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A Gentleman Movie Review: Hello, Goodlooking!



A Gentleman

Starring: Siddharth Malhotra, Jacqueline Fernandez

Directed by: Raj-DK

Rating:*** ½(3 and a  half stars)

It’s not easy to make  a smart sassy film with  two airheaded  non-actors in the lead. Co-directors Raj and DK  known to perform miracles with stars(remember Tusshar Kapoor in Shor In The City?) does the near-impossible.

A Gentlemen is a suave sexy  pyramid of  posh locations and peachy leads who know how to hold their sushis and Guccis in place without looking like wannabes. The film is  a clever reworking of the doppelganger formula where the co-directors have cheekily manipulated  the timeline in the narrative to make us think there are two Sidharth Malhotrasin the plot.

Malhotra  socks his punches and sucks on those over-painted lips like a flee market version  of Tom Cruise . He even does a gay act in a bar with a government official (Chittranjan Tripathy, excellent) to get confidential information. But like many of the cleverly staged comic action sequences this one too overstays its welcome.

The otherwise-wooden  actor is fully aware that this  is his do-or-die attempt at Cruise control. Malhotra  gives it his best shot…the gun  or the tequila, take your  pick. He gets to do two different looks.  But the two  different expressions??!!….No problem… The assassin in Mumbai wears a grimace and the whitecollar worker  in Miami wears a loopy grin.

Bas, kaam khatam. The rest  is for the directorial duo to  achieve. To their credit Raj and DK’s direction is sharp and witty. The script seems original most of the time. The writing is sharp, sometimes  a  bit too clever. The narrative tends to trip over its own smartness. This  happens more than once and after a while the storytelling tells to tire us out with its indefatigable energy-boosted antics.

Admittedly the stunts are trippy and enticing. And the  action is refreshingly calm and unhurried.In one lengthy crisply choreographed sequence a car is wedged between two skyscrapers as Malhotra and his adversary played by DarshanKumaar(sadly  misused)  indulge in a ferocious fistfight.

Indeed, the narrative derives it energy from its elaborately  conceived  action scenes. These, ironically also suck the  life and breath out of the characters making them look robotic and over-groomed.

Nonetheless the co-directors manage to pull off an engaging film, more remarkable for  its isolated but striking sense of upwardly-mobile aesthetics than  for instilling habitable  emotions  in  its characters. More often than not, the film seems a vehicle to promote Sidharth Malhotra’s versatility…his performing range goes  right from  A to  -C…the rest of the alphabet be damned. His co-star is struck in a 144-expressions-per-frame time warp.

Really, where do we find these beach-friendly Bollywood bimbos?  If you want to see real acting, watch Rajit Kapoorand Sipriya Pilgaonkar as  Fernandez’s anxious parents. They are a scream.And Husain Dalaal as the hero’s best friend is a show-stopper.

After  a killing spree he confesses, ‘I am born again. Earlier  my wife  would scream, ‘That’s it?’ . Now she screams, ‘Stop it.’

Our thoughts exactly as we  go from a feeling of watching a cleverly constructed film to  a sense of over-constructed but  nevertheless engaging spry spy comedy.


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