Saturday, January 13, 2007
Guru - Movie Review
Like all Mani Ratnams earlier movies, GURU created a big wave of expectation right from the day of its conception.
The expectations grew wider when the rumour mills churned that the story line of GURU is drawing a parallel with the life of industrial Guru Dhirubai Ambani.
Ambani, the industrial mogul who started off as a polyester merchant selling 'saadis', grew his business from a few thousand rupees outfit to a multi-billion dollar empire. Baring, the bad publicity over the 'methods' he used, he was a true champion, the likes of whom helped shape industrial India.
That being said, was GURU just a biographical depiction? No. not at all.
You could call the 'Aviator' a biographical depiction of Hughes. Not GURU.
Manis one-liner for the story could have been 'A poor villager, who grew up and became a big industrialist, like Ambani'.
Abhishek Bachan has turned out to be a true star and GURU will be a milestone in his career, just like how Nayagan was for Kamal Hasan.
Abhishek does the job well. Be it the young Guru who rocks with Mallika in a Turkey club, or the married Guru who romanticizes with Ash in a Bombay apartment, or even the aged Guru bai who is confronted by Mithun about his business ethics. Abhishek gives a stellar performance.
It is a joy to watch him perform Guru bai.
Aishwarya Rai's magic is missing in this movie. She is not suitable to act in an old-age role, yet.
Mani should have fed her well and made her a little plump before shooting the old aged scenes.
Mani may have missed the boat on this one.
Cinematography (Rajiv Menon) was spotless in every frame - Aishwaryas rain dance in a village among the paddy fields and the song celeberating the twins arrival was nicely done.
Mani has a keen eye for song picturisation and with Rajiv as his wing man, GURUs songs were very delightfully done.
Some of the choreography wasn't fresh and not catchy as it should have been.
Enough has been said about A.R.Rahmans scores for GURU. Yes, the songs were brilliant and the backround score was apt. 'Guru bai Guru bai' chant through out the film adds the tempo of the film.
Hariharans 'Eh Hairathe ashiqui' (Gazal type) sprinkled as a background score on many occassions was a good one. Tere Bina (with a cute dhamthana dhamthana chime in the lines of a sufi love song) was a new style song.
Madhavan does his part, but in front of Abhishek's performance he fades away.
Mithun is a very good addition, as Nanaji.
Some supporting actors were amateurish in certain scenes shot in Turkey and some shots in the final moments of the film.
The 2 3/4 hours movie has no 'dull lag'. But, at the same time the details of Guru bai's business growth and all the accusations thrown at him were very cinematic.
It looks like Mani wasn't keen on showing the business nuances of Guru bai to his audiences. Who wants those things anyway?
The final moments where Guru bai defends his motives against harsh allegations with a 4+ minutes dialogue contains the essence of the movie.
Dialogues like 'I am the public' and Guru bais speech, about how he helps the middleclass, to own and grow with his business empire, leaves one with a positive allure towards the man.
GURU will stand out from the crowd and is a mass entertainer.
Is this Manis best ever? arguably, No.
The best is probably yet to come.
What is your take on the movie (if you have watched it)?