One “ethical” gangster, a rat race to be king of the jungle amongst rivals, a greedy private detective with a flair for storytelling, Russian Oligarchs, drug-addicted rock star, a booking gym owner with a devoted gang, a tabloid editor looking for acceptance, there are quite a few moving parts in the Gentleman. The cultural clashes i.e. American, Brit and Asian are also in the mix. Oh, so all this is about drugs.
The plot is to some degree smart but it is not what this makes the film half decent. It’s the interaction between characters with diverse ideologies, style of working, and backgrounds. Matthew McConaughey is the drug lord (marijuana only because of ethics). His meteoric rise in the industry is down to his “genius” idea of cultivation. People who have experienced life in London might disagree with the word genius. To them I say, the scale makes it’s audacious if not a genius.
The lord is insanely in love with his wife, played by a lovely Michelle Dockery and now wants to sell the business and lead a respectable life.
Enter Jeremy Strong and Henry Golding as potential buyers, Hugh Grant as a slimy private detective, and Eddie Marsan as the editor of Daily Print. Some aiming to knock the lord of his perch, others wanting to make a fortune of some kind. Also, there is a Russian Oligarch involved because why the hell not. Team evil isn’t really a team. Rather all of them are looking for a share of their own.
Now our hero can’t fight these ‘evil’ (some just scheming) men alone. On his side is a team of sorts led by sharp as a tack Charlie Hunnam. Also entering the fray in this tag team is Colin Farrell as a mentor/saviour of rude boys. These two teams fight it out until…well, they leave an opening for a sequel.
The plot is heavy, even to a point of convolution. With yet slick editing, strong direction and solid performances, it offers a lot of entertainment. To be fair, some have argued that the film veers towards racism and homophobia. I do feel there is weight in that argument. There are frequent bursts of violence, some just for the sake of it. The dialogue writing especially for Hugh Grant and Colin Farrell is colourful yet humorous.
The Gentlemen will divide opinion. With a constantly evolving plot, it will either keep you hooked or bore you to death. I for one was entertained.