A Gentleman starts off pretty well. There’s an unlikely protagonist Gaurav (Sidharth Malhotra) who is the quintessential nice guy in Miami. He follows the rules, drives a family van even though he is single, follows the speed limit to the extent that even a bicycle can overtake him and lets others take credit at work. He also has a crush on his coworker Kavya (Jacqueline Fernandez), but she doesn’t reciprocate the feeling precisely because of his goodness – he is too “safe”.
Enter Rishi (Sidharth Malhotra), who looks like Gaurav but is diametrically opposite in personality. He works for a Colonel (Suniel Shetty) who is a rogue officer in the government’s intelligence/spy/assassin unit. Behind all the machismo, Rishi still yearns for a simple life – a house, wife, and kids. The die is cast when Rishi is sent to Mumbai for delivering a code and Gaurav is also sent to Mumbai apparently to thwart the same job that Rishi has come to India for.
So far the director seems to be in command. He has kept the pace swift, the little details add to the narrative and the film looks like it is heading in an action-packed “comedy-of-errors” direction. Alas, it goes downhill from here right till the end. The second half is devoted to Sidharth Malhotra showing off his action chops. In fact, more than an hour of the film is devoted to the hero taking on the bad guys, some of whom try to be funny, falling flat in their effort.
It is also at this point, the film drops all sense of continuity as well as plausibility to just showcase the action sequences. While in the early parts of the film, Jacqueline Fernandez’s character constantly gets pulled up by the police for going over the speed limit, there is nary a policeman in sight when the hero and bad guys chase each other, when the house is booming with gunshots. Apparently, a majority of Indian grocery store owners in the USA are part of a larger crime syndicate who are simply waiting for a command from their “boss” to pull their guns out and start killing. Where a guy severely beats up four guys in a hardware store and then coolly goes to the cashier to pay. And the cashier, without batting an eyelid, asks “Do you have any coupons”. As per the film, a girl will be attracted to you if you have a few kills under your belt. Nerdy coders will come alive if they kill a person and want to do more just for the thrill. So unless you are killing or beating up people, you are boring – do I need to say more?
The film is supposed to showcase Sidharth but he could do justice to one role, that of the nice guy. He is not menacing enough as the guy living dangerously. Jacqueline Fernandez has little to do but her accent is genuinely foreign. Darshan Kumar is solid as a friend turned adversary of Rishi. Amit Mistry as the Gujarati grocery store owner is massively irritating. It is good to see Suniel Shetty on screen and he still retains screen presence. The director has managed to undo all the gains from the first half post interval. A missed opportunity.
By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=54237157
Starring: Sidharth Malhotra, Jacqueline Fernandez, Suniel Shetty, Darshan Kumar, Hussain Dalal
Director: Raj & D. K