For the city of Mumbai and those near it, railways are a lifeline. Many municipalities are crossed in between as people make their way through, hustling to make a living. Significantly more wake hours are spent by living souls in these stifling yet accommodating rakes and railway premises than in the intimate spaces of our homes. Hell, we sleep in these too.
Gully Boy is a slightly stretched, brilliantly made movie. While I can’t speak much for music, there are bits that I absolutely loved about the movie and would love to put forth. It’s about how trains have been used in the narrative. Here we go!
Every scene with Murad (Ranveer Singh) in the train has been shot in a retrofitted old rake, which speaks tonne because there is a cage like claustrophobia that comes with it, enclosing, engulfing him within. In the case of Alia, there is only one significant scene at a station, at the end of which she gets into a new, airy Siemens rake that reflects her free spirit.
We don’t actually see her in the train but the visual that we do get is absolutely stunning to say the least — she applies makeup while sitting on a bench and then stands strong as the train pulls in, slightly slower, on its way to halt at the platform. Presumably the same train is later shown snaking its way through the night, like a beacon of light. Her life.
Towards the end of the movie, we see Murad and Safeena (Alia Bhatt) at Kurla station, openly expressing their love, smiling with joy, sending flying kisses about, and yet no one notices . The chaos of the city masks their intimacy, setting their love free.
There are some really lovely bird eye views that have been shot from over the tracks near Sandhurst Road station, with long-distance trains lined up at the nearby Coaching Depot. They bring in the aspect of isolation as well as integration. This is where our story plays out and yet trains wait for none, an arrogance of sorts, mirroring the spirit of the city.
Murad and Safeena meet at railway foot over bridges, stealing away moments, disguised in the anonymity of the hustle and bustle around them. Murad walks these alone, with his earphones plugged in, finding himself in the crowd.
In some instances, we can see them chilling inside blue trains that are isolated, abandoned, presumably at a siding or a yard. This is where they all meet, sit, smoke and just be. It’s their refuge in the city, a place where no one questions their existence, being. Trains provide them with a safe space.
Essentially, I absolutely love how trains have been used in this movie!
(All the screenshots have been captured on Amazon Prime.)