Not just Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt, these 5 actors made Gully Boy extraordinary
Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy is brimming with relatable characters portrayed by talented actors. Here are five that impressed us the most beyond the leads Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt.Updated: Feb 18, 2019 18:06 IST
With her latest film, filmmaker Zoya Akhtar has achieved a feat that only a few could manage. Gully Boy may star Ranveer Singh as the lead but it gives ample opportunity for other actors to shine as well. From an electric Alia Bhatt to promising debutant Siddhant Chaturvedi, Gully Boy is chock-full exceedingly amazing and moving performances from almost a dozen actors.
Ranveer carries the film on his shoulders, delivering the performance of a lifetime. He has worked hard on his rapping skills, his body language, his accent and it all shows every time he steps into the frame. A fireball of energy in real life, Ranveer spends a big majority of his time in the film keeping his head down, getting minced under the weight of the class divide. He knows how to smile when his girl surprises him with a kiss and how to smile through tears when a friend proves his friendship. No doubt, Ranveer deserves all the praise for his stellar work in the film.
Alia, too, proved once again how easy some talents come to a few blessed people. She will be the jealous, raging girlfriend that you never want around in one moment and in another, her approving smile will be all you need to get through life. Alia is the rebellious daughter of the home but also the one who cries in her father’s arms when the rebellion gets her in trouble. She screams at her boyfriend the way we have screamed before, begs her parents to let her be like we have begged before. Alia has emerged as one of the best, natural actors in Bollywood right now and she makes it all look so effortless.
Apart from Alia and Ranveer, there were five more actors in roles big and small, who deserve to have their talents acknowledged. With their stunning performances in the film, they took Gully Boy from a good film to one that is extraordinary and worthy of all the kudos that it has received so far.
Talking of natural talent, Gully Boy’s biggest contribution to the world of acting will definitely be Siddhant Chaturvedi. The young actor made his debut with the film and left a big dent in Bollywood with his first movie itself. Even while watching the film, I could hear murmurs among the audience: “Who is this? Is this his first film? Is he really not a rapper?” Sure, his relative anonymity did work to his advantage, but it should not have been this easy for a first time actor to merge himself so well with the character. He is a star that our protagonist looks up to, a mentor and an artist. But what made him stand out still was his warmth. He was not just a teacher but also a brother, a place of safety as a big new world opened to a budding rapper. Siddhant was able to tower over Ranveer in so many scenes, without still being intimidating. A tight rope to walk but he manages it.
From munching on marigolds to taking dips in sewers, Vijay Raaz’s cinematic journey has been long and stunning. Always the one to make you laugh, Raaz drops the goofy guy image to one that instills fears every time he appears in the frame in Gully Boy. He is the abusive husband your domestic help tells you about, a man who has seen so much rejection that subjugation has become the truth of his life. Though he tells his son not to dream, his own frustration from following the mantra for decades seeps out with violence every time someone dares to go against him.
Raaz is supposed to horrify you and yet when he breaks down in that one final moment of ‘weakness’, it births the most raw moment of the entire film. You were supposed to hate this man but looking at him, weeping at a half-lived life, you can do anything but. It is not difficult to turn the viewer against you and it is not easy to make them empathise. But Raaz does just that in one of his finest works as an actor.
Marathi actor Amruta plays Ranveer’s mother in Gully Boy. She may be just six years older than him but their relationship doesn’t feel forcibly forged in a casting director’s office. For her, things fall apart when her husband brings home a second wife, or maybe things were never too put together anyway. She feels the humiliation, takes it in as long as she could but also fights back, even in the realisation that she has already lost. The new bride will get a room while she sleeps on the kitchen floor. The new bride will get breakfast in bed while she washes her dishes. Amruta switched from gentle to protective, from feral to broken with organic ease. She is an actor who deserves to be known by her first name by mainstream Bollywood.
After playing the irredeemable baddie in Pink, Vijay Varma plays a baddie with a golden heart in Gully Boy. Varma plays Moeen in the film—a mechanic, car thief and drug peddler. He employs little kids to roll weed for him but only so he can feed them. He gets his friends to nick cars but believes in their dreams. He is ready to smack anyone who judges him but will offer help as soon as they break down crying. With his performance, Varma was able to channel Moeen as the shady guy in a shady street, with a big, bright heart. There is no telling with him if he will punch your face or take your troubles upon himself. And Varma makes it all seem natural.
With just five minutes of screen time, Srishti Shrivastava was still able to leave a mark as the feisty, home-wrecker Albina Dadarkar. With just a few snarky dialogues to work with, Shrivastava makes them her own. When Alia accuses her of flirting with her boyfriend, she barks back at her in the true spirit of a woman ready to scratch another’s face. The scene did just as much for her as much as it did for Alia. Two angry young women, screaming and kicking at each other may not always work as humour gold but with these two, it did.
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