Gully Boy is one of those rarest movie in 2019 that hit the chords of both critics and audience well. Zoya Akhtar chose to bring the rhythm of Dharavi, Mumbai into the mainstream and coined the movie title from an original song, Mere Gully Mein sung by Naezy and Divine. The story is an inspiration drawn from the lives of these two Indian Rappers, Vivian Fernandez (Divine) and Naved Shaikh (Naezy). For the promotion of the movie, they invited Nas (an American Rapper), Divine, and Naezy to release an audio NY Se Mumbai with the movie lead, Ranveer Singh.
Zoya Akhtar brings the story of Murad (a boy from Dharavi streets) to the Indian audience the same way Curtis Hanson did for the American audience. Gully Boy is a movie that matches in bits and pieces with 8 Mile. A story of a local street boy who lives with his broken family and tries to make his way up. MC Bob of 8 Mile is nowhere near to MC Sher of Gully Boy (intended as a pun only). MC Sher (aka Siddhant Chaturvedi) has given a surprising performance in the movie. His introvert role as Prashant Kanaujia in the series Inside Edge was a job well done then. But his extrovert role of a rapper as MC Sher is even better now.
The song Doori sung by Ranveer Singh and written by Javed Akhtar caught my attention the most. The music given by Rishi Rich is soothing to the ears. Another song that engaged me was Kab Se Kab Tak sung by Ranveer Singh and Vibha Saraf. I was never a fan of hip-hop or rap but these two songs redefined rap for me. Mikey McCleary and Ankur Tewari did their best to give a retro feel to the hip-hop genre with their song, Jeene Mein Aye Maza. Mikey McCleary is known to make remixes of retro hindi classics and also as a music composer to some of the Lucky Ali’s hit songs.
The plot of the movie has nothing new to offer than that of 8 Mile but still outshines it in Indian context. The setup (cinematography) of the movie is surreal which makes the audience feel at home. The rest is covered by its evenly paced direction and screenplay. The reason why Gully Boy would still be a popular choice over 8 Mile.