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AFP
February 11, 2019

Bollywood superstars test taboos with hip-hop blockbuster

World

AFP
February 11, 2019

BERLIN: Two of Bollywood’s biggest stars have premiered "Gully Boy", a still rare female-directed blockbuster that pokes at enduring taboos, at the Berlin film festival. Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt threw their sizeable industry clout behind the tale, unveiled Saturday, of a couple yearning to break out of their Mumbai slum and traditional Muslim families to realise their dreams. "It’s got commentary on the class divide, it’s got commentary on choices young people make -- whether they want to be stuck in something that gives them no fulfilment versus pursuing their passion," said Singh, whose character Murad has a meteoric rise after posting his first rap video online. "I think it’s got a whole variety of stuff embedded between the lines that may just have a positive social impact." Bhatt’s character Safeena wears a traditional Muslim headscarf but resists her family’s attempts to arrange her marriage and wants to become a surgeon. Murad and Safeena have loved each other since childhood but have to keep their relationship secret from their parents so they meet for illicit trysts. "You can’t really be so sure about who may get offended or who may not," Bhatt said of the film’s touchier subjects. "My character Safeena, I don’t think that she has a problem wearing her hijab and I don’t think she has a problem with her culture. What she does have a problem with though is not being able to be honest with her parents."

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