Directed by Zoya Akhtar, Gully Boy is an ode to the underground hip hop scene in India, with stars like Divine and Naezy in the spotlight. I had high hopes from this film, mainly because I loved the songs and the trailer seemed promising. However, it failed to hit me *bahot hard*.
Ranveer Singh plays Murad Ahmed, the underdog dreamer with stars in his eyes (aka Gully Boy) with a dream-crushing father who hates his guts. But something is missing in the story. Ranveer raps through every scene with the integrity of a true artist. A struggling artist who makes it big from the ashes, how vague is that? The movie gives nothing new in terms of the story.
Alia Bhatt, on the other hand as Safeena, is the real star of the film. She is savage, brutal, outspoken and independent. The one person who steals the show and will stay in your mind long after the movie has ended is Siddharth Chaturvedi, who plays the role of Ranveer's mentor and friend, Sher. Siddharth began his career with the web series Life Sahi Hai, and it seems like he isn't looking back anytime soon. The film also has Kalki Koechlin who plays Sky, a fellow musician and rich kid who decides to help them get big. If you haven't had a chance to catch the trailer yet, watch it here.
Before I dive into the review, here are the thoughts I had while watching Gully Boy.
1. The movie kickstarts a heartfelt declaration of Gully Boy's love for music and a dig at Honey Singh.
2. Awwww. The poster scene is so cute, I didn't think I would find anything in this movie cute.
3. Five minutes into the movie, I could just kill his dad. He is such a party pooper.
4. Are they allowed to smoke up in a movie?
5. Wait, is that Eminem?
6. Alia Bhatt's accent is so good!
7. Did Ranveer just rap for a tourist? Sorry, spoiler.
8. Poor Albina, she had it coming though. Alia is so freaking savage!
9. The Sher is here! And Ranveer seems to have gone into a trance.
10. Okay, so their love story is so cute that I'm dreading what is gonna fuck it up soon.
11. This movie is making me so sad...
12. Yasssss. His first open mike. I think I'm catching the vibe of this film.
13. I had no idea rap battles were this personal. Ranveer about to cry?
14. Now I know why Eminem played himself in 8 Mile because what Ranveer is doing is not an easy job.
15. Why is Siddharth so sweet? He's legit turning him into a star.
16. Gully boy! He finally has a stage name, thanks to the cat lady in a bandana.
17. God, his dad is not my favourite person right now. But at least his songs are being played on repeat.
18. Oh my God, Sky! I wish I could give you spoilers.
19. No no no, this is what I was afraid of. Their picture-perfect relationship is getting shaky.
20. Meri gully main! This is the first time I don't mind long songs in the middle of a movie.
21. Finally in original strips, that Adidas feels good (you'll get it).
22. Is he cheating on Alia? This movie needs to stop playing with my emotions.
23. He fucked up, why did he though?
24. Things are getting really messy, why is it so stressful?
25. Ranveer's excuse is that he wants to concentrate on his music, and sister, we've all been there. You don't need this man.
26. And now he needs you? Let's wrap up the movie, please? It's been two and a half hours.
27. What kind of an Indian parent doesn't want a doctor kid?
28. Why is this entire movie just a two-hour long build up? Where's the end point?
29. Why are all the middle-aged men in this movie testing my patience? Except for Alia's dad, he's my man.
30. They all may be rap artists, but Alia Bhatt is the freaking star.
31. Gully Boy's rap battle was worth waiting for.
32. Alia is legit my favourite character, have I said that already?
33. It's the finals! and somehow I don't have those butterflies in my stomach. Sigh, this movie has some really dull moments.
34. They're still focusing on Sky, she is not important!
35. Oh...the movie ended. Okay, that was quite random.
36. Stay for the after credits, better than most of the movie.
Gully Boy is a one-time watch with some great moments, but the film does not consistently hold its storyline. Props to the actors and the community who put in so much hard work, I even spotted some Insta-famous rapper during the rap battles and it's obvious that Zoya did her homework. If you are a hip-hop fan, you'll love the movie because of it's an ode to the art form. However, if you aren't, then you can give it a miss unless you love Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt. I give it 2/5 stars (one to Alia and one to Ranveer).
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