Why Gully Boy isn’t your typical Bollywood flick

Zoya Akhtar’s new film Gully Boy has been creating a buzz right since its announcement. And with the movie’s release on Valentine’s Day, the frenzy has gone up to a whole new level. Whether it’s fans queuing up to catch the first day first show or rave reviews by critics, it’s clear that Gully Boy ka time aa gaya!

What’s wowing audiences is how Gully Boy isn’t the usual typical Bollywood flick. And why is that so? Read on to find out. 

1. From rags to rap stars

Ranveer Singh plays Murad, a youngster from Dharavi who beats all odds to become a rap star. The gritty story is loosely inspired by the lives of Mumbai-based rappers Divine and Naezy. The poverty-stricken youngsters became famous through their angst-ridden songs, which spoke of injustice, corruption and police brutality. This subject itself had fans waiting eagerly for Gully Boy’s release. 

Gully Boy 1
Image Courtesy:
Hindustan Times
2. Un-Bollywood style music

Gully rap or Mumbai’s underground music movement is clearly the star of this musical. Most people associate mainstream hip hop music with similar sounding beats and lyrics about partying, alcohol and sexism. However, the gully rap genre pushes those boundaries with its observations on poverty, class differences and life in Mumbai. Critics claim that Gully Boy’s music and lyrics are as powerful as the story and performances. Catchy music combined with hard-hitting lyrics makes for a potent combination.  

Gully Boy 2
Image Courtesy:
DNA India
3. Unique promotional strategy

Gully Boy’s unconventional promotional tactics stood out right from the word go. Whether it was the first lyrical teaser or Ranveer’s performance at the Lakme Fashion Week 2019, it has had fans hooked. Another unique strategy was the massive graffiti campaign across cities. Fans had to use Google Maps to figure out the ‘Apna Time Aayega’ graffiti closest to them. They then had to click a selfie with it and share it with the team to win passes to the music launch concert. The publicity campaign ended with Ranveer, Alia Bhatt and Zoya attending the Berlin Film Festival for its world premiere. 

Gully Boy 3
Image Courtesy:
The Indian Express
4. An ode to Mumbai

While Gully Boy is mostly about Murad’s self-discovery, it also has several nuances. In a way, it’s an ode to Mumbai as well. The movie beautifully juxtaposes the two contrasting faces of the city and illustrates why it’s called the city of dreams. It’s a place where slums coexist with high-rises and where being born poor doesn’t always mean dying in poverty.  

Gully Boy 4
Image Courtesy:
The Pioneer