Directed by: Zoya Akhtar
Starring: Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Kalki Koechlin, Vijay Raaz
Genre: Drama, Music
Release date: 14 February 2019
Running Time: 114 Minutes
A coming-of-age story based on the lives of street rappers in Mumbai.
Gully Boy is a film about a 22 year old Muslim kid from a ghetto in Bombay. The boy is a rapper, and the story is his journey from realizing his love for rap, to chasing his dream, and to inadvertently transcending his class. Authentic Hip Hop in India is a recent phenomenon and like anywhere else in the world, is rising from the streets. It is the only true political space in music right now and it’s coming from people that have nothing to lose, the colonized poor. Gully Boy is an upcoming Indian Hindi-language musical drama film written and directed by Zoya Akhtar. It stars Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt and is based on the life of Divine, an underground rapper from Mumbai. It is produced by Tiger Baby and Excel Entertainment productions.
Principal photography on the film began in January 2018 and wrapped up in April 2018. It is confirmed for release on 14 February 2019.
The first look official poster of the film released on 1st January 2019. It also gives the valentines day release date.
Two new theatrical posters revealing looks of lead actors of the film unveiled for public on 2 January 2019. The Trailer Announcement was made on 4th January 2019 with a Small teaser in which Ranveer Singh is Seen Rapping.
Gully Boy Movie Trailer
Gully Boy Movie Trailer
The first trailer for Gully Boy, the new film starring Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt, was released online on Wednesday. An announcement video set to Ranveer’s rapping was released a few days ago, and introduced audiences to the concept of “asli (real) hip hop”.
A trailer release event was held 1:30 pm and was attended by the stars, director Zoya Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani, who co-produces along with Farhan Akhtar, through their Excel Entertainment banner.
Gully Boy is in part based on the life and struggles of rapper Divine – its name is inspired by his breakout song, Mere Gully Mein – and his troupe of street rappers, who go by the name “Gully Gang”. Ranveer plays a young man, whose only means of expressing himself in a harsh world is through rhymes.
He is joined in the film by Alia and Kalki Koechlin, who play contrasting love interests – Alia is a feisty young girl from a background not too different from Ranveer’s character’s, and Kalki represents the mainstream success he aspires to.
Gully Boy is directed by Zoya Akhtar, who last helmed one of four shorts in the Netflix anthology series, Lust Stories. Ranveer recently delivered the biggest solo hit of his career with Simmba, which will shortly cross Rs 200 crores at the Indian box office. Likewise, Alia starred in the critical and commercial success, Raazi, in 2018.
They will reunite on screen in director Karan Johar’s ambitious Mughal era epic, Takht, which also stars Vicky Kaushal and Kareena Kapoor, among others.
Gully Boy will premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival’s Berlinale Special category, ahead of its release on February 14.
Gully Boy Movie Review
The first time we see Ranveer Singh in Gully Boy, he’s stealing a car. Three men head toward an SUV, Singh walking third, far behind the cocksure leader. He appears tentative and preoccupied, having sought out the least active role. His name is Murad, and that is his way. A college kid obsessed with hip-hop, he even writes songs hoping someone else will belt out his rhymes. The performer he approaches (with a notebook full of verses) disagrees. “If we get comfortable,” he asks Murad, “who the hell will rap?”
Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy, an underdog story shining a light on India’s incipient hip-hop subculture, is the first great Hindi film of 2019 and a rousing celebration of spunk. The writing is enthralling, the texture fantastic, and this world is a revelation. Here are characters without room to breathe who express themselves breathlessly, through a style of music that has always belonged to the marginalised. Dissent finds a way — and a beat.
How does a rapper-to-be find another, though? The answer lies in Murad’s graffiti scrawl, where he accurately lists ‘Internet’ alongside ‘Roti, Kapda, Makaan’ as an essential. Rap battles in India used to take place online before hip hop enthusiasts realised there were enough of them to assemble loudly. Murad sends a Facebook friend request to a performer, and finds a musician via comments under a YouTube video. He’s nervous asking to meet up, incredulous about suggesting it “directly.” This is the coyness movies reserve for crushes, the hesitant and gradual reaching out of the romantic.
There is absolutely nothing hesitant about Murad’s girlfriend, however. Played by an electric Alia Bhatt, Safeena is an incurable hothead — he nicknames her ‘Danger Aapa’ — who tells her man to go ahead and dream. She’s going to be a doctor and so they’re going to be just fine. She’s a dynamite character, and this is reassurance Murad sorely needs, living in a tiny Dharavi flat occasionally beset by tourists who want poverty porn on their Instagram feeds. Murad and Safeena are practicing Muslims, childhood sweethearts sundered by wealth and class.
The film opens with a dedication to pioneering Indian hip-hop stars Naezy and Divine, Akhtar and co-writer Reema Kagti borrowing background and specifics from their lives. Many local rappers show up, cameoing as themselves, which is a delight. Yet Gully Boys doesn’t try to explain the music itself, or what draws these hungry young men to the righteous aggression of Nas and Tupac and Jay-Z, or even what distinguishes this subculture from other rebellions.
Instead, the writers studiously follow the graph of a sports drama, taking as much from the Rocky template as from Eminem’s screen memoir, 8 Mile. It’s a smart move, keeping the beats basic and buoyant — if repetitive — and making sure the energy is full-tilt and familiar, instead of trying to convert audiences to rap. Besides, the rise-of-the-prizefighter template is appropriate. Who was the first rap battler in the world? Mohammad Ali.
The knockout punches come from MC Sher. With a name that means both tiger and poem, this champ is played by Siddhant Chaturvedi with a natural, easy ferocity. It’s the film’s top performance. When he battles, he seems to be shutting down rivals for real. Sher leans hard into the verses and the artfully effortless attitude, and warmly mentors Murad, dubbing him ‘Gully Boy’ and schooling him in the all-important ways of metre.
This is where the film’s dialogues need to be applauded. Written by Vijay Maurya — who also plays Murad’s uncle — the lines are authentic from the start, allowing us a ringside view. Language varies across classes, like when Murad teases an affluent girl saying “Hindi nahin aata?” and she says “Hindi aati hai, but…”, actually using gender correctly while he is Bombay-istically wrong. The genius lies in the dialogues evolving; late in the film, when Murad is raging against his father, you can sense metre in his words. He’s internalised the iambic.
In fact, true to the spirit of a film about angry young men, Gully Boy leaves much room for Vijays: Vijay Varma is superb as a neighbourhood crook who must have grown up on Jackie Shroff movies, while Vijay Raaz — one of the finest actors we have — is haunting as Murad’s sore, unambitious father.
Cinematographer Jay Oza presents the city in wide shots, while framing faces — especially Singh and Bhatt — mercilessly close, exposing the actors at their rawest. There are some genuinely poetic compositions, one of which features Bhatt sitting alone at a bus-stop, an immediate contrast to her earliest scene, where she squeezed into what can only be described as an Alia-shaped gap in the crowded backseat of a bus, with a hand-holding boyfriend on one side and a sleeping child on her other shoulder.
Bhatt is a marvel, all fury and focus and fearlessness. Safeena is a wondrous character, strikingly self-assured and frighteningly perceptive, and Bhatt endows her with innocence and impulsiveness. She also seems genuinely capable of walloping people.
Singh spends a large part of the film silent, as Murad drinks it all in — predicaments, wishes, suddenly emergent dreams. It begins to feel one-note, particularly in comparison to the louder characters, till he locks himself in a car and turns on a song — he explodes into a convulsive, amazing singalong. This mirrors another scene when Murad, encountering trashy rap on a car stereo, loses his head in the desperation to shut it. Murad isn’t Murad till music plays.
Armed with microphone or words, Singh is unstoppable. There is one scene that jars — when he dances much too confidently during a music video — but that stands out because the rest of his performance is so precisely calibrated. From accent to action, Singh nails it. As Murad becomes more confident, he even closes a curtain like he’s dropping a mic.
At one point, Safeena, desperate to cheer for Murad, shouts her encouragement mid-song while the rest of the crowd, aware of the style, knows when to applaud. Akhtar has done something special. Gully Boy starts with a scratch sound and ends with a cut to silence, and in between holds voices that cannot be unheard. Like Safeena, applaud whenever you’re ready. It’s time.
Gully Boy Movie Songs
Apna Time Aayega | Gully Boy | Ranveer Singh & Alia Bhatt | DIVINE | Dub Sharma | Zoya Akhtar
Mere Gully Mein | Gully Boy | Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Siddhant | DIVINE | Naezy | Zoya Akhtar
Azadi – Gully Boy| Ranveer Singh & Alia Bhatt | DIVINE | Dub Sharma | Siddhant | Zoya Akhtar