Zoya Akhtar’s most accomplished work about an underdog who was destined to be a winner, portrayed by Ranveer Singh to perfection. This Gully Boy review is brought to you by AboutFlick’s Mr S.
Director: Zoya Akhtar
Review: Although a movie full of exuberant songs, Gully boy makes its true impact through its silence in certain scenes. This is Zoya Akhtar’s most accomplished work about an underdog who was destined to be a winner. Akhtar showed in the film that with a stroke of luck and a push from destiny, chasing the rainbow is truly possible. The movie, which shines a light on India’s incipient hip-hop subculture, can certainly be called the best Bollywood movie of 2019 so far.
Though the movie bears resemblance to Eminem’s 8 miles, Gully boy screams Mumbai throughout the entire two and a half hours. Inspired by the lives of Naezy and Divine, we come across the fictional character of Murad who accurately lists ‘Internet’ alongside ‘Roti, Kapda, Makaan’ as an essential. The fight Murad faces is not to be recognized as a rapper, but rather the fight for space- from his father’s rude stubbornness at home to his acceptance on stage without his baggage, and from the boring and mundane trajectory of his life.
Alia Bhatt as hot-headed Safeena who wouldn’t let anything come between her and Murad’s relationship is impeccable with not only her acting but her cute face. The passion with which Safeena and Murad lock lips, or stare at each other is praiseworthy. Ranveer and Alia are both at the top of their game now, but the only thing you appreciate when you see both of them onscreen is their characters’ love for each other, with one being the heart of the movie and the other being the soul. Kalki does what she could have with her character, given so little to do. The debutante Siddhant Chaturvedi as MC Sher rocks the screen as a rapper and mentor to Ranveer’s Murad. The two other actors who deserve special mention are Vijay Raaz and Amruta Subhash.
Apart from the brilliant acting, the wonderful direction and the mind-blowing cinematography that captures Mumbai at its best, Gully Boy is strongest because of the music by a host of artists including Divine, Naezy, Spitfire (Nitin Mishra), Karsh Kale, Midival Punditz, Dub Sharma, and Ankur Tewari. Ranveer has rapped ‘Meri Gully Mein’ and ‘Apna Time Aayega’ to perfection. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself rapping to some of these songs, because you’re going to be spellbound.
The only drawback of the movie is the time it is stretched for. More than two and a half hours is frustrating when you know the climax of the movie. And some of the rap battles could have been much shorter. This is not a typical musical where you have to put songs everywhere. Being an underdog story the family drama was necessary but not to the extent where you start to compromise the main plot of the cinema. As soon as you enter the second half of the movie, you feel the pace decreasing and the mundanity growing on you. But Akhtar, being the talented director she is, somehow pulls you back into the show and you stay glued to your seats for the action and songs despite knowing the outcome.
Rating: My rating is 3/5.
Who should watch this: If you are a fan of rap and hip-hop you should definitely watch this movie. If you loved 8-miles, Straight Outta Compton, Bodied, All Eyez on Me, then definitely go for Gully Boy. Even if you don’t know anything about rap or hip-hop you will walk out of the theatre, a knowledgeable person, after watching Gully Boy.