Gully Boy Movie Review: A rapturous cinematic triumph

Gully Boy Movie Review

Critic review of the movie GULLY BOY, the eagerly awaited musical drama starring Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt that hip hops (read releases) today. Directed by LUCK BY CHANCE, ZINDAGI NA MILEGI DOBARA fame Zoya Akhtar, the movie is loosely based on the life of street rappers Divine and Naezy. Let’s find out in this movie review whether GULLY BOY the movie makes us groove to the beats and make our hands come together to clap in appreciation or otherwise?.

The story of GULLY BOY?
A shout out for brotherhood and love for to the original gully boys - Naezy and DIVINE, GULLY BOY is the story of Murad Ahmed (Ranveer Singh) who dreams of becoming a rapper living in a tiny lanes of Mumbai’s Dharavi. How Murad fights his unfavorable circumstances, his socials status, the stigma of being the ‘working’ class who cannot afford to dream big and the prejudice mindset with the help of a possessive girlfriend Safeena Ali (Alia Bhatt), a friend, philosopher and guru MC Sher (Siddhant Chaturvedi).

Ranveer Singh
Knockout!!, a performance that will never be forgotten. Ranveer Singh as Murad is that magically rare combo of restrained swagger and controlled anger. From the flamboyant SIMMBA to Murad, Ranveer Singh is a class apart and when he raps like a pro, the actor ‘breaks free’ and becomes one of the finest talents at present.

Alia Bhatt
Simply terrific, a word in the movie fits her perfectly ’hateli’ (crazy). A possessive lover of Murad, Alia as Safeena is the Geeta version of her RAAZI act. No one else can better the way she transcends her nuances for a given character, when Murad asks for time and she yells back saying, “ mein kya ghadiyal hu kya’ (am I a clock) and when she bangs females who dare to do gulu gulu (flirt) with Murad, she brings the house down.

Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt's chemistry in GULLY BOY?
The chemistry between Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt is crackling. After a long long time bollywod has a love story which is charming, entertaining, humorus with its shades of aggression and grey. Their first meeting, their trademark wave, their passion, their aggression. Magic.

Zoya Akhtar’s direction in GULLY BOY
Labeling GULLY BOY just as a saga of the triumph of an underdog will be an injustice to the movie and the caliber of Zoya Akhtar as a story teller. The opening shot is straight from a de noir classic where we see Moeen (Vijay Varma) strolling down the streets in the wee hours with a cigarette in hand, he keeps walking and walking and then.. the scene where Murad measures the size of Sky (Kalki Koechlin) bathroom. Zoya’s ability to create an intriguing build up for a scene is remarkable. The tomato scene in ZINDAGI NA MILEGI DOBARA (ZNMD) and the climax over here. Zoya Akhtar is undoubtedly the rare filmmaking talent we have in Bollywood.

Writing
The writing is a showcase of sheer brilliance. Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti give us a time bomb in Safeena, the brilliantly written character makes the cut into the obstacles forced on her and she explodes just as her lover Murad but her channel is different, she wants to be a doctor / surgeon. Similarly is the case with the privileged Sky (a metaphor not name actually) played by Kalki Koechlin who enjoys doing graffiti at nights and calls it as a war. Vijay Maurya’s dialogues are mind blowing. The rap lyrics by Ankur Tiwari, Divine (apna time aayega) The Salvage Audio Collective churns instigating lines in Azadi, Sher aaya Sher, Doori, Meri Gully Mein (the rap that gave name fame to Divine and Naezy). All these collaborate in making GULLY BOY a relevant wakeup call, a shout out for recognition for the one who are ignored neglected, apna time ayega is a slogan of hope for those who are engulfed in social and religious shutters and want to break free. The movie comments on marriage, the economic divide, the cliché understanding of rap (the lines like na ladkiyan na gaadi / Apni alag hi aabaadi is a slap on the funky popular rappers whose lyrics centre around girls, cars and booze.

Other performances
Siddhant Chaturvedi as MC Sher is outstanding. He adds current to the proceedings and stands at par with Ranveer Singh. Vijay Raaz is fabulous. Kalki Koechlin is marvelous. Vijay Varma is a delight. Amruta Subhash is fine. Jyoti Subhash (Murad’s grandmother) has her moments.

Flaws
At times Murad’s struggle appears light; Murad should have struggled more and gone through a hell while stealing cars but that sequence is executed easily. At times Murad’s character fails to release that ‘ander ka lava’ to the fullest. A passing thought of 8 MILE (2002) in which Eminem's enraged lyrics made a tremendous impact does flash your mind.

Technical aspects
Oza's cinematography is brilliant Suzanne Caplan Merwanji's production design is authentic. Nitin Baid's editing is crisp. Bosco–Caesar choreography is excellent.

Final words
GULLY BOY is a rapturous cinematic triumph. Zoya Akhtar’s masterly crafted piece with layers is written with depth. The rap lyrics are also the heroes which play a huge part. GULLY BOY is not just a triumph of the underdog, it’s an entertainer that instigates, stimulates and holds you tight by its premise with electrifying music and Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt involved in one of Bollywood’s most crackling love story. Watch GULLY BOY.. there are strong chances that you will watch it dobara and in loop.

Rating 4.5/5

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Movie Cast & Crew
  • Actor: Ranveer Singh, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Vijay Raaz, Vijay Varma
  • Actress: Alia Bhatt, Kalki Koechlin, Sheeba Chaddha
  • Producer: Ritesh Sidhwani, Zoya Akhtar, Farhan Akhtar
  • Director: Zoya Akhtar
  • Production house: Excel Entertainment, Tiger Baby Productions
  • Release Date : 14 Feb 2019
  • Movie Duration : 2 hrs 35 mins