The Gentlemen is a 2019 dark comedy- crime drama film from famed English director Guy Ritchie. It revolves around a drug mafia run in the United Kingdom by an American, wishing to retire from the business and is looking for a buyer, followed by a series of troupes and plots to throw him out through deceitful means. The film is produced by Ritchie and stars Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Henry Golding, Michelle Dockery, Jeremy Strong, Hugh Grant and Colin Farrell in roles.
The story begins off with a journalist Fletcher breaking into the house of Raymond Smith, the right-hand man of Mickey Pearson, the impulsive but smart marijuana baron of England. Fletcher blackmails Raymond, saying that he has information regarding everything that has been going around the fact of Pearson’s quest to find a person to sell off his business to. He demands 20 million pound for a screenplay he had written about the same.
Mickey, a dropout from Oxford University, plans to sell his marijuana empire to another American, Matthew Berger, and begins negotiations. Offers pour in from both seeds and what ensues is the singles best exchange of crime drama narrative ever witnessed.
Various characters are introduced, each playing a crucial role in the transaction. For example, there is Dry Eye, a henchman of Lord George, a heroin kingpin, who wishes to circumvent both Berger and Pearson to get the business to himself. There are MMA fighters and their coach, news editors, royal dukes and duchesses, all who are indirectly linked to the ironic empire of Mickey.
The Gentleman is a beautifully written piece of cinema, entirely narrated as part of the screenplay written by Fletcher. It bounces back and forth, making imperative connections to the climax along the way to lead up to it. The characters are all given their own successful arcs, which they validate very well.
The justification of the title also does not disappoint, following the well-versed British stereotype of men always dressing themselves in suits like gentlemen, even though the protagonist is an anti-hero character. The ‘suits’ part of the costume design is also a very underrated part of the film, matched and styled in accordance to neo-British street fashion.
The most impressive part of the Gentlemen is Ritchie’s direction, with his trademarked amalgamation of dark comedy and crime into a short and sweet action-packed sequence. He has replicated and bettered his works from ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ (1998) and ‘Snatch’ (2000), to give us a visual and cinematic masterpiece.
McConaughey’s and Hunnam’s acting must surely be noticed, for both of them nailed their charming characters with a violent side note. Not just that, but every actor immaculately got us through the movie like free-flowing water, not one moment being obstructed with a mismatch.
Why watch ‘The Gentlemen’ ?
This is the type of movie that would instantly turn you into a cinephile. It nails every aspect of a good film, and does it so well that you cannot help but notice even the technical aspects of cinematography, sound mixing, costume design and props. It most definitely was the first movie I watched intently, and is worth a couple of rewatches too.
There is always a bustle of action on-screen, and the only place where there wasn’t anything happening was during the introductory credits. A must-watch for any movie fan, the Gentlemen is a thrill of a journey, to get your adrenaline and English accent pumping to the fullest. If you are inclined to a more slow-paced romantic drama, check out the show Modern Love, and for the historical fantasy fans out there, The Green Knight, is the review to be read.