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Gully Boy Movie Review: Ek Number…Khatri Music & Bahut Hard Performances in a Primer on Mumbai Slums

Stories of underdogs have always been hailed and celebrated by cinephiles and Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy is an unconventional story that inspires and entertains in equal doses. The movie is a shout-out to Mumbai’s street rappers, Naezy and Divine and Ranveer Singh has hit it out of the park with his portrayal of a talented ‘Gully ka chokra.’

Gully Boy Trailer[/caption] The film revolves around Murad Ahmed, a college student who lives in Mumbai’s biggest slum, Dharavi. Murad feels suffocated in his house and his gully, which feels to him like an ‘andha kuan.’ His unsupportive and unambitious dad makes matter worse for him as he gets home a new bride. Murad feels shackled in his own home and he converts all his frustration and angst into poetry, as he believes, ‘Ye shabdon ka jwala hi meri bedhiyan pighlayega.’

Murad’s childhood sweetheart, Safeena is a medical student and is very possessive of her boyfriend. Safeena is supportive of his dreams and life takes a 180 degree turn for Murad, when he meets rapper MC Sher. How Murad then goes on to become India’s number one rapper forms the rest of the plot. Gully Boy Still[/caption] Ranveer Singh is outstanding in and as Gully Boy. As we all know, he is super energetic in real life so, it must have been quite difficult for him to play this coy and subdued character but he has nailed the part. He has got the nuances right and it’s an absolute joy to watch him play the underdog.

Gully Boy Still[/caption] Ranveer is convincing as Murad and you root for his character right from the word go. This film is a one man show and Ranveer has owned each scene. He has got the ‘Bantai’ accent and body language right and his hard work shows on the big screen. After seeing him play the flamboyant Simmba, it was quite refreshing to watch him play Murad and with Gully Boy, he has proved, yet again, that he is a very versatile actor.

Gully Boy Still[/caption] Alia Bhatt is a natural as the feisty Safeena, who is impulsive but also very caring. Her chemistry with Ranveer is impressive and we loved their fresh pairing. Siddhant Chaturvedi, who has played MC Sher, is the find of the year. He is given a smashing performance and not once did he let Ranveer overshadow him and that’s quite a feat for a newcomer. He has held his own and has a very strong screen presence.

Vijay Raaz once again delivers a power-packed performance as Murad’s unenterprising dad and the clashes between the duo are one of the highlights of the movie. Vijay Mourya, who is the dialogue writer of the film, has also played Murad’s mama and his acting is as splendid as the dialogues that he has penned. Kalki is looking fresh as a daisy as Sky and the rest of the supporting cast too is fabulous.

Gully Boy Trailer[/caption] Zoya Akhtar has made a beautiful film and has extracted great performances from her actors. The first half is riveting but the second half is not as engaging. The film is long and it could have been trimmed by 15-20 minutes. The screenplay could have been a bit crisper however, the good thing is that you don’t get bored and the characters are well-fleshed out.

While Murad has a lot of personal issues, professionally everything goes smooth for him and that’s not very convincing. Music binds this film together and the lyrics are hard-hitting. The camera work is excellent and the cinematography is top-notch. Watch this film for Ranveer’s extraordinary performance and Zoya’s superlative direction.


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