By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 13, Feb 2019, 10:45 am IST | UPDATED: 13, Feb 2019, 10:47 am IST
Mumbai: Zoya Akhtar's Gully Boy, featuring Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt in the lead roles, recently had its world premiere at the 69th Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale). The film ran to a packed auditorium and has received thunderous applause from the international media.
Jay Weissberg of Variety said that the chemistry between Ranveer and Alia was one of the "joys" of Gully Boy. "Her ironic smile meets his open-faced grin and the screen lights up," he wrote.
"A Bollywood movie about a rapper from the slums may sound derivative, but what does that matter when Gully Boy revels in high-wattage screen chemistry and an inclusive social message, all served up in a slickly enjoyable production showcasing Ranveer Singh's many charms? Zoya Akhtar's most accomplished film to date is a mainstream rap musical about a Muslim guy from working-class Mumbai determined to break free from the strictures of expectation and class, all served up with generous helpings of deftly written hip-hop lyrics and a largely well-woven narrative that's so likable one can almost forgive how the script barely bothers to resolve an important plot element," the review read.
Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave it 3 out of 5 stars and said that "there is storytelling gusto and fun in this Mumbai-set romantic drama teetering cheerfully on the edge of camp". In his review, he wrote, "In the end, Gully Boy runs on very traditional lines, and maybe comes too close to cliche, but is always engagingly dead set on entertainment."
Deborah Young of The Hollywood Reporter wrote in her review, "Zoya Akhtar (Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara) directs with flair and passion and, aided by explosive performances from a right-on cast, triumphs over the familiarity of the star-is-born storyline. Her main asset is Ranveer Singh, who broke into Bollywood with the rom com Band Baajat Baaraat and who here shows a pleasingly full emotional range that extends to drama and hip hop. With his hair combed over his eyes and noticeably muscle-bound, he is heroic but mild-mannered, rarely exceeding the sphere of believability. Lending strong backup are Alia Bhatt (Raazi) as his volatile love interest Safeena and Siddhant Chaturvedi in the role of his rap guru and pal Sher."
Gully Boy is about Murad (Ranveer), a rapper from the slums of Mumbai, who wants to rise above his socio-economic status to become a star. Despite being discouraged over and over again, he manages to take the underground rap scene by storm. The film is inspired by the life of underground rappers Divine and Naezy.
Produced by Tiger Baby Productions and Excel Entertainment, Gully Boy also features Kalki Koechlin, Vijay Raaz, Amruta Subhash and Siddhant Chaturvedi in pivotal roles. The film is scheduled to open in theatres on February