"The Gentlemen" (2020) Movie Review
Guy Ritchie strikes again with another classic crime dramedy. As Ritchie fans might guess, The Gentlemen is just as irreverent and humorous as his other works such as Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. What makes The Gentlemen different is its unique approach to storytelling. For most of the film, the story is told from the point of view of Hugh Grant's Fletcher character as if he's pitching a movie idea to Charlie Hunnam's Ray. Of course, there's always more going on than what we see at first, but you have to humor Fletcher in order to get to that point.
The Gentlemen follows Mickey Pearson as he searches for someone who might be interested in buying his empire of illegal marijuana distribution. When a buyer seemingly presents himself, one of Mickey's "farms" is raided, causing Matthew to demand a lower price should he agree to the buy-out. There's more to this story than what we think, and we soon enough dive head-first into the criminal underworld.
First off, let me give praise to Hugh Grant's memorization skills. He had the most dialogue out of anyone in the film and his performance was pulled off nicely. His Fletcher was probably even one of my favorite characters, second only to Mickey himself played flawlessly by Matthew McConaughey. He had a threatening presence and his demeanor felt like a true crime boss. I love it when Matthew takes on dark and intimidating roles because he's absolutely amazing in those performances. Michelle Dockery's role as Rosalind was wildly different for her. She was Mickey's wife and the queen of his empire, making her just as criminal as he was. Considering most of her career has been portraying good-hearted characters, seeing her as more of a silver-tongued gangster was a nice change of pace and proves what range she has.
Guy Ritchie's writing and directing was spot-on perfect. Having Fletcher tell most of the story from his own perspective was a purely brilliant move, not to mention the transition from Fletcher's viewpoint to ours. In fact, my only grievance with the film was its opening. We've seen so many films start with a climactic moment then backtrack to weeks earlier, leading up to said event. It's been done to death and felt a bit off starting with that then switching to Fletcher telling the story. Otherwise, the film was perfect. Some people might complain about the film's excessive language but you have to understand that it wasn't thrown into the film just for the sake of having it. That's how these criminal underworld people are and that's how they'd talk in reality. Any fan of Ritchie's work will know what I mean and will know what to expect.
In conclusion, The Gentlemen is Ritchie, McConaughey, Hunnam, and Grant all at the top of their game and I'd expect to see at least a couple nominations at next year's Academy Awards. I give the film a 3.5 out of 4.
© 2020 Nathan Jasper