Watched Guru yesterday… Though the movie has its share of shortcomings, but overall it’s quite a likeable one. Makes you realize the power of your dreams… Great performances by everyone, nice background score.. I’d better deal things one by one….
Guru is the story of a winner… A typical story of rags to riches …
GuruKant Desai (AB), a young 16-something from a small Gujarat town, takes up a small-job at Turkey, after earning some money, returns to India to do his own “bijness”..
Guru has big dreams and for him, ends do justify the means.. He marries Sujata (Ash) for the dowry she’d bring in, which provides the base capital for his textile business.. Though the entry in the market is restricted due to monopolistic textile unions, GuruBhai is able to get through with help from a purist Newspaper Editor Manikdas Gupta (Mithun) What follows is GuruBhai’s meteoric rise from a simple villager to a business tycoon..
That’s where the story could have been dealt better… The tagline of the movie is :: Villager.. Visionary.. Winner… But the transition part is not very well depicted.. I believe that showing his vision had to be most critical.. But that is shown mostly in small parts… It’d have done justice to the plot if some of the “vision” were shown in more detail..
So our hero uses all means, buying out media persons, using corrupt politicians (even corrupting the clean ones) evading excise duties and many other things…. Finally things start turning sour when Manikdas, assisted by journalist Shyam (Madhvan) takes up a mission to finish off GuruBhai , puttng an end to his corrupt practices.. Great confrontation follows… resulting in Guru’s temporary downfall.. The climax sees him facing the court.. His speech in the court was good, (surely could have been better, though wasn’t that bad…And Mani could have done without comparing his protagonist (facing 20+ charges) with Gandhi.. 😐 Anyways the speech makes the judges take almost a U-turn on their stand and Guru Bhai is let away just with some heavy fine..
Finally the end shows Shakti trading becoming the largest company of India and Guru setting his eyes on being the number one in the world..
Flaws: The songs were badly placed and broke the continuity of the movie at times… The movie could have done better had it been a totally songless one..( except for the theme songs) Some loose ends are left here and there:: The Manikdas-Guru tussle should’ve been brought to some conclusive end.. Also what was the need of Vidya Balan’s character: It was totally unnecessary.(Unless she too has some real life counterpart as in case of other major characters) Perhaps only purpose was showing Guru’s softer side.. The courtroom scene somewhat doesn’t stand out as convincing as I had expected, surely could have been better…
Influences and impacts:: Maniratnam says that the story is not any specific person’s story.. I’d say that it’s nothing, if not a biopic of Dhiru Bhai Ambani… Right from the selection of name ( Gurubhai sounds strikingly similar to Dhirubhai 8) ), Mani makes every effort to show that this is actually DBA’s story.. Like DBA, our Guru hails from Gujarat, works for Shell (Yes!! Mani did not even change the company name here!! 😮 ) in an Arabic country, starts with textile industry, manufacturing Polyester ( DBA too was called Polyester King/Prince). Like his real life counterpart, he further ventures further into Petrochemical business.. I was thinking that the end will show Shakti Industry entering the communications market, but perhaps the story ended some years short of it. The similarities were just too many to be missed.
But as I followed further on net, it had more similaities than I had found. Nowhere is the original story diluted; it’s complete with tussle with Ramnath Goenka and also with Nusli Wadia (though shown in small proportion) Manikdas is clearly Ramnath Goenka of Indian Express; while Shyam is journalist Gurumurty. At one place, Guru is shown to buying out a supposedly honest minister; this appears to have a direct mapping with Ambani’s meeting with Mr Clean Rajiv Gandhi. Search this all stuff out yourself; I bet you’ll find the movie more interesting and closer to real life.
I found one more influence or may be I’m just imagining it. I guess the climax (the courtroom scene) is somewhat inspired from Roark’s trial in the Fountainhead.. I found some parallels here.. Like when Roark is first given a chance in the court to defend himself, he just says “ The defence rests.” Here, in the first hearing, Guru just says one thing:: “Namaste”.. Then the final speech, which makes the judges change their decision, again appears similar to Roark’s epic speech, though it in no way comes even close to that. Fountainhead readers, do comment if you too felt the same way. ❓
In impact on my mind, I found it somewhat similar to that of reading “The GodFather.” Well, no similarities in the stories, but still both make u feel somewhat similar things::Doing what you feel right, ends justifying the means, making offers that people can’t refuse…
Acting: Abhishek is superb.. Be it his dialogue delivery or his expressions (Particularly the victorious smile in many scenes), he was excellent in whatever he did. The movie surely belongs to him.. Ash was also good as the dutiful wife.. And yes!! Mithun da!! Always heard that he used to be a gudd actor.. But we always see him in those B-grade movies… I guess this is the first Mithun movie I’ve seen in many years… But he gelled in well with his role; looked quite natural.. Ditto for Madhavan. After RDB, he again shines in his role; here as a committed journalist. Vidya Balan, as always looks beautiful and does justice to whatever the small role could offer.
Music:: I’d say it’s a mixed bag.. There are some fully faltoo numbers ( Ek lo ek Muft, Baazi laga) Mayya mayya is an okayish item-number.. Rest of the songs are gudd.. Nanna re has a different shade.. it’s refreshing to listen to it. Tere bina has a classical touch and is quite hummable.. Ae Hairatein is also gudd; has a musical overlap with Tere bina..
But surely the best of the album is “jaagein hain”
Superb music by ARR and too gudd lyrics:: “Jaagein hain der tak, hamein kuch der sone do.. Thodi si raat aur hai, subah to hone do Aadhe adhure khwab jo poore na ho sake Ek baar phir se neend mein woh khwab bone do”
It’s not a senti song in regular sense of the word, but it grew so heavy on my head that it almost made me cry.. 😥 (Don’t know if this holds for anybody else; even I was surprised at myself 😮 )
And I guess the discussion on music can’t be complete without taking note of the superb background score.. The music announcing Guru’s arrival simply rocks.. Too powerful!! Makes u sit up straight at times.. I guess the movie would have lost half of its charm in absence of the theme music.
Overall, a good movie; with a fewer songs and a few adjustments it could have been classified as a great one..
My rating:: 3.5/5