Review By : Movie Run Time : 2 hours 36 minutes Censor Rating : U/A

Production: Excel Entertainment Cast: Alia Bhatt, Ranveer Singh Direction: Zoya Akhtar Screenplay: Zoya Akhtar Music: Various Artists

Gully boy starts with a small time crook and his accomplice committing a petty crime, reminding us of Straight Outta Compton, a similarly themed film. The influences are quite apparent even in the opening shot of the film, where the camera tracks the character's gait from behind. The similarities end from this point as the main conflict of the rap based Hollywood films deal with the social stigma surrounding the art form, whereas the conflict in Gully Boy is about class divide and peer pressure. Hence the film doesn't try to pull a wannabe act.

The film follows the path of Murad, a lower middle class rookie and his struggle to become a rapper. The film also deals with Murad's transition from an underconfident, closeted poet to a fiery performer. The film has quite a shaky start, as it shows Murad's eventless life, with the tropes being quite familiar (dad issues, on and off relationship with petty crime and a mild amount of romance). The initial portions are also shot in a colourless, desaturated way (The days are rust colourless and the nights are shadowy and dimly lit).It is noted that the film is loosely based on the incredibly true story of the Mumbai based rapper duo Divine and Naezy.

However the film's short-lived inertia is ended with the arrival of MC Sher (played by Siddhanth Chaturvedi) and that really sets the USP of the film, as the film becomes more focussed about the making of an artist. It is at this point where Murad becomes the rapper Gully boy. With an underwhelming start, the film picks up pace after the moment and the second half gets even more pace with the song 'Meri Gully Mein'. The film becomes more vibrant after that (the colourless streets in the first half become blue-lit in the second), the rebelliousness becomes more apparent (the graffiti sequences are a great example) and the drama gets heightened, with Murad aka Gully boy going through a rough patch in his personal life. 

The music uplifts the film and creates a narrative of its own as the film picks up more energy post-Mere Gully Mein, one of the major hits of the rapper duo Divine and Naezy that was featured in the film, as the film gets to become more celebratory about the streets of Mumbai. Any amount of praise for the soundtrack ends up being an understatement as it salvages the film's predictable rich vs poor narrative. Ranveer Singh delivers a terrific performance in a role that requires a mix of restraint and heavy duty emotion while Alia Bhatt owns many a scene with a feisty act that gives her so much scope to say the best one-liners. But it was Siddhanth Chaturvedi who gave a breakout performance and a much needed energy to the film, and excels really well in the battle-rap sequences with ease.

But one wishes that Murad's life had a bit of colour and some activity as the film does not go deeper into the places where he gets his inspiration from. The songs seem to celebrate the spirit of the film's milieu more than the film's narrative. But minor issues aside, Gully boy is a crowd pleasing experience with so many wolf whistle moments.

Verdict: Gully Boy, a crowd pleasing story about artistic triumph and upliftment, is a must watch.


3.25 5 ( 3.25 / 5.0 )





Gully Boy (aka) Guly Boy

Gully Boy (aka) Guly Boy is a Hindi movie. Alia Bhatt, Ranveer Singh are part of the cast of Gully Boy (aka) Guly Boy. The movie is directed by Zoya Akhtar. Music is by Various Artists. Production by Excel Entertainment.