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‘Gully Boy’, Bollywood’s back street rapper

Aruna Harjani

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Wed, February 20, 2019  /  11:53 am
‘Gully Boy’,  Bollywood’s back street rapper

Bus mates: Murad Ahmed (Ranveer Singh, left) and Safeena Firdausi (Alia Bhatt) discreetly share earphones inside a bus while her mother is seated up front. (Courtesy of AA Productions/-)

Bollywood has made its first movie about rap music.

Inspired by the life stories of two Indian rappers, namely Divine and Naezy, director Zoya Akhtar recreates the lives of these men who went from zeros to heroes in her movie Gully Boy.

Rap music is not new in India, but one thing for sure is it only has a niche following.

Akhtar manages to tap into the topic and teach the audience to understand what the music is all about. You might even end up liking the music after watching the film.

Akhtar's film takes you on a whirlwind journey from a long stretch of poverty seen in the biggest slum area in Mumbai.

The slums may be no different from those in previous films like Slumdog Millionaire, but the magic touch of a series of emotional scenes gives Gully Boy its edge, which is enhanced by a perfect cast.

Akhtar gives the movie a feminine touch, exploring the topics of marriage and the right to fall in love.

The director tries to be as realistic as possible in her storytelling that portrays the authenticity of living in the slums.

The movie centers on the story of Murad Ahmed (Ranveer Singh) who lives in poverty with his family.

His life changes when his father brings home a new wife, causing an emotional uproar in their everyday lives.

Into rap: Murad Ahmed (Ranveer Singh) lives in poverty with his family but cannot hide his burning desire to become a rapper.Into rap: Murad Ahmed (Ranveer Singh) lives in poverty with his family but cannot hide his burning desire to become a rapper. (Courtesy of AA Productions/-)

Ahmed loves rap music but his father, who is a driver, angrily reminds him of the amount of struggle he has gone through to send him to college.

Ahmed’s girlfriend, Safeena Firdausi (Alia Bhatt), a middle class medical student, is supportive of his rap music and gives him with a computer pad.

Her gift changes Ahmed’s life because it gives him an opportunity to surf the world of rap music.

The film becomes explosively emotional with the very powerful performances of the actors.

Singh, known to be an energetic actor, delivers a perfect portrayal of his character. He touched the hearts of the audience with his laid-back nature and his burning desire to make it as a rapper.

One scene that was very striking shows Singh being slapped by his father because he found a video recording of his rap music. As he stood there getting hit, his face was engulfed in emotions that made the audience cry.

Bhatt was in as many scenes as Singh and she managed to bring out her character beautifully as a young Muslim woman who has no right to fall in love.

She plays a strong-willed medical student who won’t take nonsense, making sure no one gets between her and Ahmed’s love. One striking moment was in a scene in which she finds out he received a text from an unknown woman. There and then, she goes after the lady and fights with her.

Newcomer Siddhant Chaturvedi plays the amazing, mind-blowing character of MC Sher. Chaturvedi’s performance brought life to the film with his superb acting.

With good direction, cinematography and editing, Gully Boy is a beautifully crafted movie to watch.(ste)

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