'Gully Boy' Movie Review: Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhat make it 'bahut hard' for us to find flaws
'Gully Boy' is a story of making room for your extra-large dreams in a 10X10 'kholi'. We're giving it 4.5 stars out of 5.
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Film: Gully Boy
Cast: Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Vijay Raaz
Director: Zoya Akhtar, Reema Kagti
"Bahut hard, bahut hard!"
If there's one thing Gully Boy has ensured, it is introducing us to this new adjective we can use to describe just about anything we love.
A song. A film. An emotion. And all of these things, together, make Gully Boy.
Trust Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar to always set a premise that is both authentic and engaging. And like Talaash, Gully Boy — with its clogged drains and heaps of garbage, its tin-roofed slums and sweat-marked shirts — delivers 100%.
For most of us, the world shown in this 2-hour, 33-minute film is a dozen times removed from our reality. But then, so was Dil Dhadakne Do — yet it had a connect, simply because it was authentic, real, in that little space.
Ranveer Singh’s journey from Murad to Gully Boy (his rapper name) is inspirational — even though it treads on the classic rags-to-riches trope, you still don’t feel jaded. You are crying with him, rooting for him, laughing and loving with him, kissing passionately, punching the asbestos walls hard.
And for that, if Reema and Zoya deserve the first round of applause for that, Ranveer and Alia Bhatt deserve the second.
Ranveer is known for his flamboyance off-screen, and on it, he seems often trapped in the magnificence of the characters that bring him success. In that, Gully Boy, I’d like to think, was almost cathartic for the actor in him — where he was stripped of all his labels, both designer and stereotyped.
Extra-large dreams in a 10X10 kholi! (Source: YouTube screengrab)
Alia plays the anchor to the film that her character, Safeena, plays to Murad’s life. She is feisty — badass enough to smash beer bottles on your head if you cross her or threaten to get married to your friend if you don’t call her back. You know she is ‘hateli’ enough to do it, so you do not mess with her.
Gully Boy challenges the popular thought: Cut your coat according to your cloth. If we’re all basically struggling to fit our mighty dreams into our 10X10 reality, Murad struggles to push the walls of his ‘kholi’ out to accommodate his extra-large dreams.
But his is not the only struggle the film upholds.
Safeena struggles to live like a ‘normal’ person — to party with friends, discuss boys with her parents — even as she remains rooted to her reality, a young girl of marriageable age in an orthodox Muslim household.
Shakir (Vijay Raaz), Murad’s father, is a driver driving the rich strata of society around the poshest parts of Mumbai, but he knows too well that the distance between the driving seat of the Mercedes and the backseat is too large. He has to remain in the driving seat of his life.
Razia (Amruta Subhash), Murad's mother, struggles to come to terms with the fact that there is no love left in her marriage, as she watches her husband’s affection slip away to a younger, perkier begum.
Sher (Siddhant Chaturvedi), a fellow rapper, battles the angst of not walking out on his alcoholic, abusive father, just because he is the father, while Moeen (Vijay Varma), Murad’s friend, knows he has to step into drug peddling, even against his will, just to make enough money to feed himself and other orphan kids like him he's adopted.
Does the film, the narrative do justice to all these stories?
Yes, it does.
And you realise that just as the end credits roll and your bad work day or the morning fight with your ‘shona’ (even though it's Valentine’s Day) appear way too small.
Life is ‘bahut hard’ — but it is also as easy as you make it out to be.
We give Gully Boy 4.5 stars out of 5.