Movie Review: Nani’s Gentleman
Star cast: Nani, Nivetha Thomas, Surabhi, Srinivas Avasarala, Tanikella Bharini, Rohini, Vinay Varma, Anand, Pragathi, Rama prabha and Vennela Kishore
Music Composed: Mani Sharma
Director: Mohana Krishna Indraganti
Censor Certificate: U & Runtime: 144 Minutes
The worst possible thing to happen in a suspense thriller is someone telling you the important turn of events in the tale even before the film started. The second worst thing is when you figure out the turns all by yourself, half way through the first half.
Call it a result of watching too many “whodunit” as a moviegoer, but the twist in Indraganti Mohankrishna’s “Gentleman” was evident an hour before its climax. After that it was just matter of waiting to see how it plays out. No surprises there either. Indraganti makes a safe bet thriller that also has a romantic undercurrent and borrows heavily from well known Hollywood-Swedish films of the genre (a classic look alike in trouble being replaced by a identical one plot).
Gentleman, about a zippy, domineering man called Gautham (Nani), whose life changes as he comes across submissive VFX artist Catherine (Nivetha Thomas). Both get attracted to each other in a short time. At this time, she leaves to London on Flame’s special project for one month and Gautham gets busy searching for trekking adventure trip sponsors.
On the other hand, Entrepreneur Jai (Nani) and Aishwariya (Surabhi) parents arrange a special marital meeting. To understand each other better both leave to Kodaikanal for a short vacation. Due to some surprising turn of events in the tour, Aishwariya gets attracted to Jai and they get engaged.
The rest of the story is about how Nani-Nivetha-Surabhi gets out of a terrible situation.
Following the fixed pattern of opening the film with supposedly entertaining mix of romance, action and couple of songs having some decent feel good scenes, Indraganti reveals its story-line of lookalikes post an hour into the film. But unfortunately post a fine first hour and couple of good songs, the film turned out to be a way below expectations, mainly because of the deliberate twists added in its second half. So till inter”mission” it remains as a good time pass film with enjoyable sequences and performances covering up the short coming of an overstretched screenplay about a lookalike concept.
However as the second half begins, the film starts walking on a entirely predictable path, and maker starts taking too many absurdities and unconvincing liberty with his script, which don’t let you fall in love with their characters completely. To be precise; (Spoiler Alert)
- The character of Srimukhi who starts on a important role is relegated to a catalyst role to a role with no ending.
- There is so much cinematic liberty taken for the heroine profession. She’s shown as a VFX artist who uses her skill for entry into Nani’s company and then uses her mad hacking skills to hack the master computer of the company. For a film to be touted as a thriller, it is difficult to review the film without addressing these cinematic liberties.
- There is no proper character arc for Srinivas Avasarala (A loyal employee of Aishwariya Company – Stabs in the back of Tanikella – Later settles down in Jai Gowri Constructions)
- The Transformation of Gautham (He learns about family, Jai mannerisms with Mobile video was fine, there is no proper emphasis on how he tried to manage the official signatures, clearing debts without proper authentication..etc)
- In this hodgepodge, right after Tanikella Bharini’s death Nani’s sister get married.
- Even with room full of Nani’s prints, director fails to project proper police investigation after a renown businessman’s death.
- When Nivetha had proper hacking skill set, director drags things further by revealing Vennela Kishore’s cringe worthy past in companies desktop (seriously?) to get authentication to webcameras.
- There is not enough reasoning behind how Srinivas Avasarala gets to know about Nivetha detective skills and plans a sudden murder right after his surprise meeting with Nani in outskirt farmhouse and what the heck was Vennela Kishore doing there at the same time.
- Even after getting proofs Nani never tries to tell about Nani’s past with Jai’s family or Nivetha.
Looking from a brighter angle, cinematography by P G Vindha plays a major role in making an impression capturing the local ambiances of the city – beautiful kodaikanal, and the dialogues make their presence felt in few enjoyable scenes. The music by Mani Sharma gels well with the mood of the film and elevates few scenes with pulsating background score. Editing by Marthand K Venkatesh is fine, but he could have worked a bit on continuity issues. Like, Nani is shown entering Aishwariya’s home with her from airport and the very next second, he is shown discussing about his uncle’s suicide with commissioner of police; Similarly the X joke gets forced in-between a important sequence. The VFX designers have done a good job except for the final accident scene. The first fight sequence with Vinay Varma was nicely carried out by the fight master. Production values of Sridevi Movies are alright.
Talking about performances, for the first time I found Natural star Nani trying too hard in almost everything and yet not coming up with anything extra ordinary, even in his flash back act in the second half. To his credit, Nani carries off few heavy bit sequences flawlessly. Performance to watch out in this film is Nivetha Thomas as VFX artist Catherine. She makes a confident debut in Gentleman and her character is going to be loved by one and all without any exception. Surabhi is fine with another of her “cool, spontaneous” performance. Srinivas Avasarala looks interesting in a cunning mole blackmailing the protagonist role. Comedian Vennela Kishore fails to make an promising impression with his comedy. The rest of characters Anand, Pragathi, Satyam Rajesh, Rama Prabha, Tanikella Bharini and Vinay Varma are very limited in their forgettable roles.
In all, Gentleman is a okay watch if you are really fed up with usual Tollywood stuff repetitively being served by the big names. The film starts with an interesting premise of two stories and two point of views about love. But leaves that part of innovation aside and travels the cliched road all along. A story of this kind unfolding in two perspectives would have been something new watch with the provided storyline. Indraganti Mohan Krishna has one flaw up his sleeve he just follows rule book form of direction and writing while he chooses innovative ideas, he presents them in hostile old school bookish methods. Gentleman is filled with many bookish old techniques that a typical thriller follows. It is undisputedly one of the better attempts to make an safe bet thriller, but could have been a lot more with few engaging twists, logical add ons, high pace used in its basic script structure. At times family dramatization add to the overall impact hugely and completely refraining them from a film like Gentleman makes the end product quite raw and gimcrack. And I personally missed that delicious taste sitting in Indraganti Mohan Krishna’s Gentleman this Friday.