When you have two atom bombs ( Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt) in your arsenal, ‘bada dhamaka’ is guaranteed. Rapping… Apna Time Ayega, Gully Boy Ranveer explodes on the screen with a huge bang !!!
GULLY BOY begins and ends in the shady gullies of Mumbai. But with a ‘Hope -for- better-tomorrow’. Director, Zoya Akhtar, wows the audience with her sensitive approach towards children of lesser gods and gullyboy is one of them.
Loosely inspired by 2002 Hollywood film, 8 MILE, GULLY BOY replaces Detroit with Dharavi…American slang is exchanged with apna bambaiya lingo, bole toh…thakela, satkela , hatela is totally enjoyable 😊. While Ranveer is rapper Eminem though not Slim Shady to our relief. Arguably, film refutes the claim completely. Disregarding the argument, one is thoroughly entertained by rapper artists and their beat-box music. Though not new on the music scene, GULLY BOY is dedicated to original Indian rappers, Naezy and Divine who have essentially written and composed the film’s ‘songs’.
Poring your heart out via fast paced dialogues spoken in a sing song manner over rhythmic beats is actual rapping. And Murad has swallowed enough insults to bring that angst and grief in his rap.
What sets GULLY BOY apart from rest is Ranveer’s more than humane portrayal of a troubled soul, Murad.
Deprived of a normal childhood that is dotted with domestic abuse and abject poverty. Murad is leading a duel life of that of a rapper by night and salesman cum driver by day. It is tough choice when he has to choose between earning livelihood versus pursuing his passion for rap. Ranveer’s journey from a shaky, low-on-confidence, inferiority complexed character to a darling-of masses and best-rapper-in-town, is simply fantastic.
Kudos to Zoya Akhtar for displaying the rise in performances in an organic way rather than filmy exaggeration.
Whether it is unreasonable explosion of a jealous girlfriend, Alia Bhat, with his lady boss or Murad’s decision to get into petty crimes out of desperation or getting sucked into the vicious world of drugs…all seems believable. The film almost forces us to act over a self-deprecating joke when foreign tourists mock the world of poor living in cheek-by-jowl shanties under the name of slum tourism. At the same time, hilarious one liners and catty dialogues that succeed in diffusing tension balance out the things perfectly.
In a parallel track, GULLY BOY tries to give wings to these suffocated protagonists and urges them to rise beyond mundane existence called ‘mediocre life’. Though surrounded by depressive neighbourhood, there is flicker of hope…to break the oppressive shackles of society… to break free from age-old traditions & customs.
All is good till GULLY BOY is all about friendly rapping-bouts and bromance. But the constant whining and crying of his family life takes a toll by spreading a pall of gloom. We wished for more songs…more of jugalbandis…and more of energy. Every time, the film picked up pace, it was punctured by emotional outbursts and upheavals.
For all its hype, GULLY BOY moves in a slow motion when expected to run like a fast rap.
Ranveer Singh is already a Bollywood star but with GULLY BOY, he becomes a fearless actor and how. Not worried of being overshadowed, his co-actors enjoy their spot under the sun through some excellent performances. And that speaks volumes of Ranveer’s confidence and Zoya’s directorial command…Cheers. From BAND BAJAA BARAAT to GULLY BOY, Ranveer is breaking his own records. And we are already thirsting for more. If there is any actor apart from Amitabh Bachaan and Aamir Khan who can internalise grief and make their eyes act, it is Ranveer Singh !!!!
Spunky Alia Bhatt is a medical student who does not think twice before cutting up people with her razor sharp wit and acid tongue. We love her white lies and also root for her freedom when all she wants is to wear a red lipstick, travel unescorted, party with her friends and complete her studies before marriage. Being already a hijab-clad show stopper, her spontaneity and dimples win are hearts for sure.
Siddhant Chaturvedi aka MC Sher, the mentor rapper, is surprise package of the film. Brimming with supreme confidence, he keeps the film alive and ticking through his perfect body language of a rapper, his bambaiya slang and of course his fluent rapping.
Special mention of his drug-peddler friend who shines in a realistic performance and so does Vijay Raaz , Amruta Subhash as his parents and Kalki Kochlin, a music collaborator, in a brief roles.
More than entertaining, GULLY BOY is a learning experience that advices you to follow your passion and not to give in to mindless submission.