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Movie Review: A Gentleman – Sundar, Susheel, Risky

I haven’t done one of these post-midnight movie reviews in a long time but today’s movie has brought this blogger out of retirement. Full disclosure – I’m a Siddharth Malhotra fan; he’s easy on the eyes and I like his screen presence that’s been growing on me since his debut in Student of the Year. So when the promos of A Gentleman came out, I was intrigued. When I heard the soundtrack (which I love) and figured out it was an action romance, I grabbed a gaggle of girls and pre-booked my tickets. Tonight before the 10 pm showing at Roxy Cinemas, I decided to check into Twitter to see the reviews, which veered towards negative. Not surprising considering the directors Raj & DK haven’t had much critical success and while Siddharth is A-list, his success has primarily come in multi-starrers and/or Dharma Productions. But spoiler alert – I, and my group, all came out of the theatre happy and pleased with our entertainment of the evening.

What is it about?

Gaurav dreams of settling down with Kavya, the woman of his dreams, but she prefers a man who’s more adventurous and willing to take risks. He soon stands to lose everything when a case of mistaken identity rocks his once-happy life.

What is it actually about?

The movie has been promoted as an action romance but it’s more of an action comedy with the supporting cast getting more screen time than the heroine, Jacqueline Fernandes. It’s a masala Bollywood film with a strong dose of action, comedy, and of course a few songs thrown in, plus filmed in gorgeous locations – namely Miami. The plot twist is revealed at the interval but the film manages to hold your attention until the end thanks to the crisp editing and restrained runtime.

Should I watch it?

Yes! My last visit to the cinema for a Bollywood flick was Jab Harry Met Sejal which was an abomination. A Gentleman is fun, entertaining and a breeze to watch. It’s a big step for Siddharth Malhotra who manages to carry the film and commands the screen with his presence. Yes, he’s good looking but he pulls off the action sequences really well and I feel he’s the perfect actor to take over reins from Akshay Kumar. Another bonus point for his excellent Hindi dialogue delivery. The comedy comes in bits and pieces, usually at the expense of Gujaratis but is not overdone. The supporting cast, especially Hussain Dalal (Dixit), provide good support but Suneil Shetty is wasted. The soundtrack is great but seems a little forced into the narrative. However, the background music really helps and the placement of “Bandook Meri Laila” is excellent. Jacqueline Fernandes doesn’t have much to do but stands out in two scenes – their escape and the shoot out. My main crib with the producers was the overt branding with Brylcreem and Epson being shoved down your throat – a little restraint, please!

But can I watch it at home?

No – piracy is bad. Also, can I request Empire Movies/Fox Start Hindi to increase the number of screens in Dubai? We had to drive down to Roxy Cinemas, Citywalk from the Marina to find a showing, which was almost at capacity. There’s clearly a lot of people craving a masala Bollywood film.

But I’m busy this weekend?

Yes, but if you wait longer, someone is going to ruin the plot twist. And props to Raj & DK for tieing the plot in with the element of time.

Anything else?

One of the songs is an end-credits song so sit in your seat. Also, buy the soundtrack on iTunes. And warm yourself up with the Bandook video which has some excellent rapping skills by Siddharth Malhotra.

A Gentleman Movie Rating: 4/5

Or rather 3.5/5 because I have to remove 0.5 stars for my Siddharth Malhotra bias!

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