Bollywood : Why Gully Boy movie is no Kaala

A glaring omission in all the gushing reviews of Gully Boy in the mainstream Indian press is the comparison of the way rap and Dharavi have been juxtaposed in Kaala.

While Pa Ranjith proved yet again to be the salt of the earth in his land mafia film, Zoya Akhtar took a haphazard route to make something that was hardly rooted in Asia's biggest slum.

I don't expect Akhtar to be a political animal like Ranjith, but she shouldn't have plucked the lowest hanging fruit either.

Even though his lyrics are strewn around with khoon, paseena, majboori, aansoo, he belongs to the aspirational class that wants to be on the information super highway and is content with racking up lakhs of views on YouTube.

Murad is no Ambedkarite for sure.

In Kaala, Rajinikanth adamantly stood up to the scheming politician (a snarling Nana Patekar) with 'Nilam unakku adhikaaram, nilam enakku vaazhkkai (For you land is power, for me land is life).'

Akhtar's upper-class sensibilities kick in when Koechlin, a filthy rich person and a student at Berklee College of Music, turns into a Marie Antoinette in her high-end Mercedes when she tells Murad that he shouldn't be chasing money and must actually follow his passion and that money will automatically follow.

She should have said this in front of Murad's father Vijay Raaz, a car driver whose rule of thumb for survival is to be obsequious to the rich.

Murad detests his father for not aiming high and snaps ties with him, an Americanism that seems grossly misplaced in lower middle-class Indian families.

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