Zee Cinema to air World TV Premiere of Gully Boy
A movie that transcends all class divides, Gully Boy is unconventional in terms of its setting and the larger issues of class perceptions and social prejudices that it addresses. Starring Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt in the lead along with Siddhant Chaturvedi, Kalki Koechlin, Vijay Raaz, Vijay Varmaand Amruta Subhash in supporting roles, the movie’s central narrative revolves around a rebellious underdog fighting daunting odds in a bid to become a rap star. Directed by Zoya Akhtar, and written by Akhtar and Reema Kagti, the movie is all set for its World Television Premiere on Sunday, 23rd June 2019, at 12 noon only on Zee Cinema.
Zoya Akhtar’s, Gully Boy is an underdog story shining a light on India’s incipient hip-hop subculture. Set against the gullies of Dharavi, the plot of the movie chronicles the life of Murad Ahmed (Ranveer Singh), an ordinary boy. He is passionate, ambitious, yet emotional and refrains from expressing his thoughts, due to low confidence level. Murad ponders over life and his conflict with his father at home by penning down his thoughts in a book cocooned in his space on the mezzanine floor of his modest house. He nurtures a secret fascination for rap music and his long-time girlfriend Safeena (Alia Bhatt) is training to be a surgeon. The couple routinely meet secretly away from the prying eyes of their families. After his father is injured, Murad is forced to work part-time as a chauffeur to make ends meet. He is soon torn between his passion for rapping and his responsibility towards his family. Murad choses the latter and takes up a desk job at his uncle’s firm. Murad soon meets a local rapper Shrikant a.k.a MC Sher (Siddhant Chaturvedi) and is drawn into performing his lyrics at underground shows and eventually uploading a video on YouTube. He turns his happiness, grief, discomfort and disappointment into hard-hitting lyrics which makes him an overnight internet sensation. A chance encounter with Berklee College student Sky (Kalki Koechlin) changes his life when she offers to collaborate with him on a music video. Murad and MC Sher jump at the proposition and view this opportunity as a redemption from their current struggles and make a mark for themselves as serious artists on the highly competitive rapping scene.
On his prep to portray Murad on screen Ranveer Singh said, “Whatever struggles that I have faced in my life, whether to do with my career or personal relationships, I tapped into those hard experiences for my portrayal of Murad in ‘Gully Boy’. The language came very naturally to me. The Mumbai street lingo is something I’ve grown up speaking. I am also the kind of person who is equally comfortable at high society gatherings and hanging out with the boys from the yard. This kind of experiences I have had growing up allows me to understand people from all social strata and that is a large contributor to my being able to be effective as Murad in ‘Gully Boy’. Hanging out with real “Gully Boys” while growing up, contributed to my knowledge of Mumbai street culture, thus allowing me to construct the character, internalize the emotions and service the story.”
Siddhant Chaturvedi speaking on his co-star Ranveer Singh said, “Ranveer Singh has motivated me throughout. Ranveer and I both worked a lot on the voice of our characters. In fact, he changes his voice and accent in every film. We both believe that 80 percent of your work is done through voice modulation. He advised me to keep a track of the voice I was using and to make sure that from the first day of the shoot to the last it was consistent. Every day he would come on the set and record his dialogues to make sure he kept the tone and pitch the same throughout.”
Speaking on the Indian rap scene in India and the artists featured in the movie, Zoya Akhtar said, “Many people know the genre in India. Within the genre, there are various types of forms and diverse artists. There are guys who write a conscious rap, about things that affect their lives socially and politically. They have distinct voices and each of their pieces has a different attitude. We had to make sure that all the artists had their own space on the album. Also, for people going to experience the genre for the first time we had to explain the ethos of the music and not make it sound like a lesson. MC Sher describes rap as rhythm and poetry.”
Gully Boy is a dedication to real life rappers Naezy and Divine, subtly highlighting their journey of becoming the most loved rap-stars of India. The film highlights Mumbai’s unexplored rap culture, revealing in a beautiful narrative, real struggles of Indian underprivileged artists. The 18-song soundtrack in the movie involves an estimated 54 contributors, which include rappers, Deejays, music producers and beatboxers from across the country.