Gully Boy

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Gully Boy
Gully Boy poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byZoya Akhtar
Produced by
Written byVijay Maurya
Screenplay by
Music bySongs:
See soundtrack
Karsh Kale
The Salvage Audio Collective
CinematographyJay Oza
Edited byNitin Baid
Distributed by
Release date
  • 9 February 2019 (2019-02-09) (Berlin)[1]
  • 14 February 2019 (2019-02-14) (India)[2]
Running time
153 minutes[3]
Budget40–84 crore[4][5] (Note: Box Office India's budget figure includes print and advertising costs, which are typically not included in production budget.)
Box officeest. ₹238.16 crore[6]

Gully Boy is a 2019 Indian Hindi-language musical drama film directed by Zoya Akhtar, and written by Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti. The film is produced by Ritesh Sidhwani, Zoya Akhtar and Farhan Akhtar under the banners of Tiger Baby and Excel Entertainment productions, with Nas as an executive producer. It stars Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt, and features Kalki Koechlin, Siddhant Chaturvedi 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 an aspiring street rapper from the Dharavi slums of Mumbai.

Principal photography for Gully Boy commenced in January 2018 and wrapped up in April 2018. It was premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival on 9 February 2019 and released in 15 February 2019 to positive reviews from critics. With an global gross of over ₹238 crore ($37 million), it is the sixth highest-grossing bollywood film of 2019 and the year's second highest-grossing Bollywood film overseas.[8] It was selected as the Indian entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards.[9]


Murad Ahmed (Ranveer Singh), a final year college student, lives in the Dharavi slums of Mumbai. His abusive father Aftab Shakir Ahmed (Vijay Raaz) brings home a much younger second wife, much to the chagrin of the family. Murad nurtures a fascination for rap music. His longtime and possessive girlfriend Safeena Firdausi (Alia Bhatt) is training to be a surgeon and routinely meets him in secret. Forced to work part-time as a chauffeur after his father is injured, Murad starts to write, with his lyrics informed by the inequalities he observes while on the job. Making the acquaintance of local rapper Shrikant "MC Sher" Bhosle (Siddhant Chaturvedi) whom he saw performing in his college fest, he is drawn into performing his lyrics at underground shows and rap battles and eventually uploading a video on YouTube.

Berklee College student Shweta "Sky" Mehta (Kalki Koechlin), an evolving musician, 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 shares an intimate moment with Sky, later lying to Safeena about it. 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 attitude. As Aftab's violence towards him, his brother and his mother escalates, Murad decides to leave home with his mother and brother and work full-time for his uncle Ateeq Khan (Vijay Maurya).

Later, when Sky expresses her romantic feelings for him, he declines her 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. Murad's confidence grows from interacting with rap fans' appreciation of his performances, and he 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 opening performance.


  • Ranveer Singh as Murad Ahmed a.k.a. Gully Boy
  • Alia Bhatt as Safeena Firdausi
  • Siddhant Chaturvedi as Shrikant Bhosle a.k.a. MC Sher
  • Vijay Raaz as Aftab Ahmed
  • Vijay Varma as Moeen Arif
  • Amruta Subhash as Razia Ahmed
  • Ikhlaque Khan as Nasir Firdausi, Safeena's father
  • Sheeba Chaddha as Hamida Firdausi, Safeena's mother
  • Kalki Koechlin as Shweta a.k.a. Sky
  • Ayaan Zubair Rahmani as Safeena's brother
  • Rahul Piske as Chintoo
  • Jyoti Subhash as Dadi
  • Nakul Roshan Sahdev as Salman
  • Shruti Chauhan as Maya
  • Vijay Maurya as Ateeq Khan, Murad's uncle
  • Srishti Shrivastava as Albina Dadarkar
  • Malika Singh as Suhani
  • Tina Bhatia as Parveen
  • Rahil Gilani as Rishi
  • Rahul Shahani as Shah Rule
  • Svar Kamble as Suhail
  • Chaitnya Sharma as MC Checkmate
  • Jasleen Royal as Juhi
  • Michaela Tanwar as Gemma
  • Kubra Sait as Scarlett
  • Manj Musik as himself
  • Emiway Bantai as himself
  • Omi Kashyap as Driver
  • Raja Kumari as herself


Akhtar has 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 in January 2018[11] and it was wrapped up by April 2018.[12] American rapper Nas is an executive producer for the film.[13][14]


Gully Boy
Soundtrack album by
Divine, Naezy, Dub Sharma, Ankur Tewari, Spitfire, Sez on the beat, Rishi Rich, Raghu Dixit, Midival Punditz, Karsh Kale, Chandrashekhar Kunder, Jasleen Royal, Mickey McCleary, Ace, Ishq Bector, Prem-Hardeep, Viveick Rajagopalan and Kaam Bhaari
Released12 January 2019
GenreFeature film soundtrack
LabelZee Music Company
CompilerAnkur Tewari
External audio
Audio Jukebox on YouTube
Singles from Gully Boy
  1. "Asli Hip Hop"
    Released: 4 January 2019
  2. "Apna Time Aayega"
    Released: 11 January 2019
  3. "Mere Gully Mein"
    Released: 18 January 2019
  4. "Doori"
    Released: 26 January 2019
  5. "Azadi"
    Released: 8 February 2019
  6. "Train Song"
    Released: 17 February 2019
  7. "India 91"
    Released: 23 February 2019
  8. "Jahaan Tu Chala"
    Released: 23 February 2019
  9. "Sher Aaya Sher"
    Released: 26 February 2019

The 18-song soundtrack which was released in all streaming platforms on 12 January 2019, involves an estimated 54 contributors, which include 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, 100 RBH, Maharya, Noxious D, Viveick Rajagopalan, and others.[15] As music supervisor, Ankur Tewari has worked with these 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.

Track listing
1."Asli Hip Hop"SpitfireSpitfireRanveer Singh1:40
2."Mere Gully Mein"
  • Divine
  • Naezy
  • Divine
  • Naezy
  • Sez on the Beat
3."Doori Poem"Javed AkhtarRishi RichRanveer Singh1:05
  • Javed Akhtar
  • Divine
Rishi RichRanveer Singh2:15
5."Train Song"
  • Javed Akhtar
  • Karsh Kale
  • Gaurav Raina
  • Tapan Raj
  • Raghu Dixit
  • Karsh Kale
6."Jingostan Beatbox"Dub SharmaDub SharmaDub Sharma2:21
7."Sher Aaya Sher"DivineChandrashekar KunderDivine2:14
8."Jahaan Tu Chala"Aditya SharmaJasleen RoyalJasleen Royal2:20
  • Divine
  • Dub Sharma
  • Divine
  • Dub Sharma
  • Divine
  • Dub Sharma
10."Kab Se Kab Tak"
  • Kaam Bhaari
  • Ankur Tewari
11."Kaam Bhaari"Kaam Bhaari
  • Ankur Tewari
  • Kaam Bhaari
Kaam Bhaari2:18
12."Ek Hee Raasta"Javed AkhtarRishi RichRanveer Singh1:11
13."Apna Time Aayega"
  • Divine
  • Ankur Tewari
  • Dub Sharma
  • Divine
  • Ranveer Singh
  • Divine
14."Jeene Mein Aaye Maza"Ankur Tewari
Ankur Tewari3:19
15."Har Gham Mein Khushi Hai"AceIshq BectorAce2:48
16."Jingostan"Dub SharmaDub SharmaDub Sharma2:34
  • Bhinder Khanpuri
  • Arjun
  • Blitz
  • Desi Ma
  • Prem
  • Hardeep
18."India 91"
  • MC Altaf
  • MC TodFod
  • 100 RBH
  • Maharya
  • Noxious D
  • MC Mawali
  • Viveick Rajagopalan
  • Akshay Dhawan
  • MC Altaf
  • MC TodFod
  • 100 RBH
  • Maharya
  • Noxious D
Total length:46:38

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 released on 1 January 2019 and reconfirmed the release date to be 14 February 2019.[2] Two new theatrical posters revealing looks of lead actors of the film unveiled for the public on 2 January 2019.[16] The trailer announcement was made on 4 January 2019 with a small teaser in which Ranveer Singh is seen rapping. The official trailer of the film was released on 9 January 2019.[17] The film has been 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[19] on 3,350 screens and in overseas market on 751 screens, with a worldwide count of 4,101 screens.[20]

Plagiarism controversy[edit]

There is a controversy on whether the movie was a remake or not of the Eminem-starer 8 Mile (2002), alleged by many fans[21] and critics alike before and after the release. Writer Aditya Magal in The Quint calling it, though appreciating the movie as entertaining, after outlining what he considers the many similarities, "an engineered, Indianized version of 8 Mile",[22] while journalist Rachna Tyagi of The Week, more harshly, as she rates it 2.5/5, terms it "a copycat Indian version."[23] Denying the claims, director Zoya Akhtar responded that "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."[24]

Home video[edit]

The film was made available as VOD on Prime Video in April 2019.[25]


Critical response[edit]

Gully Boy received positive reviews from critics with praise directed to Akhtar’s direction, Maurya’s dialogue and Singh, Chaturvedi and Bhatt for their performances.[26][27][28] On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a score of 95% based on 21 reviews, with an average rating of 7.36/10.[29]

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".[30] Raja Sen of Hindustan Times called it "the first great Hindi film of 2019",[31] while Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama went on to call it "Akhtar’s best film to date".[32] Rachit Gupta of The Times of India also gave four stars.[33] Sukanya Verma of also gave four stars.[34] Livemint wrote, "It’s a hard-won transformation – bohot hard – and it rings true".[35] 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".[36]

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."[37] 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".[38] Ananya Bhattacharya of India Today rated it three stars out of five.[39] Mayur Sanap of Deccan Chronicle also gave three stars.[40] The Wire felt the film dealt with Bollywood tropes.[41]

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".[42] Among international reviewers, Lee Marshall of Screen International wrote, "Singh busts rhymes with the best of them in this energetic, entertaining film".[43] Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave the film three stars of five.[44] Deborah Young of The Hollywood Reporter commended Akhtar for her direction.[45] Anita Iyer of Khaleej Times rated the film four stars out of five.[46] 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."[47]

Box office[edit]

Gully Boy opened with collection of ₹19.4 crore on its first day. In two weeks of release, the film grossed ₹220 crore. The film grossed ₹165.58 crore in India and $9.6 million (₹72.58 crore) overseas, taking its worldwide gross to ₹245.21 crore ($36.55 million).[48] It is 2019's fifth highest-grossing Bollywood film worldwide, and the year's highest-grossing Bollywood film overseas.[49]

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. ^ Dogra, Tavishi (2 February 2019). "Bollywood goes big on budget! Here are the top mega budget upcoming movies of 2019". The Financial Express. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Gully Boy Box Office Collection till Now - Bollywood Hungama". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  7. ^ "Meet the real-life Gully Boys, Divine and Naezy". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  8. ^ "Bollywood Top Grossers Worldwide". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  9. ^ "Ranveer Singh starrer Gully Boy is India's entry for Oscars 2020". 21 September 2019.
  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 "Alia on Instagram: "Gully Boy. 14th February 2019"". 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
  16. ^ "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.
  17. ^ "Gully Boy - Official Trailer - Ranveer Singh - Alia Bhatt - Zoya Akhtar" – via YouTube.
  18. ^ "Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt-starrer 'Gully Boy' to have world premiere at 69th Berlin Film Fest". The Economic Times. 14 December 2018.
  19. ^ "Alia on Instagram: "Gully Boy. 14th February 2019"". Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  20. ^ Taran Adarsh [@taran_adarsh] (14 February 2019). "#GullyBoy screen count... India: 3350 Overseas: 751 Worldwide total: 4101 screens" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ Rachna Tyagi (14 February 2019), "Ranveer Singh's 'Gully Boy' a Bollywood version of Eminem's '8 Mile'", The Week. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  24. ^ 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.
  25. ^ "Gully Boy". Amazon. April 2019. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  26. ^ "QuickE: Amol Palekar on NGMA Controversy; 'Gully Boy' Reviews". Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  27. ^ "Gully Boy FIRST reviews out! Ranveer Singh's career best performance, Alia Bhatt is terrific say critics and fans - Bollywood News". Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  28. ^ 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.
  29. ^ "Gully Boy (2019)". Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  30. ^ "Gully Boy movie review: Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt are devastatingly good in Zoya Akhtar's ultimate anthem for the rebel- Entertainment News, Firstpost". 14 February 2019. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  31. ^ "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.
  32. ^ Taran Adarsh [@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.
  33. ^ "Gully Boy Review {4/5}: Entertainment ekdum hard hai bhai". The Times of India. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  34. ^ "Gully Boy Review: You'll cry for Ranveer". Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  35. ^ Bhatia, Uday (14 February 2019). "Film review: 'Gully Boy' amplifies a voice from the streets". Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  36. ^ "Gully Boy Is A Superb Love Letter To The Spirit of Mumbai". Film Companion. 14 February 2019.
  37. ^ "Gully Boy Movie Review: Ranveer Singh Kills It, Supported By Feisty Alia Bhatt". Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  38. ^ "Gully Boy Movie Review: A Softer Than Expected, But Hugely Entertaining And Beautifully Made Street-Rapper Story". Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  39. ^ "Gully Boy Movie Review: Ranveer Singh raps, Alia Bhatt roars in Zoya Akhtar film". Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  40. ^ 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.
  41. ^ "Movie Review: 'Gully Boy' Is Too Self-Contained to Start a Real Conversation". Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  42. ^ "Movie Review: Gully Boy". Gulf News. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  43. ^ Marshall2019-02-09T20:30:00+00:00, Lee. "'Gully Boy': Berlin Review". Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  44. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (11 February 2019). "Gully Boy review – shy slumdog rapper is a breakout star". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  45. ^ "'Gully Boy' ('Apna Time Aayega'): Film Review - Berlin 2019". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  46. ^ Iyer, Anita. "'Gully Boy' review: Ranveer delivers soul-stirring performance". Khaleej Times. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  47. ^ Weissberg, Jay; Weissberg, Jay (11 February 2019). "Berlin Film Review: 'Gully Boy'". Variety. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  48. ^ "Gully Boy Box Office Collection till Now". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  49. ^ "Bollywood Top Grossers Worldwide Bollywood Hungama". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 11 April 2019.

External links[edit]