Can there be two individuals who look alike coming across each other in their lives? What if one of them was a good guy and the other a bad guy? Or is it just one person taking on shades of both the hero and the villain? Not surprisingly such were the thoughts on the minds of people who have seen the promos of Mohan Krishna Indraganti's latest Telugu film, Gentleman. The film sees Mohan Krishna uniting once again with Nani for the first time since introducing him in Ashta Chamma. With Nani being in good form of late and with Mohan Krishna's track record naturally Gentleman was bound to generate a lot of curiosity. So does the end product turn out as satisfactory?
Gentleman starts with the two female leads, Catherine (Niveda Thomas) and Aishwarya (Surabhi Puranik) meeting on a flight and quickly striking a good bond. While Catherine is a VFX artist who's off to London on work, Aishwarya is from a business family and they both go on to discuss the respective men in their lives, Gowtham and Jai. The men seem to look alike (played by Nani), needless to say there's a twist in the proceedings and the lives of Catherine, Aishwarya, Gowtham and Jai seem to get entangled in the course of proceedings.
The film has a good premise and starts off well and despite the first half being devoted more to the romance portions between the two pairs, it manages to hold our attention. Once the twist is unveiled (which isn't so much of a surprise) and the film chugs along the thriller mode it somehow is a let-down of sorts. In fact you even wonder why after all the excitement the culmination turns out to be just a little more than ordinary. But still the film has its positives and that makes you still give it a go. Mani Sharma after a long time finally manages to impress with his songs and BGM over here. The film also has a decent comedy track which involves Vennela Kishore playing a "horrible boss" and he does impress.
As for the other performances, Srinivas Avasarala gets to do something different from his usual roles and Surabhi is decent, doing justice to her character. Nani is pretty good in both the avatars, handling both the lighter moments and the heavier, emotional ones quite comfortably. Gentleman is another example of his growth as an actor. But the best part of the film is the presence of Niveda Thomas who makes a striking debut in Telugu cinema (she has done quite a few films in Malayalam and Tamil earlier) with Gentleman. Not only is she given a good character graph, she looks very convincing as the smart and confident Catherine. Some actors do not have to depend on dialogues alone to convey their emotions and Niveda is one such welcome addition to the list.
Eventually Gentleman is a film that could perhaps been a lot better, but at least it manages to remain engrossing for a significant duration and that by itself is no mean feat for a Telugu film these days.