"Gully Boy" Movie Review: Raveer Singh And Alia Bhatt In A Film Full Of Contrasts

Priyansh Ha |Feb 18, 2019

Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy stands out as an amazing piece of art with excellent performance of Ranveer Singh and Alia.

Gully Boy

Director: Zoya Akhtar
Cast: Ranveer Singh, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Alia Bhatt,  Kalki Koechlin, Vijay Raaz 
Rating: 4/5

Ranveer Singh’s very first scene in Gully Boy sees him stealing a car, chasing three men in an SUV. In the role of Murad, a college student who is fond of Hip-Hop, Singh appears preoccupied and tentative, seeking for the least active role. With a notebook full of his own rap songs, Murad approaches a performer but what he receives is just a no and a question, “If we get comfortable, who the hell will rap?”.

The Indian Hip-hop Culture Is Unveiled

Gully Boy, a Zoya Akhtar’s production, has brought the Indian Hip-Hop subculture to light through an enthralling story. This is one of the greatest Hindi films of 2019 came out so far.

In a style of music which has never been mainstream, characters unveil themselves breathlessly and find their ways for dissent.

India rap battles had gone online before the Hip-Hop lover realized it was time to bring it into real life. Thanks to social media like Facebook or Youtube, Murad can find a musician and a performer. He, however, hesitates and is nervous about asking them to meet in person.

His girlfriend, on the contrary, is a hothead who has nothing to be afraid of. Safeena (Alia Bhatt), with the nickname  ‘Danger Aapa’, always tells her boyfriend to move ahead and chase his dream. This medical-student-inspired-to-be-surgeon girl has a strong personality and is exactly Murad’s missing piece.

The film is a dedication to Indian Hip-Hop pioneers, Divine, and Naezy as the writers borrowed background and details from their real lives. The film also features many local rappers, who delightfully show up as themselves.

A Smart Move Of The Film Writers

Even when the film is all about rap songs and Hip-Hop, it doesn’t attempt to explain the music or the reason why these young men are crazy about the good battle between Tupac and Jay-Z and Nas. Instead of pushing the audience into the real world of rap, the writer has made a right move to keep the beats buoyant and basic. The film follows the template of Rocky and Eminem’s 8 Mile to remain the familiar and full-tilt energy.  

Siddhant Chaturvedi And His Peak Performance

MC Sher is absolutely the knockout punch of the film thanks to Siddhant Chaturvedi’s peak performance. When it comes to a rap battle, whenever he voices up, it shuts rivals down. Meeting Murad in a college fest, Sher soon becomes his mentor who nicknames him “Gully Boy” and tells him listening to his heart is the only thing that matters.


The Dialogues And Scenes Which Go Straight To You Mind

Let’s give another applause to writer Vijay Maurya and excellent dialogues. With authentic lines throughout the film, it allows us to have an overview of the story. The languages also vary from different classes which gives us the sense of a real world.

Apart from the cast and film narration, the cinematography is impressive which frames faces and exposes their rawest side with no mercy. Among the highlights is the scene when Alia sits alone at a bus stop which is in contract with the latest scene of her in a crowded bus, with her boyfriend’s hand in hand and a child sleeping on her shoulder.


Nothing Can Stop Ranveer Singh Back

Ranveer Singh is silent in most of his part as his character, Murad tends to swallow all of his thoughts insides from wishes and dreams to predicaments. He is quite monotone in comparison to louder characters, for example, his girlfriend. His thoughts and feelings only explode into rap songs. Murad isn’t himself anymore when the music is on.

There is nothing which can hold Ranveer Singh back. He nailed the character effortlessly in every single side of him, from the deepest to the highest moments, from accent to action.  

Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy stands out as a fantastic piece of art, from cast’s performance to the story narration and cinematic effects. It’s a movie of antagonism which starts with a scratch sound and ends up in a cut of silence.


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