A Gentleman movie review: Sidharth, Jacqueline's film is 'sundar' and 'susheel', but not risky

Udita Jhunjhunwala

Aug,25 2017 14:56 44 IST

2.5/5

Gaurav is house proud. The quintessential metrosexual who can cook and keeps a clean house with a neatly manicured lawn, he drives a mini van and has a steady job in a software company in Miami. He’s putting together a dream life which is now just awaiting the addition of a wife and children. Gaurav has identified the mother of his future children, but his colleague and friend Kavya (Jacqueline Fernandez) doesn’t see the dependable, safe and staid Gaurav as the man of her dreams.

Sidharth Malhotra is a very tidy and well groomed Gaurav. He’s also the intense, no-nonsense Rishi who is highly skilled in combat and weapons. Rishi works for a man referred to as Colonel (Suniel Shetty) who runs a covert cell called Unit X which is engaged in all manner of clandestine missions. Rishi is tiring of the grind and wants to retire from a life of guns and goons. But the colonel and his loyal subject Yakoub (Darshan Kumar) have other plans for Rishi.

A screengrab from Baat Ban Jaye from A Gentleman.

Like the Bond and Bourne films, directors Krishna D.K. and Raj Nidimoru (Raj and DK) open their film in Mumbai, zip to Miami, Bangkok, Goa, back to Mumbai and return to Miami. Raj and DK meticulously tick off all the tropes of an action comedy, hitting their stride only by mid-point and serving up their brand of irreverent comedy blended with action in the second half.

This includes an unabashed objectification of the fit Malhotra/ Rishi who seems equally happy to show off his abs and pecs and a delightful scene with Kavya’s parents checking out Gaurav’s credentials.

Comic interludes are provided by Gaurav’s best friend named Dikshit (Hussain Dalal) – the name itself being an obvious set up for associated gags and the Miami-based Gujarati operative, Jignesh (Amit Mistry) who activates the ‘desi store mafia group’ on Whatsapp to track down missing persons.

Sachin-Jigar’s music works well with the narrative style and Fernandez is impressive with her pole dancing during ‘Chandralekha’. I wished only that a longer rendition of earworm ‘Bandook meri laila’ had been worked in somehow.

Malhotra is handed two characters but he is neither fully the charismatic, enigmatic Rishi who can rock on a spray-on vest or understatedness enough as boy-next-door Gaurav. Fernandez, typecast as the darling office colleague who speaks with wide-eyed wonder, but she manages to make Kavya endearing.

Just when you think you have the connections between the doppelgangers figured out, the screenplay slickly teases you to think again. The twists are worked in well, but much of it is squandered by sluggish action scenes (like a bike chase through Bangkok which feels like a PG version of a computer game). Besides being obviously derivative, the action scenes could have been more imaginatively executed and the excitement achievement with more energetic editing.

Whether on motorbikes, crashing into and running out of glass-façade high rises or engaging in a Guy Ritchie style shootout, the action scenes are neither breathless nor awe-inspiring. Like the leading man who is abseiling, punching, shooting and being chased, they too are serviceable at best.

The comic parts of A Gentleman score over the action and as an action-comedy is falls short of taking any real risks.