Firstly, let me talk about my viewing experience before diving into the review. I and my friends were all pumped up to watch the movie – first day, first show. Turns out every theatre in the city was fully booked and the best we could get was a shady multiplex in Goregaon. I won’t disclose the name of the theatre, but trust me it was the shabbiest hall we’d ever been to. It looked like they’d fired all their janitors. We entered the screen thinking that this is going to be a dreadful experience, yet, we were proven wrong. The dirty carpets, the broken seats, all acted as catalysts for us to enjoy the movie even more. It was a 4D experience wherein all the people around us had ‘bantai’ and ‘bachi’ in their daily vocabulary and the whole screen looked like an extended version of what we saw on screen. And I mean this is in the most positive way possible.
Coming to Gully Boy, before nitpicking and critiquing it (I don’t think I will honestly) I will make one thing clear. It was an amazing movie. Zoya Akhtar yet again proved she’s not just amongst the best female directors, but one of the best film directors this industry has ever seen. Though everyone is familiar with the story, let’s back up a little bit. Gully Boy is inspired by real-life events covering the Indian hip-hop sensation Divine and his journey. This all-inclusive film shows how he embraced his ‘Gully’ persona and converted his struggles & observations into lyrics, filled with emotion. Each and every character present on screen is well-developed and I was able to sympathize with all of them. Before talking about the lead, I would love to give Siddhant Chaturvedi a special mention. He plays MC Sher, who acts as Ranveer’s mentor and best friend throughout. His personality made us all woo for him for the entire duration of the movie and he’s definitely going to be a fan favorite after people watch it. His dynamic with Ranveer Singh’s Murad was unparalleled and he was on par in terms of performance and delivery.
Ranveer Singh never fails to impress as usual, and his portrayal was exceptional. He captured the innocence as well as the pain of the character really well, which helped us relate and feel compassionate for him. As mentioned earlier, his journey was well developed and I walked out of the theatre feeling inspired and energized by it. Alia Bhatt yet again proves that she’s here to stay. She plays one of the most badass women we’ve witnessed in a Bollywood film. Her quippy humor combined with her possessiveness for Murad equaled an adorable character that will stick with us for a while. Kalki Koechlin has a minor role in this film as well, which is satisfactory but doesn’t contribute much to the story moving forward.
The rest of the cast were all stock characters from the streets who added depth in each and every scene and made the environment unsurprisingly realistic. We’ve already been taken away with the music of this film and one will enjoy it even more on the big screen. Everyone around me was whistling, waving and dancing whenever a song came on and there were standing ovations every time the mic dropped. Other than this it was a well shot, well-edited movie which showed us the reality of the ‘Gully’s’ and how underground rappers are an under-appreciated part of our country. I’m pretty sure after this movie is watched, everyone will have nothing but respect for them and they will certainly not be looked down upon. Just like the west, I’m pretty sure this movie will act as a Rap Revolution and we will be seeing more and more underground artists in the limelight.
All of us had/have a certain prejudice when it comes to slum dwellers – when we talk about their lifestyle, the kind of people and the kind of jobs they do. Gully Boy certainly changes all of it, and we are slapped in the face with the fact that there’s no difference between them and the privileged as people. They’re just victims of circumstances they can’t control, but how they overcome it is truly motivating. Murad proves that as long as you’re hungry and driven, you will make it, regardless of your troubles.
To sum it all up, all I have to say is
Ye picture bohot rapchik hai, bohot hard hai, isko cinema hall mein dekhna banta hai. (I just had to)
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