Entertainment / Express at Berlinale 2019 – Day 4: In conversation with Gully Boy cast and crew

The Indian Express : Feb 11, 2019, 03:28 PM

Upcoming Bollywood film Gully Boy at the ongoing Berlin Film Festival. In a detailed chat, stars of the film Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, filmmaker Zoya Akhtar and producer Ritesh Sidhwani explain what drew them to the project. The screaming fans at the first public screening of Gully Boy are treated not just to the film, but lead actor Ranveer Singh whooping it up on stage.

When Singh lets it rip, he does it like no one’s looking. All that manic energy floats across the Friedrichstadt-Palast theatre, filled to the brim with mostly young third generation ‘desi’ diaspora viewers, some of whom speak no Hindi or Urdu, only German, all on their feet, nodding and yelling, rapping along.

People who were in the same theatre in 2011 when it screened Shah Rukh Khan’s Don 2 say that level of noise is as deafening. No one can dislodge SRK from our hearts, says die-hard German Bollywood fan Anja, who is hanging around the Regent Hotel where the cast of Gully Boy is staying. But she has turned up to catch a glimpse of the ‘new’ hero, and goes away happy when Singh, Bhatt, Akhtar and Sidhwani pose for selfies before they chat with us, the visiting Indian press.

German, all on their feet, nodding and yelling, rapping along.

People who were in the same theatre in 2011 when it screened Shah Rukh Khan’s Don 2 say that level of noise is as deafening. No one can dislodge SRK from our hearts, says die-hard German Bollywood fan Anja, who is hanging around the Regent Hotel where the cast of Gully Boy is staying. But she has turned up to catch a glimpse of the ‘new’ hero, and goes away happy when Singh, Bhatt, Akhtar and Sidhwani pose for selfies before they chat with us, the visiting Indian press.

Akhtar was blown away after her first brush with Indian rap. It was a track called “Aafat” by Naved Sheikh better known as Naezy (Naezy and Divine are credited right up top in Gully Boy). Till then she had had no idea of ‘this underground space’, but then, she says, ‘I met him, and told him how much I loved his crazy flow, it started from there, and now here we are’.