Gully Boy Movie Review Rating: 4.5/5 Stars (Four and a half stars)
Star Cast: Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Vijay Raaz, Vijay Varma.
Director: Zoya Akhtar.
What’s Good: Every frame breathes life, every line said by every character has a meaning to it, Ranveer is one of us & this time he doesn’t become the character – he’s the character, this movie isn’t led by one particular actor; it’s a team effort where everyone is at their best.
What’s Bad: I’ll have to turn into a ruthless critic to nitpick few things just to dismiss them but I’ll not do that, because I’ve watched the movie as the audience and that’s how everyone should watch it.
Loo Break: Only if there’s a situation where you have to pee in your pants, but even for that I’ll suggest carry some adult diapers.
Watch or Not?: If you think ‘follow your dreams’ stories are done-to-death in Bollywood, just watch this to prove yourself utterly wrong.
We’ve Murad (Ranveer Singh) who’s yet another ordinary guy grown up in slums, facing some usual issues in life. He has friends who could steal a car to earn some good money. Murad’s girlfriend Safina (Alia Bhatt) has a clear vision in her life – to become a doctor & to love Murad unabashedly. She’s someone who can get into a war all alone for Murad. Whereas, Murad is still figuring out what to do with his life.
He knows he can write well but in comes the rapping, a route he never hoped to walk on. Getting some support by a mildly famous MC Sher (Siddhant Chaturvedi) and Sky (Kalki Koechlin), Murad tries to explore territories which never were on his radar. But with an abusive, unsupportive father in Vijay Raaz, he surely faces some bumps in his journey of life.
Gully Boy Movie Review: Script Analysis
Yes, the basic template of Gully Boy consists of a plot we’ve heard many times in Bollywood. An underdog with a talent aspires to go the distance, restrictions from the family, the society, confused love life, overcome the obstacles and beat all the odds. But, what makes this a special film is its execution and very meaningful cinematography. Those who’ve watched Eminem’s 8 Mile might draw some parallels but trust me when I say it’s not the same.
Also, the movie is filled with subtext and those who get them all will connect with the movie on another level. Kalki Koechlin’s name Sky is a metaphor in itself about how she’s a sky for Murad – so close yet so far. Zoya teams up with her better-half Reema Kagti for the screenplay and can we already pour them with some awards? Every scene is extensively written keeping the minute details in mind & thanks to them to keep just about right portion of raps. Jay Oza’s camera is convincingly legit. The way the camera moves through the narrow lanes of Mumbai, you become the eyes of those characters. ASTOUNDING cinematography.
Good acting is always about good conflicts because that’s what invites good drama. Here, Ranveer Singh’s Murad is battling with his survival in life. He’s not your filmy macho hero, he’s someone’s you’ll find on the streets. Ranveer breaks his own bar setting the new one so high that now it needs a film of another level to touch it. From his struggle face to his celebratory face, Ranveer just keeps unmasking the level of talent he has.
Alia Bhatt acts through her instinct following her gut (as said by director Zoya), and Safina is nowhere near her in real life. Still, her conviction to portray Safina never overshadows the way we’ve seen her outside movies – that’s one sign of an outstanding actor. Kalki Koechlin plays a small yet substantial role as Sky. There’s a lot of turbulence happening around her character and she grasps everything very smoothly.
I know I could be bashed to say this but despite Ranveer and Alia’s pathbreaking performances, the biggest takeaway for me from the film is MC Sher aka Siddhant Chaturvedi. He’s the guy I Googled right after watching the film. Would’ve never believed that this is his first film until I researched him. His performance speaks volumes! Not for a moment, he came across as a debutant; it felt like he has always been here.
Vijay Raaz as Ranveer’s father finally gets a film that’s equal as his talent. From Kaalakaandi to Stree, he was just wasted in 2018 (only Patakha being the exception). This is a tailor-made role for Raaz and he proves the same. Vijay Varma as Ranveer’s druggie friend gets a very layered character. He’s the most humane one and because of such strong writing, get’s to emote his best version.
Amruta Subash, the actress playing Ranveer Singh’s mother, owns the emotional sequences. She is very good and leaves a prominent mark. Sheeba Chaddha and the actor playing Alia’s father are good. Though I wish Sheeba’s character should’ve got much more depth.
Gully Boy Movie Review: Direction, Music
If Zoya Akhtar can celebrate the way of living of elitists, she can glorify the streets too – it’s all about the story. From Luck By Chance, to Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Dil Dhadakne Do and now Gully Boy – no one in Bollywood understands the characters as Zoya does. Even in this film, she has got into the life of slums to present them as real as it is. I’ve been to slums since my childhoods and believe me when I say this – they are exactly the same as shown in Gully Boy.
It was a masterstroke by the makers for keeping the background score as minimalistic as it can get. The sound never overpowers the sequences helping to feel them better. All the rap songs work in favour of the film as none of it is forced. Doori, Meri Gully Mein and Apna Time Aayega being the best of the lot (as far as the proceedings in the movie is concerned). Watch out for a soulful sequence in a song that shows everything wrong with our society. Full marks to Ranveer for singing all of his raps and give a reality check to all musicals in Bollywood.
Gully Boy Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, Gully Boy is a once-in-a-blue-moon film! There rarely comes a film that perfects almost everything. This is an interpretation of emotions at its best. It’s not all about rap music, it’s about humanness and achieving your dreams. Don’t wait for the reviews, just go and experience it yourself.
Four and a half stars!
Gully Boy releases on 14 February 2019.
Share with us your experience of watching Gully Boy.