5 Links Between Guy Ritchie's The Gentlemen, Show & Movie

5 Links Between Guy Ritchie's The Gentlemen, Show & Movie
Image credit: Netflix, Miramax

Is it necessary to watch the film before the series?

Guy Ritchie's new series The Gentlemen, released on March 7, is dominating the Netflix charts and getting more glowing reviews every day. The director's fans are over the moon that they got not the usual 2-3 hours of gangster goodness, but the full eight episodes of Ritchie's brilliance.

Casual viewers, however, may be hesitant to tune in because they missed the original 2019 film of the same title and think they need to watch that first. Is that really the case? Are The Gentlemen movie and show so connected that you can't watch one without the other?

Main Connection

The short answer is no.

Despite sharing the same title, the projects tell two standalone stories with completely different casts. The main connection between the two is the same universe, which we like to call the Ritchie-verse, and the theme of the British underbelly mixing with the upper aristocratic class.

'It's a sojourn into aristocrats meeting world gangsters. The world is exactly the same,' Ritchie told What to Watch.

So the new viewers are good to go. However, those who have seen 2019's The Gentlemen will have the added pleasure of finding some cleverly placed references to the movie.

The Jungle

In the Ritchie-verse, success and wealth come with bold decisions and fearless actions. It's a jungle where you're either the hunter or the prey, and both protagonists (Matthew McConaughey's Mickey Pearson & Theo James' Eddie Horniman) make sure to say it out loud a few times.

'There's only one rule in the jungle: when the lion's hungry, he eats!' Mickey Pearson says in the movie. And that's the running theme of the show, too.

The Cannabis Empire

The 'business' around which all the drama in both projects revolves is the growing and distribution of marijuana. The connection goes much deeper. In both empires, the cannabis labs are hidden on the estates of aristocratic lords. This allows the criminals to operate freely and the lords to make enough money to maintain their lifestyle.

For the most observant fans, Ritchie has left a little detail to uncover. Both empires sell (among other things) the same brand of weed, White Widow Super Cheese.

The Character Archetypes

The protagonists stand on two opposite sides of the zoo/jungle metaphor. Mickey Pearson is a crime lord who uses aristocrats for his business, and Eddie Horniman is a duke whose land is being used. But there are characters who bear an uncanny resemblance.

For example, Alexis Rodney's Emory Stevens and Charlie Hunnam's Raymond Smith are both loyal fixers who can make any deal for their bosses.

Punishment Techniques

The crime families of the Ritchie-verse operate in very similar ways. Thus, they use the same creative punishment and persuasion techniques on those who have wronged them or withheld information. In both the show and the movie, we see characters being:

  • Held in a giant fish freezer for long periods of time
  • Poisoned and given the antidote at the last second
  • Humiliated on camera (Daniel Ings' Freddy Horniman is forced to impersonate a chicken, and Eddie Marsan's Big Dave is filmed having sex with a pig)

The Sport of Boxing

Finally, it is hard not to notice Ritchie's special admiration for the noble sport of boxing. In The Gentlemen, boxing serves as a kind of visible background to the plot development.

In the movie, Colin Farrell's Coach and his boys in their stylish plaid tracksuits stole the hearts of many viewers. In the show, the boxing arc is much darker and revolves around Harry Goodwin's Jack Glass, the brother of the lead crime lady.

Source: What to Watch.

If you've watched both The Gentlemen projects, which did you like best?