A Gentleman: Sundar, Susheel, Risky
A Gentleman: Quirky Humor Submerged By Superficial Action
Movie Review by Trijai Nerthi (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
Directed by Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K, A Gentleman tries to be an action spoof, but over time it accidentally crosses barriers to become an actual action film. There lies a very thin line between each genre and their spoof. This film merges that line, making matters complicated, dull and unoriginal. As occurrences in the film start to unravel, you realize that the reason for its blandness is its lack of clarity.
Gaurav (Siddharth Malhotra) is the poster boy for perfection. He has a well-paying job, an exquisite home and a luxurious mini-van. He is also ready to marry Kavya (Jacqueline Fernandez), his beautiful co-worker. But Kavya finds Gaurav to be boring and predictable. This is when you’re introduced to the skeletons in Gaurav’s closet. These skeletons assume a human form through Rishi (Siddharth Malhotra in a double role), a daredevil, who is a significant part of a certain Colonel’s (Sunil Shetty) National Security Operation called Unit X. Whether or not Gaurav confronts his past life and how this affects his present forms the crux of the film.
Directors Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K are known for their distinctive sense of humor and great writing. This U.S.P of theirs makes a feeble appearance and eventually gets submerged by the formulaic approach of A Gentleman. One after another the film showcases action sequences, borrowed from Hollywood. Even though the staging of these sequences is expensive, the manner in which they unravel are quite unoriginal and lack association with film plot. They lack the excitement that Hollywood blockbusters films like Bourne Identity bring to the narrative. For example, a bike chase set in Bangkok resembles a low-budget video game. To be fair, even Road Rash could fare better in comparison!
As you are taken from Mumbai to Miami, you start to wonder if the directors traded their signature content for style. All characters are pretty, background props and locations are picture perfect and all through the film, the lead actors sport great beach body. Maybe if substantial content was paired with style, it could’ve created the spark this film intended to create.
Making fun of over-the-top action films is one thing but going overboard and looking like one of those flashy, self-indulgent films is another. Directors DK and Raj go too far when they try to squeeze in one too many explosions and chases, that are truly unimaginative and slow-paced.
The way this film switches between two different timelines is also chaotic. One minute you’re in Miami and before you bat an eye, you’re in Mumbai. A well-defined transition between the past and present could’ve made the screenplay stronger. Another crucial problem lies in the early unraveling of A Gentleman’s main plot twist. It reveals the mystery surrounding the protagonist and his double role too early and as a result the ending becomes predictable.
The running time of the film could’ve been trimmed by half an hour to leave a sharper impression. Running for over two hours, the film is full of mainstream cinema clichés, leaving you infuriated with a climax that borrows its formula from double-role based films older than Coolie No.1.
But the film does have a few scenes which draw laughs from the audience. Scenes involving Dixit (Hussain Dalal) and Jignesh (Amit Mishry) are particularly hilarious. Dixit’s comedy track is centered on his Indian name’s unfortunate pronunciation in a foreign land and Jignesh; a Gujarati goon in Miami tends to crack you up with his body language and comic timing.
As Gaurav and Rishi, Siddharth Malhotra’s performance isn’t entirely convincing. He lacks the subtlety that Gaurav’s character demands and the dare-devil attitude he assumes later as Rishi. Jacqueline Fernandez has very little to do in the film. Her role is written just to add color to the frames. As Dixit, Hussain Dalal renders an impressive performance. His spontaneity leaves you with quite a few memorable moments. As Jignesh, Amit Mishry is wonderful. His comedy and timing will make you laugh throughout. Sunil Shetty sleepwalks through his role as the Colonel. He refrains from emoting most of the times, taking away the effect his character is supposed to have as the lead antagonist.
Cinematography takes up a standard blockbuster approach. Cinematographer Roman Jakobi plays it safe and delivers only what is necessary. Aarif Sheikh’s editing is quite poor. Many cuts create emotional inconsistencies, in turn affecting the intensity of the film.
Music directors Sachin-Jigar score well with a few tracks, while the others are average. Chandralekha and Bhandook Meri Laila in particular are quite catchy.
On the whole, A Gentleman will disappoint you with its unbearable running time and slow-paced action sequences. A few traces of the director’s signature humor might make your experience slightly better.