Gully Boy Review - Zoya Akthar achieves an outright stunner with a super prodigious ensemble!
One of the many striking highlights of Gully Boy is the contrast it constantly beholds between the content and characters it address and its pace. The story is a rip-roaring rise of an underdog that would demand all the rush and screams on screen. Yet Zoya captures it in the subtlest of ways possible without loosing a bit of its impact. The film despite being the heavy music driven scene it is in doesn't shy away from embracing the silence.
Ranveer Singh as Murad delivers a scintillating 'bahut-hard' performance. This, probably is his return to his much unexplored facet as an actor which he brilliantly showcased in Lootera. The calmness and angst he keeps composing within and within himself comes off in stunner of sequences.
His authenticity as the rapper is supremely terrific. Yet it is in his non-rap sequences he holds the soul of the film together! Look at the scene where he stands up once for all against the domestic violence his mother has been put up with and warns his father or the one where he convinces his father about why he is doing what he is doing.. it is not just the body language or verbal modulation.. the eyes.. gestures.. shivering lips.. tears that drop off without us expecting it to be! Ranveer has put out a terrific show of the sensation he is!
And the way this film shines with its music is a beauty on its own. There were not much films ever since Rockstar that effortlessly get in and out of its tracks. Every track in GullyBoy elevates the beat of the story to one notch above. It is with the lyrics, poetry and the mood of these tracks we get the ambience and sense of the journey of what Murad is going through.
And the strength of the film is comprising so many things that people will remember for a long time other than the Ranveer who is at his killer best and a bomb soundtrack. One for sure is Alia Bhatt playing Safeena like that of a ton of explosive. The character is brutally apologetic about her deeds and possessiveness she displays to Murad. Her family setup.. the marital pressure.. her yearning to be educated to stand for herself.. all this is so poignantly brought in into the flow of narrative without being just a mere, popping feminist shade. Another surprise stellar show-stealer is Siddhant Chaturvedi who plays MC Sher. The presence he emits is electrifying!
Jay Oza's cinematography is super terrific! The racked up gullies running over each other.. the faces.. and the claustrophobic confined places he keeps registering throughout the film help us breathe out along with Murad whenever he comes to be himself. Nitin Baid's editing (who earlier did Masaan, Trapped and Raazi) is a masterclass in striking the balance between the content and style of a film. The montages, vignettes.. arguments.. they all pass seamlessly! Almost like a rhythm and tempo being set to a free tune! The excellency in the technical front let the Zoya's film language hit you right as you experience it.
The film do have its whack sides. The character of Sky (played by Kalki, a very typical cast choice) come off very standoffishly! The child labour angle that Murad couldn't bear fails to leave an impact! Certain powerful tracks like Jingosthan / Azaadi could have had a better placement instead of being merely used as a track blending the sequence leaps of the film.
Still.. It is quite an experience to enjoy an Indian rap musical where the entire crowd kept cheering on not just for the tracks but the uber load of 'rise' and differences this film talks about. And when the final 'Apna time Aayega' breaks out.. the theatre went to a mad spree. Ranveer has truly arrived!
Zoya Akhtar's 'Gully Boy' is a dazing celebration of craft and content! Ranveer Singh delivers a performance that screams from the hill top that he is quite a phenomenal star actor that the nation has seen in a long while!
Rating : 4/5