Ranveer Singh’s Gully Boy gets ‘loudest cheers in 20 years’ at Berlinale, critics call it a ‘well-woven narrative’
If the response Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt’s Gully Boy is getting at its Berlinale screening is anything to go by, then we can say that Zoya Akhtar’s directorial is a winner. While the social media has been raving about Ranveer’s performance, with many calling it his best, praise for the film is coming from various quarters.
The latest being Cameron Bailey, artistic director at the Toronto International Film Festival. Tweeting after watching the film with the film’s lead cast and Zoya, Cameron tweeted that he has never seen such a response to a film in his 20 years at Berlin.
He wrote: “Watched the GULLY BOY world premiere tonight in a packed house with @RanveerOfficial, @aliaa08 & @ZoyaAkhtarOff present. Biggest cheers I’ve heard in 20+ years at the Berlinale.”
Watch: Screaming fans greet Ranveer, Alia at the Berlin International Film Festival
If that wasn’t enough, Variety in its review of the film, reserved fulsome praise for both the film and its lead actor. Jay Weissberg, writing in his review, mentioned that while the film could sound ‘derivative’, its “high-wattage screen chemistry” and “inclusive social message” coupled with slick production quality, made it a standout work.
He wrote: “A Bollywood movie about a rapper from the slums may sound derivative, but what does that matter when ‘Gully Boy’ revels in high-wattage screen chemistry and an inclusive social message, all served up in a slickly enjoyable production showcasing Ranveer Singh’s many charms? 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 that’s so likable one can almost forgive how the script barely bothers to resolve an important plot element.”
Ever since the film had its world premiere at Berlin, applause for the film has been non-stop. Author Aseem Chhabra tweeted to say how he had been holding back to talk about for three days, thanks to the embargo. He added how this is a huge achievement for both Ranveer and Zoya.
“Now that the embargo is over, I’ve been dying to say this for 3 days! #GullyBoy is awesome, a great achievement for #ZoyaAkhtar. @RanveerOfficial gives his career best performance. Wonderful supporting cast. The music comes alive.”
Samir Bhamra, who is associated with UK Asian Film festival too tweeted in supported of the film. He wrote: “#GullyBoyAtBerlinale fills your heart with pride #knowyourselfworth #selfworth #struggle but head held up high in #honour #dreams #hardlines.”
He further added: “#ApnaTimeAayega starts on screen and the audience matches the beats with their rhythmic applause #GullyBoyInBerlin #gullyboy - that says what this movie means to today’s generation.”
Meanwhile, at the film’s screening, Ranveer rapped to his hit number from the film, Apna Time Aayega, even as an enthusiastic crowd joined in. Gully Boy tells the story of rap artists Divine and Neazy, who grew up in the slums of Mumbai to become celebrated rappers in the country. For the role, Ranveer plunged headlong into it and the two artists vouched for Ranveer’s dedication, ability to catch nuances and their emotional journey.
Alia too has been the talk of the town, thanks to her endearing “dhoptungi” dialogue from the film.
Zoya’s seems to criss-cross different worlds with ease. Her last major film was Dil Dhadakne Doh, a story of a troubled but rich Indian family. The film will hit the screens in India on February 14.
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