Guru - A Masterpiece
Meet India's most powerful man, scream the headlines........
"If you don't dream you will be stuck to your village all your life."
"There is a saying in our village - if people say bad things about you, you must be doing something good."
"I don't want to walk.... I want to run." [Turkey 1951]
"If a law can be made in a day, it can be changed in a day."
"I only know one thing..... there is only one person like me here... only one Guru."
"I don't fear the public. I am the public"
These are the words of Gurukant Desai(Abhishek Bachchan) in various stages of his life. Guru, a simple guy from Idhar village in Gujarat always dreams big things in life. His father(Rajendra Gupta) doesnt agree with him saying that dreams never come true. But as Guru grows up even his dreams also grow big. And he sets off to Turkey to earn money. There with his friend (Manoj Joshi) he distributes petrol cans to earn his livelihood. There too his dreams cant hold him back and he returns back to India after rejecting an offer to work for a rich man saying that he wants to be rich and not work for someone. Back home, he gets married to a village girl Sujata(Aishwarya Rai) after he gets to know from her brother, Jignesh(Arya Babbar) that her father(Sachin Khedekar) has saved lots of money for her dowry. Guru plans to use this money for starting a business of his own at Bombay.
So in pursuit of making in big in business he comes to Bombay with Sujata and Jignesh. In Mumbai, truth dawns upon Guru that the business world is a closed community ruled by a handful of rich and influential people who don't believe in giving opportunities to new players. Despite barriers, he starts a company called Shakti Trading and climbs the ladder of success at a furious pace.
Manik Dasgupta aka Nanaji [Mithun Chakraborty], who publishes a newspaper Swatantra, treats Guru as his son. But when he learns that Guru's means to make it big are not right, he along with the Editor of his newspaper, Shyam [Madhavan], decide to expose Guru's unjust ways. The rest is the story where Nanaji and Guru confront over ideals and ethics and it culminates with the very catchy reposition of Guru before an enquiry commission set up to probe into irregularities in Guru's business and his growth as the biggest businessman in India.
Touted as a bio-pic based on Reliance's Dheerubhai Ambani's life, the movie is very grasping and has been handled very well by the master of story telling - Mani Ratnam. Irrespective of how his films are received by the paying public, no one can deny the fact that a Mani Ratnam film is special! Special in many ways!!!! This time Mani, the supremely talented storyteller narrates the story of a man who rises from nothing and becomes the premier industrialist of the country through sheer hard work, determination, passion and grit. GURU is tremendously inspiring and makes anyone feel all the more confident to encounter challenges and hurdles that may crop up in a journey called life. This movie will add to his credentials as a superb film maker who has given us the great visual delights like Roja, Bombay, Dil Se..., Yuva, Alaipayuthey, Kannattil Muthamittal, Geetanjali ! Every sequence in GURU bears the stamp of a genius and the outcome is tremendous!!!
Coming to performances, its truly Abhishek's movie and he would surely win all the awards this time for his tremendous performance as the main protogonist! He makes us laugh, he makes us cry and we relieve all the emotions that he experiences. The role demands him to portray a guy in his teenage to his old age and Abhishek does it too much to perfection. The makeup and body language to suit various stages in his life are the main highlights. This movie truly would be a giant leap for this talented actor.
Aishwarya too gives a superb performance and impresses everyone with her acting. The chemistry between Abhishek and Aishwarya is too good to watch! We feel very much for her when she takes up the role of her husband's voice when he is half-paralyzed and cannot speak.
The other performance which draws our attention is by our own Mithun-da who delivers a natural performance all through. This just reminded me of the real Mithun after a long time since Agneepath and Prem Pratigyaa which were his best serious performances till date.Madhavan is just there but is as charming and refreshing when he confronts Guru. Vidya Balan as Nanaji's disabled daughter and later Madhavan's wife is just there doing nothing much. Arya Babbar is wasted in a bit role. Mallika Sherawat just dances to the tunes of "Maiyya Maiyya" when Guru is in Turkey. The other commendable performances are by Manoj Joshi, Roshan Seth (as chief of investgating commission) and Sachin Khedekar.
Music has always been a intimate part of Maniratnam's movies and as usual A R Rahman holds the show here. " Maiyya Maiyya" and "Barso re Barso" are too good to hear and watch. "Tere Bina" is a duet which is very melodious. "Ek Lo Ek Muft" is a funny song sung by Bappi Lahiri which Guru sings celbrating the birth of his twin daughters. The background score by Rahman is topnotch.
Rajiv Menon's cinematography is truly of international quality where he captures everything from the 1950s look till present day. The scenic beauty of Hampi and Badami are a treat to watch on the big screen. The last five minutes of the movie where Menon uses different camera speeds to give a superb effect to the scene where Guru gives his statment in front of the enquiry commission. Vijay Krishna Acharya's dialogues are too good. The writing in the last twenty minutes of the movie is fantastic.
There are a few loose ends in the movie though as in Guru's confrontation with Jignesh is not very well explained and also the romance between Madhavan and Vidya is somewhat out of track. (their smooch is very aesthetically filmed ...:) )
On the whole, GURU is one of the finest films to come out of the Hindi film industry. Three Cheers to Mani for giving us such a movie. It has already got good opening everywhere and the recent Abhi-Aish engagement will surely add to its success.