The Gentlemen Movie Review: Hugh Grant is so charming in Guy Ritchie's film, it hurts
The Gentlemen Movie Review: Guy Ritchie infuses his own flavour of charisma and old school charm to an overused genre and lets the cast, especially a scene-stealing act by Hugh Grant, do their thing. Read Pinvilla's review below.
The Gentlemen Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Henry Golding, Hugh Grant
The Gentlemen Director: Guy Ritchie
The Gentlemen Stars: 3.5/5
The Gentlemen, at first glance, may seem like a stereotypical been there, seen that Gangster-genre movie where the bad guys dole out crimes in a classy fashion which can rival even their crisp, dapper attire. Yes, that's very much what this Guy Ritchie directorial embodies initially, but it's the jumbled up jigsaw puzzle of a storyline, which does reach a final, satisfying destination, that makes this eccentric watch such an entertainer. Backed with a stellar star cast, that could even give even last year's Knives Out a run for its money, we see usually 'serious' actors like Matthew McConaughey and Charlie Hunnam having a whole lot of fun with the pleasantly enriched script.
The Gentlemen centers around the flamboyant American drug lord Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey), who wants to retire and decides to do one final deed, which is selling his ambitious marijuana passion project to billionaire Matthew Berger (Jeremy Strong) and earn big dough. However, there's a thorn in his family retirement plan and his name is Fletcher (Hugh Grant), an effervescent private investigator who blackmails Mickey's head of security Raymond (Charlie Hunnam) with evidence of some dodgy murders accidentally committed by Pearson's posse.
I'll admit it, initially, it took some time for me to get a hang of what's really going on as Fletcher narrates to Raymond, and in turn the audience, about well, what's really going on! Even the narration by Fletcher has the Guy Ritchie touch attached as it's not a simple storyline. But rather, we are taken on a mysterious journey, in a screenplay non-linear format, as the puzzle pieces are fitted one-by-one and you're left guessing untill the very end.
First up, I can't stop praising the true hero of Ritchie's directorial, which is the underrated Hugh Grant. The actor is anything but a gentleman in the film and that's a compliment of the highest regard for someone who starred in Notting Hill and Love Actually. Hugh is so very charming as Fletcher with his Cockney accent and an overzealous approach to seduce Raymond with sexual innuendos as a constant in his personal dictionary. Some of the wittiest lines in The Gentleman have been thrust into the trusted shoulders of Mr. Grant. He perfectly concocts a character who steals the show in every frame and it's his back and forth with Charlie that can't help but tickle one's funny bone. On the other hand, Matthew spices up the character of the gloriously dominant Mickey with his effortless personality and a deep baritone which is crisp, like his dapper suits. Just like Mickey, Hunnam's Raymond is a silent weapon that strikes like a gentleman, though the actor's stress on enunciating everything he says with his words and body language can dampen the tone of the film at times.
Colin Farrell as the coach of a bunch of juvenile delinquents, who gets caught in the mess that is Mickey Pearson's life, has limited screen time but you can see the actor enjoying himself. It's uncomplicated and works! Also, what a welcome surprise to see Michelle Dockery as Rosalind Pearson, who isn't subjugated to just being a pretty trophy wife to Mickey but actually packs a punch or two of her own. However, the weak link in The Gentleman is the monochromatic lull of a character, that is aptly named Dry Eye, played by the usually delightful Henry Golding. When you have such strong characters, it's disheartening to see someone with Henry's caliber reduced to a stereotypical Asian character in a British film.
It may seem as though The Gentlemen rides high on the coattails of its beyond impressive cast but it's not just that. It's the way that Guy Ritchie has infused his style of filmmaking to an overused genre. While many components are begged, borrowed and stolen from the eccentric filmmaker's previous hits; a familiar background score to the Sherlock Holmes franchise and a familiar style treatment to The Man from U.N.C.L.E, The Gentlemen still manages to come up with a new portion that clicks and makes us chant, 'Alright! Alright! Alright!'. We'd totally say yes to any of these gentlemen!
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