Javed Akhtar, Zoya Akhtar, Ranveer Singh
Zoya Akhtar's brand of cinema enjoys a strong fan base and loyalty. As a filmmaker, she knows how to strike the right balance between cinematic liberty and realism. Her previous feature film, Gully Boy, was proof that the filmmaker can bridge the gap between the audience and the silver screen.
In an interview with Aaj Tak, Javed Akhtar opened up about what made him unsure about his daughter Zoya making Gully Boy. The veteran lyricist and poet said in Hindi, "Yeh jab bana rahi thi Gully Boy, toh mujhe lag raha tha ye kaise banayegi? Arey tum Bandstand pe rehti ho, chhuttiyon mein London, America jaya karti thi. Hong Kong jaati thi. Kahaan tumhe yeh sab (Mumbai's underbelly) ke baare mein kya malum hoga? Aisa main dil mein sochta tha. Bolne ki to himmat nahi thi mujhe (When she was making Gully Boy, I thought âHow will she make it?' You stay in Bandstand, and go for a holiday in London, America and Hong Kong. How would you know about all this? I used to think about it, but never had the courage to tell her)."
Javed shared when he watched Gully Boy, his perspective changed. He lauded Zoya for getting every minute nuances right. "Magar jab maine wo film dekhi, to mujhe aisa laga ki saari zindagi ye slum mein rahi hai. Isne slum ko pee liya tha. Slum ke bareek se bareek baatein, jo characters ke relationship hai, wo dikhayi deti hai. (When I watched the film, it felt as if Zoya had stayed in slums all her life. The film portrays the minutest details of the characters and their relationships quite well)," he added.
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Gully Boy was situated in Mumbai's Dharavi slum. It revolved around the rags-to-riches story of Murad, who rises like a phoenix from the odds to become a renowned rapper. The film was chosen as India's entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards. However, it wasn't nominated.
Gully Boy starred Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Vijay Varma, Amruta Subhash, Vijay Raaz and Siddhant Chaturvedi. The film released on February 14, 2019.