Gully Boy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gully Boy
Theatrical release poster
Directed byZoya Akhtar
Written byStory and Screenplay:
Reema Kagti
Zoya Akhtar
Vijay Maurya
Produced by
CinematographyJay Oza
Edited byNitin Baid
Music bySongs:
See soundtrack
Karsh Kale
The Salvage Audio Collective
Distributed byCinestaan AA Distributors
Release dates
  • 9 February 2019 (2019-02-09) (Berlin)[1]
  • 14 February 2019 (2019-02-14) (India)[2]
Running time
153 minutes[3]
Budget60–70 crore[4][5]
Box officeest. 238 crore[6]

Gully Boy is a 2019 Indian Hindi-language musical drama film directed by Zoya Akhtar, and written by Akhtar and Reema Kagti. The film was produced by Ritesh Sidhwani, Akhtar and Farhan Akhtar under the banners of Tiger Baby Films and Excel Entertainment productions, with American rapper Nas as an executive producer. It stars Ranveer Singh in the title role alongside Alia Bhatt, Kalki Koechlin, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Vijay Varma, Amruta Subhash and Vijay Raaz in supporting roles. Inspired by the lives of Indian street rappers DIVINE and Naezy,[7] the film is a coming-of-age story about aspiring street rapper Murad Ahmed (Singh), from the Dharavi slums of Mumbai.

Principal photography for Gully Boy began in January 2018 and wrapped up in April 2018. It was premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival on 9 February 2019 and released on 15 February 2019 to positive reviews for the music, cinematography, Akhtar's direction, storyline, dialogues, performances (particularly Singh, Bhatt, Chaturvedi, Varma) and the social message. With a global gross of over 2.38 billion (US$33.8 million), it emerged as the eighth-highest-grossing Hindi film of the year.[8]

Gully Boy won a record 13 Filmfare Awards, the most awards for a single film in a year, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor (Singh) and Best Actress (Bhatt). It also became the sixth film to win all 4 major awards at the Filmfare Awards (Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress), after Guide (1965), Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), Devdas (2002) and Black (2005). Internationally, it won the NETPAC Award for Best Asian Film at the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival in South Korea. It was also selected as the Indian entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards, but it was not nominated.


Murad Ahmed, a final year college student, lives in the Dharavi slums of Mumbai. His abusive father Aftab Shakir Ahmed brings home a much younger second wife, much to the chagrin of the family. Murad nurtures a fascination for rap music. His longtime and overly possessive girlfriend Safeena Firdausi is training to be a surgeon and routinely meets him in secret.

Forced to work part-time as a chauffeur after Aftab is injured, Murad starts to write, with his lyrics informed by the inequalities he observes while on the job. He befriends local rapper Shrikant "MC Sher" Bhosle, whom he saw performing in his college fest, and begins performing his lyrics at underground shows and rap battles, eventually uploading a video on YouTube.

Berklee College student Shweta "Sky" Mehta, a record producer, reaches out to Murad and Sher after seeing the video, offering to collaborate on a new song. The accompanying video, which is shot in Dharavi, rapidly becomes popular. Murad and Sky grow close and eventually have sex, which Murad keeps from Safeena. When Safeena finds out, she reacts violently towards Sky by smashing a bottle of beer on her head. As a result, she is brought in by the police but is not arrested as Sky doesn't press charges against her. Murad eventually breaks up with Safeena due to her possessive nature. As Aftab's violence towards him, his brother Suhail and his mother Razia escalates, Murad decides to leave home with Razia and Suhail and work full-time for his maternal uncle Ateeq Khan.

Later, when Sky expresses her romantic feelings for him, Murad declines her advances as he still loves Safeena and decides to reconcile with her. Murad and Sher enter a contest to open for Nas at his Mumbai concert, and Murad advances to the finals after a successful rap battle. His confidence having improved from the appreciation he receives from fans, Murad finally stands up to Aftab and Ateeq when they belittle his passion. He later gets back together with Safeena. He goes on to win the contest and becomes one of India's top rappers. The film ends with his friends, family and Safeena watching him happily as he begins his triumphant opening performance.



Akhtar co-opted the story of two Mumbai based MCs, Naezy and DIVINE, into a musical story portraying a struggle of an aspiring rapper and his surroundings that influence his journey.[10] Principal photography of the film began on 10 February 2018[11] and it was wrapped up by April 2018.[12] American rapper Nas was an executive producer for the film.[13][14]


The 18-song soundtrack, which was released on all streaming platforms on 12 January 2019, involves an estimated 54 contributors, including rappers from across the country, deejays, music producers and beatboxers, such as DIVINE, Naezy, Sez on the Beat, Rishi Rich, Dub Sharma, Jasleen Royal, Ace, Ishq Bector, MC Altaf, MC TodFod, 100RBH, Maharya, Noxious D, Viveick Rajagopalan, and others.[15] As music supervisor, Ankur Tewari[16] worked with the diverse group of artists in the studio, aiming to "bring the two worlds of hip hop and Bollywood together".[15]

A promotional single for the film, "NY Se Mumbai", was released on 9 February 2019 and performed by DIVINE, Naezy and Ranveer Singh, along with American rapper Nas.[13][14] The track was produced by XD Pro Music, a Toronto based producer duo, and Ill Wayno.

Marketing and release[edit]

Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt at the trailer launch of Gully Boy
Graffiti of "Apna Time Aayega" in Mumbai

Gully Boy was confirmed to be releasing on 14 February 2019 by Alia Bhatt.[12] The first look official poster of the film was released on 1 January 2019 and reconfirmed the release date to be 14 February 2019.[2] Two new theatrical posters revealing looks of the lead actors of the film unveiled for the public on 2 January 2019.[17] The film was selected in Berlinale Special section of 69th Berlin International Film Festival. The film was screened on 9 February 2019 for its world premiere at the festival.[1][18] It was released in India on 14 February 2019[12] on 3,350 screens and in overseas markets on 751 screens, with a worldwide count of 4,101 screens.[19]

Some writers speculated about similarities between Gully Boy and the Eminem-starring 8 Mile (2002).[20] Writer Aditya Magal in The Quint called it, though appreciating the movie as entertaining, after outlining what he considers the many similarities, "an engineered, Indianized version of 8 Mile".[21] Journalist Rachna Tyagi of The Week was more harsh in her review, rating it 2.5/5 and calling it "a copycat Indian version of the film."[22] Denying the claims, director Zoya Akhtar responded "I get it (the comparison). I totally understand it, because that's the reference point and that's what they've seen so, that's the immediate reference point and people here just love to do that."[23]

Home video[edit]

The film was made available as VOD on Amazon Prime Video on 16 April 2019.[24]


AA Films acquired the All India distribution rights while Cinestaan AA Distributors and Zee Studios International acquired the overseas distribution rights. Also Magic Cloud Media & Entertainment acquired New Zealand distribution rights.


Critical response[edit]

Gully Boy received critical acclaim, with praise for the storyline, direction, music, screenplay, and performances (particularly Singh, Chaturvedi, Varma and Bhatt).[25][26][27] On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 96% of 23 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 7.3/10.[28]

Anna M. M. Vetticad of Firstpost gave Gully Boy four stars out of five, writing, "Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt are devastatingly good in Zoya Akhtar's ultimate anthem for the rebel".[29] Raja Sen of Hindustan Times called it "the first great Hindi film of 2019",[30] while Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama called it "Akhtar’s best film to date".[31] Rachit Gupta of The Times of India also gave four stars.[32] Sukanya Verma of also gave four stars.[33] Livemint wrote, "It’s a hard-won transformation – bohot hard – and it rings true".[34] Anupama Chopra commented, "By the end, I was wiping tears and cheering furiously not just for Murad, but for each one of these characters to find happiness".[35]

Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV opined, "Gully Boy can be whole-heartedly commended for its craft, fascinating characters and Ranveer Singh. He absolutely kills the slow-burning rapper act. What's more, he does with a lot of energy to spare."[36] Writing for Film Companion, Baradwaj Rangan gave Gully Boy three stars out of five and found it to be "softer than expected, but hugely entertaining and beautifully made".[37] Ananya Bhattacharya of India Today rated it three stars out of five.[38] Mayur Sanap of Deccan Chronicle also gave it three stars.[39] The Wire felt the film dealt with Bollywood tropes.[40]

Manjusha Radhakrishnan of Gulf News rated the film 4/5 and wrote, "When he breaks down, you break down with him and that’s one of the biggest victories of Gully Boy".[41] Among international reviewers, Lee Marshall of Screen International wrote, "Singh busts rhymes with the best of them in this energetic, entertaining film".[42] Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave the film three stars of five.[43] Deborah Young of The Hollywood Reporter commended Akhtar for her direction.[44] Anita Iyer of Khaleej Times rated the film four stars out of five.[45] Jay Weissberg of Variety wrote, "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" starring "Ranveer Singh in all his charms."[46] Raja Sen of NDTV gave the film 4 out of 5 stars and said, "Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy, an underdog story shining a light on India’s incipient hip-hop subculture, is the first great Hindi film of 2019 and a rousing celebration of spunk. The writing is enthralling, the texture fantastic, and this world is a revelation. Here are characters without room to breathe who express themselves breathlessly, through a style of music that has always belonged to the marginalised. Dissent finds a way — and a beat."[47]

Box office[edit]

Gully Boy opened with collection of 194 million (equivalent to 240 million or US$3.0 million in 2023) on its first day. In two weeks of release, the film grossed 220 crore (US$31.24 million). The film grossed 166 crore (US$23.57 million) in India and 72.58 crore (US$10.31 million) overseas, taking its worldwide gross to 238 crore (US$33.8 million).[6]

Awards and nominations[edit]

The film won 13 awards at the 65th Filmfare Awards, the most awards for a single film in a year, has broken the record of Black, which won 11 awards in 2006.[48][49] It also became the sixth film to win all four acting awards. The film also won 12 awards at 26th Screen Awards[50] and 9 awards in Zee Cine Awards.[51]

Internationally, it won the NETPAC Award for Best Asian Film at the 2019 Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival in South Korea.[52] The film was also India's official entry to the 92nd Academy Awards for the Best International feature film category,[53] though it was not nominated.[54][55][56]


Gully Boy attracted controversy over its 13 wins at the 65th Filmfare Awards.[57] Several Twitter users and fans were extremely disappointed and made calls to boycott the awards, with #BoycottFilmfare trending on the micro-blogging site.[58] While many thought that the film was a deserving winner, others were unhappy and even termed the awards as "snub fare", calling it a move to "justify sending it as a nomination for the Oscars".[59] Subsequently, when the Filmfare Award for Best Lyricist went to the rap song "Apna Time Aayega" instead of the patriotic song "Teri Mitti" from the 2019 period war film Kesari, lyricist Manoj Muntashir tweeted his disappointment at the decision, pledging not to attend future award ceremonies,[60][61] and gained support from fans and other musicians alike.[62]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Zoya Akhtar take Gully Boy global. See pics from Berlin Film Festival". Hindustan Times. 9 February 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt share first Gully Boy poster". Hindustan Times. 1 January 2019. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  3. ^ "Gully Boy 2019 | British Board of Film Classification". 7 February 2019.
  4. ^ "Gully Boy Box Office Collection Prediction: Free run expected! Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt film set for massive opening". Zee Business. 13 February 2019. Retrieved 4 October 2022.
  5. ^ Cornelious, Deborah (22 February 2019). "How has 'Gully Boy' fared in the box office?". The Hindu. Retrieved 4 October 2022.
  6. ^ a b "Gully Boy Box Office Collection till Now". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  7. ^ "Meet the real-life Gully Boys, Divine and Naezy". The New Indian Express. Archived from the original on 16 February 2019. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  8. ^ "Bollywood Top Grossers Worldwide". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  9. ^ Sharma Tankha, Rajkumari (12 March 2021). "One must never sit idle, says Sambhav Jain who has multiple projects lined up". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 3 April 2022.
  10. ^ Film Companion, Zoya Akhtar Interview with Anupama Chopra | Gully Boy | Film Companion, retrieved 7 February 2019
  11. ^ "Alia Bhatt, Ranveer Singh's 'Gully Boy' goes on floors today". Daily News and Analysis. 14 January 2018. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  12. ^ a b c "Alia on Instagram: "Gully Boy. 14th February 2019"". Archived from the original on 26 December 2021. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  13. ^ a b "Nas Joins Divine, Naezy & Ranveer Singh For "NY Se Mumbai"". HotNewHipHop. 19 February 2019. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  14. ^ a b "Hear Nas Jump In with Divine and Naezy on 'NY Se Mumbai' -". Rolling Stone. 12 February 2019. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  15. ^ a b Ghosh, Devarsi (27 January 2019). "'Gully Boy' music: Four years, 18 songs, 54 collaborators, and an 'absolutely nuts' Ranveer Singh". Retrieved 10 December 2019.
  16. ^ Ankur Tewari
  17. ^ "Alia Bhatt and Ranveer Singh's looks from Gully Boy revealed! Check out the new posters". Times Now News. 2 January 2019. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  18. ^ "Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt-starrer 'Gully Boy' to have world premiere at 69th Berlin Film Fest". The Economic Times. 14 December 2018. Archived from the original on 26 April 2019. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  19. ^ Adarsh, Taran [@taran_adarsh] (14 February 2019). "#GullyBoy screen count... India: 3350 Overseas: 751 Worldwide total: 4101 screens" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  20. ^ Buzz Desk (7 January 2019), "Ranveer Singh’s Gully Boy Similar to Eminem’s 8 Mile? Fans Share Their Views on Twitter", India. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  21. ^ Aditya Magal (27 February 2019), "Why I Think Ranveer’s ‘Gully Boy’ Is Just Too Similar to ‘8 Mile’", The Quint. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  22. ^ Rachna Tyagi (14 February 2019), "Ranveer Singh's 'Gully Boy' a Bollywood version of Eminem's '8 Mile'", The Week. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  23. ^ Gaurang Chauhan (15 February 2019), "EXCLUSIVE | Is Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt's Gully Boy inspired by Eminem's 8 Mile? Zoya Akhtar answers", Times Now News. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  24. ^ "Gully Boy Is Now Available on Amazon Prime Video in India". NDTV Gadgets 360. 16 April 2019.
  25. ^ "QuickE: Amol Palekar on NGMA Controversy; 'Gully Boy' Reviews". 10 February 2019. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  26. ^ "Gully Boy FIRST reviews out! Ranveer Singh's career best performance, Alia Bhatt is terrific say critics and fans - Bollywood News". 11 February 2019. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  27. ^ Jha, Shefali (10 February 2019). "Gully Boy movie reviews: Ranveer Singh's career best, Alia a firecracker, say Rajeev Masand & Anupama Chopra". Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  28. ^ "Gully Boy". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 18 July 2022. Edit this at Wikidata
  29. ^ "Gully Boy movie review: Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt are devastatingly good in Zoya Akhtar's ultimate anthem for the rebel". 14 February 2019. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  30. ^ "Gully Boy movie review: Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt raise the roof with a great musical. 4 stars". Hindustan Times. 14 February 2019. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  31. ^ Adarsh, Taran [@taran_adarsh] (14 February 2019). "#OneWordReview… #GullyBoy: FANTASTIC. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Depicts the struggles of an underdog brilliantly... Zoya Akhtar's best film to date... Ranveer is phenomenal... Alia is electrifying... Siddhant Chaturvedi is super... Not to be missed! #GullyBoyReview" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  32. ^ "Gully Boy Review {4/5}: Entertainment ekdum hard hai bhai". The Times of India. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  33. ^ "Gully Boy Review: You'll cry for Ranveer". Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  34. ^ Bhatia, Uday (14 February 2019). "Film review: 'Gully Boy' amplifies a voice from the streets". Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  35. ^ "Gully Boy Is A Superb Love Letter To The Spirit of Mumbai". Film Companion. 14 February 2019. Archived from the original on 25 September 2021. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  36. ^ "Gully Boy Movie Review: Ranveer Singh Kills It, Supported By Feisty Alia Bhatt". Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  37. ^ "Gully Boy Movie Review: A Softer Than Expected, But Hugely Entertaining And Beautifully Made Street-Rapper Story". 9 February 2019. Archived from the original on 7 June 2020. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  38. ^ "Gully Boy Movie Review: Ranveer Singh raps, Alia Bhatt roars in Zoya Akhtar film". Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  39. ^ Sanap, Mayur (14 February 2019). "Gully Boy movie review: Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt elevate Zoya Akhtar's nuanced drama". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  40. ^ "Movie Review: 'Gully Boy' Is Too Self-Contained to Start a Real Conversation". Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  41. ^ "Movie Review: Gully Boy". Gulf News. 14 February 2019. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  42. ^ Marshall2019-02-09T20:30:00+00:00, Lee. "'Gully Boy': Berlin Review". Retrieved 14 February 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  43. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (11 February 2019). "Gully Boy review – shy slumdog rapper is a breakout star". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  44. ^ "'Gully Boy' ('Apna Time Aayega'): Film Review - Berlin 2019". The Hollywood Reporter. 9 February 2019. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  45. ^ Iyer, Anita. "'Gully Boy' review: Ranveer delivers soul-stirring performance". Khaleej Times. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  46. ^ Weissberg, Jay (11 February 2019). "Berlin Film Review: 'Gully Boy'". Variety. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  47. ^ Sen, Raja (15 February 2019). "Gully Boy movie review: Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt introduce hip-hop to mainstream Hindustan". NDTV.
  48. ^ Bagrecha, Vayushi (16 February 2020). "Gully Boy Bags 13 Awards At Filmfare; Breaks All the Records". LADPOINT. Archived from the original on 21 March 2020. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  49. ^ "Farhan Akhtar ecstatic as Gully Boy breaks record to win most awards for a single film ever at Filmfare 2020". PINKVILLA. Archived from the original on 24 March 2020. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  50. ^ "Gully Boy dominates Star Screen Awards 2019 - Full list of winners". Cinema Express. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  51. ^ "Gully Boy Grabs Maximum Awards Yet Again at Zee Cine Awards 2020". India Forums. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  52. ^ "'Gully Boy' wins NETPAC Award at BIFAN in South Korea". Business Standard India. 8 July 2019. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  53. ^ "Ranveer Singh starrer Gully Boy is India's entry for Oscars 2020". 21 September 2019.
  54. ^ "'Gully Boy' out of Oscar race". The Hindu. 17 December 2019. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  55. ^ "No Oscars for Gully Boy, Here are 10 Films Shortlisted for Best International Film". News18. 17 December 2019. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  56. ^ "'Gully Boy': Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt starrer is out of the Oscars 2020 race, read more - Times of India". The Times of India. 17 December 2019. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  57. ^ Jashodhara, Mukherjee (17 February 2020). "'Paid Award': Wikipedia Page Vandalised After 'Gully Boy' Wins Big at Filmfare Awards 2020". News 18. Retrieved 22 June 2020.
  58. ^ "#BoycottFilmfare trends on Twitter after Gully Boy gets 13 awards, Ananya Panday wins Best Debut". India Today. 17 February 2020. Retrieved 22 June 2020.
  59. ^ "Filmfare 2020: Was Gully Boy Really A Winner? Unhappy Twitterati Trends Memes On Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt's Big Win". Koimoi. 16 February 2020. Retrieved 22 June 2020.
  60. ^ "Lyricist Manoj Muntashir boycotts award shows after Filmfare snub to Teri Mitti from Kesari". India Today. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  61. ^ "Teri Mitti lyricist Manoj Muntashir vows to never attend award shows after Apna Time Aaega wins Filmfare". Hindustan Times. 17 February 2020. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  62. ^ "Akshay Kumar fans criticise Filmfare Awards 2020, say 'Teri Mitti' from 'Kesari' deserved Best Lyrics honour". Deccan Herald. 17 February 2020. Retrieved 24 April 2020.

External links[edit]