‘Gully Boy’ – A New Age Cinema

Bollywood is India’s colossal film industry. Big budget, star-studded movies with all glamour and dozens of dance numbers are something that can perfectly define what Bollywood is all about. Earlier every movie shared a basic plot structure, dotted within each a story about the romance of lovers with historical rivalries among family with the ‘considerable’ pinch of drama. However, from the past few years, this concept has failed to capture the attention of the Indian audience.

Filmmakers, as a result, are turning towards more ‘realistic’ movies and have gone on to create exceptional movies like QUEEN, MOM, GANGS OF WASEYPUR, ANDHADHUN, MARMARZIYAAN, PINK, BADHAI HO ….and many more. The big budget, A – star movies and the low budget strong script movies now work equally well both for critics and audience.

Bollywood has been able to get a kick start for 2019, with movies like URI, Manikarnika, Ek ladki Ko Dekha to Aisa Laga, it has already gained a lot of critical appreciation.
Now everyone has their eyes on Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy – First of its kind. Released on 14 February, Gully Boy is Bollywood’s first hip hop movie that essentially deals with the life of a rapper who belongs to the ‘gully’ of Dharavi, Mumbai. The Powerhouse Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt with Siddhant Chaturvedi have completely stolen the show with their amazing work and talent. The film also stars Kalki, Vijay Raaz, Vijay Verma, and others. The film has received a positive response and is being highly praised by fans, critics and celebs like Will Smith and Karan Johar. How Zoya has used rap as a platform to show the social differences and problems is commendable! Zoya weaves the story of rustic underground hip-hop Mumbai and presents it to us with all of its beauty. The movie takes its inspiration from the Mumbai rappers Divine and Naezy, the journey of how they started from the slum and later went on to become famous rappers catches the attention of the director and the result of that is – this gem movie. IMDb has given a 8.6 rating to the movie.
This 75 crore budget movie was opened on 4140 screens worldwide, 3350 in India and 751 overseas. The movie is second highest opener movie for Ranveer Singh after Simba and is the highest opener for Alia till date. With the advantage of off- weekend release and the occasion of valentine’s day resulted in the double-digit opening for the movie. While Akhtar’s movie was successful in earning 19.80 crores on its opening, the total collection for the movie stands out to be 81.10 crores. The movie has successfully crossed the benchmark of 75 crores on its first Monday by adding 8.10 crores to its collection.


The movie revolves around the life of Murad (Ranveer Singh) who was forced to succumb to his condition. He fights with life, with his words and his words give him a way to escape from his reality. His character feels the bondage of his thoughts and family tension. He aims to be a star but never forgets where he comes from. Safeena (Alia Bhatt), the headstrong and sarcastic medical student. She is in a relationship with Murad from past 9 years and is a possessive girlfriend who always lands up in the police station. Things change when Murad meets his local idol McSher (Siddhant Chaudhary). It was McSher who pushed Murad to follow his passion to be a ‘cheer phad’ rapper. Not to miss, Sky (Kalki), a student at Berklee College of Music helps him in producing ‘Mere gully mein’ song in the movie.

‘Hit’ sections

Ranveer’s character leaves ‘bahut hard’ impact on us (‘kyunki Apne Bhai jesa koi hardich nahi hai!’). Oscillating between the silence and storm, his character inspires us to live our dreams and the most important thing that his character teaches is to never ever blame your conditions for not pursuing your dreams – the only thing that dreams want is your Passion. He leaves us completely awestruck. As a character, he knows how to make big from the ashes.
Alia Bhatt is a total show stealer. The movie shows the character of Safeena as a modern woman who is bold, independent and at the same time is outspoken and savage as well. She’s a girl who outgrew her conservative parents. She wants to taste the freedom that we took for granted. The scene where she wears lipstick just stole my heart and the only thing that crossed my mind was how some rebellions are so simple yet so central!
There’s another character that totally draws our attention and he’s the debutant, Siddhaant Chaturvedi as McSher. He is a total sweetheart inside out. The way he said ‘Bohot hard’ literally makes you feel all loved. He picks the typical Bombay slang on point. Congratulations to him for becoming the new national crush – every girl post watching Gully boy
Except strong characters, the movie also has exceptional music. ‘Apna time ayega’ has become the new party anthem amongst the youth. The song makes us believe in ourselves and our dreams more. The lyrics have a hard impact on the mind and soul of the listener. All the rappers and artists made the rap battle look so fierce that I was left with no option and found myself hooting for them. The whole album, from Doori to Asli hip-hop is set to change the Bollywood Music Industry.
The review would be incomplete without the mention of the brilliant cinematography team. Jay Oza has done amazing work with the lens. Throughout the story, the movie retains the ‘realistic’ feeling.

The ‘Weak’ part

Despite the strong characters, the movie fails to deliver a strong storyline. Though Murad keeps you invested in himself throughout the story but when it ends it’s like boom and you’ll feel like what? … Where’s the ending bro?.
This movie had a lot of scopes and could have explored the rap culture more in detail. There was scope to show the dominance of rap culture that has, in reality, helped a lot of people to escape from their reality. This is the only loophole in my consideration, there’s only a portion of what actually the story demands.
But nevertheless, we finally have slums of Dharavi that aren’t just reflection of poor but of life and dreams! We finally have a movie that actually concerns about one of the truest voices- the gully rap. And you definitely shouldn’t miss the chance. Don’t miss it!...

News source: Pinkvilla, Guardian.com Times of India.

Image Credit: Jansatta

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