Gully Boy – A coming of age film like never before!
There are good films, there are bad films and then there are those films that ‘make you want to be a better man!’ Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy falls in the last category as one of those films that trace the journey of a person who took everyone head on to fulfill his dreams and eventually achieved what others thought he couldn’t accomplish. The film is also the third consecutive hit featuring Ranveer Singh (after Padmaavat and Simmba) who plays the aspiring poet from Mumbai slums who goes onto become a star rapper, against all odds that includes his family too!
Murad (Ranveer Singh) is a college student who lives in Mumbai slums but dreams of becoming popular one day; his father (Vijay Raaz) is a driver and wants his son to do well in his studies so that he can have a stable job. When things go bad domestically, Murad vents his anger in lyrics and on meeting rapper MC Sher (Siddhant Chaturvedi), decides to become a rapper. Despite opposition at home, he finds love and support in Safeena (Alia Bhatt), Sky (Kalki Koechlin), Moeen (Vijay Varma) and his friends who ask him to follow his dreams. Add a few misunderstandings, a few hiccups and a rap battle that comprises most of the second half and Murad comes out as Gully Boy, making his well-wishers proud and his alter-ego famous. How he manages to do that is what this film is all about, watch it to find out why it is being touted as one of the biggest hits of the careers of all those involved.
The film belongs to Ranveer Singh from the first frame till the last; he dominates every scene he is in even though he shares most of the frames with experienced actors like Vijay Raaz, talented ones like Alia Bhatt and Kalki Koechlin and even TV actors like Siddhant Chaturvedi who are making their film debut after doing good in Inside Edge. This is the first time Ranveer Singh has also doubled as a singer and he does an amazing job thanks to Naezy and Divine who inspired Zoya Akhtar to make such a film. Siddhant Chaturvedi excels in his role as Gully Boy’s mentor and you will exit the cinema without realizing that this was his first film; Alia Bhatt should have had more screen presence because every time she appeared onscreen, she lit it on fire with her dialogues, her cuteness, her beauty, and her rage that was last displayed in Highway. Kalki Koechlin is always a treat to watch as she is not only talented but relatable to the current generation. Be it seniors like Vijay Raaz, Amruta Subhash or Sheeba Chaddha or junior actors, every person looks as real as real could be. Zoya Akhtar has outdone herself with such a phenomenal film that comes once in every director’s lifetime. From here onwards she will be known as the director of Gully Boy and not as Javed Akhtar’s daughter or Farhan Akhtar’s sister.
The film’s biggest put off (for some) will be the film’s depiction of the underground music culture; people over 50 years still believe that there is no such thing as ‘rap music’ and many of them decided not to watch the film after the powerful trailer was released. They are the same people who wanted to do pursue a career other than their 9 to 5 jobs and didn’t have the courage to go through their plans, and they are the biggest non-supporters of ‘go ahead, take the shot’ philosophy. The supporting characters were shown committing illegal acts on the screen which also might not have a positive impact on the youngsters who would think that in order to achieve their dreams they will have to cross over to the dark side.
The Verdict – 4/5
Ten years back had someone prophesized that one day a Bollywood actor with Sindhi background would take the screen by storm, no one would have believed that guy. Today, there is no actor more accomplished, more diverse, more unconventional than Ranveer Singh is at the age of 33; he portrayed a mad man in Padmaavat, a crazy bad-cop-turned-good in Simmba and here plays a college student who defies all to follow his heart. We must be thankful to the actor for being born in our era because he has given us the chance to appreciate diversity instead of the monotony of Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan; he has shown us that you don’t need to do one film a year to deliver a hit like Aamir Khan; as an outsider he always knew that his path will be difficult yet he chose to take that path instead of changing his name and asking uncle Anil Kapoor for help. That’s Ranveer Singh for you, the new Superstar of Bollywood. With Gully Boy, he has completed his takeover of Bollywood; he is here to stay for a long time!