A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Never give up on your dreams. Stay true to yourself. Know your own worth.
Positive Role Models
Murad is hardworking and dedicated to his friends and family. He struggles to put his dreams ahead of others' expectations, but shows great bravery in doing so. He does resort to crime by stealing cars, though it is to help his mother financially. Safeena is also hardworking and determined to do well at medical school, though sometimes lies to her parents and falls victim to her violent temper. DJ Shar is encouraging and kind, and able to celebrate Murad's success even as it rises above his own.
A Bollywood movie with an almost entirely Indian cast. Both Hindi and English spoken. The Indian caste system is mentioned and scenes show a rich family being disrespectful to characters in more menial jobs. Women of the parents' generation are seen to take on traditional roles within the home and are subservient to their husbands, though the younger generation are portrayed as having more equal values in terms of gender and aspirations outside of the caste system. White tourists from London are seen with selfie sticks and are patronizing toward locals.
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Violence & Scariness
A character is pushed to the ground and slammed against the wall, and another has a beer bottle smashed over their head. Parents slap and hit adult children on a few occasions. A husband is verbally aggressive toward his wife and physically attacks her, though their adult son steps in.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Passionate kisses on the lips on a few occasions.
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Strong language is used by characters and in the accompanying soundtrack, including "f---ing," "bulls--t," "s--t," "piss," "bitch," "crap," and "ass." One character is referred to in passing as a "ladyboy."
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Products & Purchases
Adidas shoes shown prominently in shot, including the box, and portrayed as a coveted item. U.S. rapper Nas mentioned a number of times. Grand Theft Auto and Spider-Man mentioned in passing.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Main characters smoke cigarettes and cannabis. Cocaine mentioned in song lyrics. A friend of the main character uses young children -- who are living on the streets -- to deal drugs. Drinking takes place in bars and at home. Passing reference to a parent having an alcohol use disorder.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Gully Boy is an excellent coming-of-age Bollywood drama with strong language, drinking, smoking, and references to and the use of drugs. The story centers around Murad (Ranveer Singh), a man growing up in Mumbai who dreams of being a rapper. There are romantic and musical elements and plenty of lighthearted moments alongside more serious issues. Most of the movie is in Hindi with English subtitles, though some English is also spoken. Strong language is fairly frequent, both in conversation and within raps, including "f---ing" and "s--t." There is also drinking, smoking -- both cigarettes and cannabis -- and reference to other drugs and criminal activities. Some physical violence includes slapping, hitting, and a bottle being smashed over a character's head. Murad's father behaves aggressively toward his wife, but Murad steps in to defend her. The Indian caste system and tensions between the values of different generations are prominent themes, though the uplifting messages of being true to yourself and following your dreams are the dominant takeaway. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Chosen as India's entry for the 2020 Academy Awards, though sadly falling out of competition in the early stages, this underdog story is set in the same Mumbai streets as 2008 hit Slumdog Millionaire. In Gully Boy, Singh makes for a charismatic leading man, showing great emotional range as he journeys from shy, frustrated dreamer to finding his self-worth and coming into his own. His on-screen chemistry with Bhatt lights up the screen, her knowing smile and fearless determination making for far more than a love interest.
Though there are serious issues, plenty of playful elements can be found in the central romance, as well as in the raps themselves. The music is full of humor and joy, as well as some hard-hitting truths within the sharply written rap battles performed by the main characters. Mixing the modern with the traditional, the poignant with the whimsical, this is an uplifting film certain to entertain.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.