Rating – Average
Go see this movie only if you are a Mani Ratnam fan. I can’t find any other reason.
The story is clearly inspired by the life of Dhirubhai Ambani, right from the foreign blue-collar job to right sided paralysis. Read this great article from Outlook magazine’s film section to know the real people behind the characters. The story tells about the meteoric rise of the hero from a village lad to a world-class businessman. It is implied through newspaper headlines or peripheral dialogues that certain illegal means have been employed by Guru for his success but this is not explored at all. Guru’s character seems to be an impulsive and manipulative person with a lot of luck. I didn’t see him working hard to grow his business any where in the movie. He just arrives and declares a grand new plan at a shareholders meeting. Having somebody as his mentor would have given some credibility to his grandiose plans to raise a public issue or setup a petrochemical plant.
Abhishek has put in a visible effort into his character of Gurukant Desai but couldn’t beat his own performance in Yuva. The character of Lallan which he played in Yuva was effortless. Aishwarya shines in parts but does not has much to do. In fact, no body else has much to do except Abhishek. Abhishek seemed to have better chemistry with Rani in Bunty Aur Babli than what he has with Aishwarya in Guru. (Sometimes I find it extremely funny how we treat actors on first name basis as if they were our juniors in Mithibai College!)
Screenplay is a real disappointment. No relationship is explored for its worth. How could Guru manage to meet Arzaan Contractor at the golf club if nobody allows him inside Contractor’s office? How does Guru comes close to Nanaji? Why does a rift grow between Guru and his brother-in-law that ends in a snapping point at the party? What happens to Aishwarya when she finds out that Abhishek had married her for the dowry? How and when does Madhvan falls for Vidya? What happens to Madhvan’s idealism when he is clicking bogus pictures as evidence againt Guru? What happens to the contractor guy who had resigned because of Guru? Who was the parsi old man who tried to buy out Guru? Many other relationships are left unexplored.
Cinematography is good as expected from a Ratnam film but Rehman’s music is lackluster. The art director deserves a pat on the back for recreating Bombay of 1950s all with vintage cars and trams. But I wish that the director hadn’t tried to pass off South Indian locations as parts of Gujarat.