon. The film stars Arjun, Madhubala and Subhashri, with M. N. Nambiar, Manorama, Goundamani, Senthil, Charan Raj, Vineeth, and Rajan P. Dev in supporting roles. It revolves around a respected Madras-based businessman who moonlights as a thief who steals from the rich and gives to the poor.
In Ooty, Krishnamoorthy alias Kicha and his sidekick Mani perform a swashbuckling heist of money of several crores while being in disguise diverting the attention of police, and escape in Nilgiri Mountain Railway, much to the frustration of a chasing police officer named Ratnam.
Kicha is a respected citizen who runs a home-based papadum business along with Mani in Madras. Susheela, one of Kicha’s many female employees, has a crush on him and is constantly demanding his attention. Another thing adding to her woes is the arrival of her jovial cousin Sugandhi. She makes the place so lively and playful with silly fights between Mani and Babloo. Sugandhi later develops a crush on Kicha, especially after being saved by him from some molesting goons. Kicha tells to her that he has no such feelings for her and wants her to find a suitable husband. Before leaving Madras, Sugandhi steals Kicha’s ring as a souvenir.
After several unsuccessful attempts at nabbing the thief, a disgraced police officer Azhagar Nambi shaves his head and is left with a ring mark on his face, after a scuffle with the thief. He investigates the design of the mark, believing it was formed by a ceremonial ring worn by Brahmin priests, but to his vain, finds that such a design is uncommon to Brahmin priests, but rather resembles a mangala sutra. Nambi is forced by his parents into getting married and by coincidence to Sugandhi, from whom he gets the particular ring that he was tracking and finds out that it belongs to Kicha. In an attempt to trap and arrest Kicha, Nambi plots an attempt at Kicha’s house where they were invited for a wedding dinner, hosted by Kicha, where he shoots Kicha, but the latter narrowly escapes with a bullet injury in his hand, along with Mani. Susheela follows them to their hideout, where Susheela finds the duo and accuses Kicha of his deed.
After Susheela threatens to commit suicide, Kicha reveals his past: as a student, he was a district-level topper along with his best friend Ramesh, and when they both were denied their desired medical college seats due to bribery, that led to the suicides of Kicha’s mother and Ramesh. Since then, Kicha became a thief to build a college of his own, where he desires to make education available to the deserved, regardless of income, caste, or religion.
In order to fund the final stages of the college building, aware of the police trap, Kicha makes one last attempt to steal money from the Chief Minister, resulting in success, but Nambi gains the upper hand in arresting him. In the courtroom, Kicha demands that the State CM should come to the courtroom, who was previously the Education Minister who demanded the bribe from him. Though the CM is exposed to the public, he is still let off, which infuriates a youth who was inspired by Kicha’s testimony. The youth kills the minister in a suicide bombing.
Six years later, Kicha and Mani, having completed their jail sentence, inaugurate Kicha’s college.
Directed by S. Shankar
Produced by K. T. Kunjumon
Dialogue by Balakumaran
Screenplay by Shankar
Story by Shankar
Starring Arjun, Madhubala, Subhashri
Music by A. R. Rahman
Edited by B. Lenin & V. T. Vijayan
Production A. R. S. Film International
Distributed by A. R. S. Film International
Release date 30 July 1993
Running time 160 minutes