ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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​​​​​​​A Medium of Dissent

The Songs of Gully Boy

The song Jingostan employs sarcasm as a tool for critical inquiry but stops short of leveraging its potential for a political statement.

In the Indian film industry, songs serve various purposes. They are used to market films or establish conflict in the narrative. To cater to such diverse functions, each film album is required to contain a variety of songs that can be played in party, action and romantic sequences. Consequently, very few directors use songs as a medium to explore, comment on and critique politics. Interestingly, many screenwriters have explored politics through melodramatic screenplay in films such as Aandhi (1975) and Iruvar (1997). In Gully Boy (2019), however, the songs, including their lyrics and picturisation, become the primary medium of dissent while the screenplay follows a more conservative approach of simply depicting social concerns.

Gully Boy is a Hindi-language film directed by Zoya Akthar and co-written by Reema Kagti and Akthar. It chronicles the story of Murad (Ranveer Singh), who hails from a lower middle-class background and lives in Dharavi, Mumbai. His father (Vijay Raaz) marries for the second time causing friction between his parents. To vent his domestic frustrations, Murad writes short poems. Gradually, in colla­boration with M C Sher (Siddarth Chaturvedi), a rapper, Murad begins rapping his poems. Ultimately, rap becomes his means to find emotional catharsis, personal satisfaction and financial success.

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Updated On : 19th Dec, 2022
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