In just under an hour, the trailer for director Zoya Akhtar’s new film, Gully Boy, hit a whopping 2 lakh views. And it’s no surprise why. Street culture has been furiously bubbling under the surface of Mumbai’s art, fashion, and music landscape; and now, it has finally come to the forefront of Indian culture in a massively popular way- through mainstream Bollywood.
Starring Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt, Gully Boy depicts the rise of a hip hop artist from Mumbai’s gullies. The film was inspired the musical journeys and lives of two of the most popular rappers in India, Naezy and DIVINE, who collaborated on the 2015 hit track, ‘Mere gully main’.
DIVINE also spent considerable time working with the cast and crew, especially Ranveer Singh, to make this film a reality. In fact, Singh even made an appearance at the city’s first ever hip hop music festival, Gully Fest, a concept by DIVINE who also performed with his live band, Gully Gang.
DIVINE has contributed give tracks to the film’s original soundtrack, two of which are featured in the trailer: ‘Azaadi’ candidly discussed corrupt and complict governments that are indifferent to the grievances of the public and ‘Apna time aayega’ that’s a tribute to one’s own perseverance, ambition, and hard work when confronted with terrible circumstances like poverty.
“I have been waiting for this and it’s surreal to see this happen. From doing cyphers on the corners to watching the scene on the big screen, dreams!” DIVINE says. “Gully Boy has been a big part of my life for the last few months, and this is exciting for me, and for hip-hop in India. People got a taste of what awaits them with ‘Asli hip-hop’, and this trailer will have people jumping. Hip-hop is the voice of the streets and Gully Boy will take it to every corner of the country,” he says.
Gully Boy also features Kalki Koechlin, Ali Asgar, and Parmeet, who are also invested in bringing this rags to riches stories alive on the big screen.
This film is a monumental development in Indian cinema because it tells the stories of ordinary, young Indians from the streets with dreams and ambitions that seem impossible and unattainable. The film is believed to be a testament to the rebellious and irreverent voice of the streets, protesting government inefficiency and poverty and asserting individualism in the form of stunning lyricism.
The film is scheduled for a worldwide release on February 14, 2019, a week after its premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival on February 7.
Feature image credit: ‘Gully Boy’ poster via Alia Bhatt’s Instagram page
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