Guy Ritchie's signature style

14 October 2020
The Brit with a panache for lofty story telling.
Guy Ritchie_article

Guy Ritchie admits he hasn't received a formal education in making films, yet, that hasn't stopped him from leaving an undeniable imprint in the industry.

*Please note, sensitive readers could be offended by the expletives quoted in the article.

"I think there are many advantages to having no formal education with this whatsoever," says Ritchie in an interview with Allen White, published on the Unclean Arts website, speaking during his Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels press tour, his first feature.

"And indeed, the more I go on, I find I’m falling into the quagmire of becoming quite academic about it, and then you’re f***ed — from a screenwriting point of view. So I’m trying as much as I can not to deconstruct what it is that makes it happen, I don’t know. I went with a very simple formula; just start f***ing around, write something down, and make it. And once you demystify the whole business that’s all it’s all about."

Ritchie has come a long way since then and with his latest, The Gentlemen being his eleventh movie, he is on his way to becoming a veteran in filmmaking, don't you think?

With all that to his name, we're looking at how he makes his movies uniquely his.

Gritty with a touch of humour

His movie genre of choice seems to be a combination of crime and comedy. He weaves the two opposites together seamlessly in many of his movies and it all combines so well that it makes for explosive entertainment. The exception, of course, is the live action remake of Aladdin.

A lot of violence

Violence and crime go hand-in-hand in Ritchie's movies, and well, in life too. He admits he has no qualms with it. "I think violence is part of life," he says. "And I think to ignore it is foolish. To ignore it, is to become normal, it’s to become bourgeois, it’s to become everything that life isn’t about."

Local cast

Despite one or two American stars per movie, Ritchie faithfully sticks to having a British cast. This can ensure he appeals to both audiences on either side of the pond.

Tarantino-esque with a British flare

American film director Quentin Tarantino also has a distinctive approach to making movies. Ritchie, it seems, has been influenced by Tarantino, however, he adds a certain British flare to his final products. "Tarantino has had an influence, because he took — which I was impressed by — dialogue which I always thought was f***ing sassy, and stuck it on film, and got away with it. And then not only that, everyone thought it was great."

Quick pace and witty dialogue to match

Born in Hatfield, Hertfordshire in England, Ritchie's characters are often fast talkers, and their dialogue exchanges are quick, peppered with plenty of British slang, so grab an urban dictionary if you need a translation.

See some of these signature moves in the second Sunday night movie on 18 October. Enjoy The Gentlemen at 21:45 on M-Net channel 101.

If you miss any of these movies on M-Net 101 you can always Catch Up on DStv.

Join the conversation online, find us on Twitter (@MNet),  Instagram (@mnettv), and Facebook (@MNet) using the hashtag #MNet101.

Featured image: Guy Ritchie speaks onstage during the Special NY Screening of The Gentlemen at the Alamo Drafthouse on 11 January 2020 in New York City. (Photo: Getty)