A thriller essentially works for two reasons - how long can the narration engage the viewer by holding the surprises and in the grand finale how the revelations connect the dots and tie the loose ends. Mohankrishna Indraganti's romantic thriller Gentleman gets both of them partly correct. It takes off with a solid premise and plot points that pepper some cleverness into the script. However, the snail-paced narration with yawn-worthy moments riddled with glaring flaws loosen the grip.
The movie starts with both the female lead narrating their love stories to each other on a flight to home. Surprisingly, both the male counterparts are played by Nani. There's a twist at the interval that keeps the audience guessing as how both these characters are connected and whether Nani's character is of a hero or a villain? The director holds the cards close to his chest to show them all toward the end.
The two love stories are enjoyable and pass like a breeze but with a dragged down approach they seem to crawl and crawl. Same goes with the second half when you see a character trying to blow out the horn but does that way too comfortably injecting a soporific effect into your bloodstream. The test of audience's intellect is watered down by a VFX designer working in a construction company designing the architecture of a building. I never knew that both the professions shared such a commonality. Also, in the first half, how the hero makes his way into the heroine's office is unknown.
The buck doesn't stop there. Why one saves all the fraudulent accounting files in the desk, and that too highlighting the key areas. Someone can access your computer and steal the data in a jiffy. Making a phone call from the devil's den. The journalist who triggers the activities goes missing from the visual frame in the climax. On top of it, not etching the antagonist perfectly. All these add to the jarring effect in a film that's borderline intelligent. Also the audience misses a bang at the end as you make a few things way too ordinary.
For me Gentleman doesn't go beyond 2.5/5 and the split goes like this:
1 - Nani for the power packed performance with shades of grey. One speck of bad acting could have sunk the entire film. He effortlessly juggled between the playful and poised characters.
0.5 - Nivetha Thomas, the new kid on the block is a bundle of surprises. The movie runs through her point of view and she is way ahead with her expressive eyes and emotions.
0.5 - Mani Sharma for the accentuating and soul-stirring background score. Few dull scenes get a proper pruning with this thumping music.
0.5 - Mohanakrishna Indraganti for throwing a good mix with most of the elements in place. Had there been more quality and spice in the concoction, it would have worked wonders. He tries to dish out an intelligent thriller but falls short at many places. So, Gentleman ends up being a decent effort that could have been much better.
If you are not the one who likes food and movies cooked on a slow flame, then after few minutes into the film, you can tuck in your pillow and go to SLEEP.