Starring: Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Mithun Chakraborty, Madhavan, Vidya Balan
Director: Mani Ratnam
Mani Ratnam has always been renowned for making high quality films. He has been heralded as one of the finest directors from India. Mostly working in the South, Mani is often been overlooked in Bollywood. Although he made good films in Bollywood which got him critical success, they never struck a chord with the audience and resulted in box office failure. Mani was all set to change that when he took on Guru, his most ambitious project to date. Now did this movie have what it takes to help Mani go over the hump? The answer is an enthusiastic yes, as not only is Guru Mani’s finest work to date; it is also one of the finest films to come out of Bollywood in recent times.This one is definitely for the classes, but it’s a movie even the masses can relate to and enjoy. Guru is simply cinematic excellence at its best!
Going into Guru, it was a known fact that the public would be treated to a really good film. No one knew exactly how good the film would really be. Would it be Mani’s best work? Would it be good, but not Mani’s best? Would it be good, but not up to Mani’s standards? After watching the film, it is loud and clear, that this clearly is the best work Mani Ratnam has done in his career. The film is so powerful and gripping, you cannot help but stay focused on the proceedings at hand. The film is really long, almost reaching the three hour mark, but that doesn’t have a negative impact on the film. Not once do you feel that the movie is getting slow and boring. The movie may be really wordy, but that’s exactly what works for the film. You are so spellbound by the powerful dialogues and the ferocity with which these dialogues have been delivered. This story of Gurukant Desai is so strong, that it stays with you for much longer after the movie is over. It’s been two months since I’ve watched the film and yet I still can’t stop thinking about how amazing this film was. The best thing about the movie is even though it is a biopic of some sort; the movie still has commercial value. It is a serious and hard hitting film, and yet it entertains you. That is what fine cinema is all about.
The fact that Mani Ratnam is a cinematic genius cannot be denied. The man simply knows how to make amazing films. He keeps the beat going with Guru, as he outdoes any of his past efforts. The story may have been inspired by real life industrialist Dhirubai Ambani, but the manner in which Mani wrote the screenplay and then put it on screen was beautifully done. You watch the film and you see Guru, not Dhirubai Ambani. That is only because Mani has truly put his stamp on this film. He also brings out flawless chemistry from his lead pair, Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai. They have never looked this good together on screen. Watching this film, you actually realize that they are not only a reel life couple, but a real life couple as well. The movie was a showcase of the brilliance of Mani Ratnam. One must tip his cap to Mani for simply an astounding effort in Guru.
From a cinematic genius, we move to a musical genius, as A.R. Rahman also proves why he is the best music director in Bollywood once again. The tunes he composes for Guru are music to ones ears. Every track is wonderful, but high marks go to Barso Re and Tere Bina. They are phenomenal tracks. Barso Re is picturized beautifully on Aishwarya. Tere Bina truly shows the lively chemistry of Abhishek and Aishwarya. Maiya Maiya is a hot and sizzling track, especially because it was picturized on Mallika Sherawat. Gurubhai, which was added later on in the soundtrack, is a very strong track as well and fits in wonderfully in the film. Rahman’s background music is fantastic. The other tracks in the film are great as well, but they do not have as much of an impact as the other mentioned tracks. Guru the film is obviously awesome, but its music is equally as good. Hats off to A.R. Rahman, as well, as he keeps on showing us how much of a maestro he truly is.
Abhishek Bachchan’s career best performance was in Yuva, in which he was directed by Mani Ratnam. Being directed by Mani for the second time in his career, he goes leaps and bounds ahead of his previous best work. Abhishek as Guru is not only going to remain one of the best performances of this year, but one of the best of all time. There is always a particular character or role an actor is forever remembered for. In Abhishek’s case, that role will be of Guru. We all knew what he was capable of, but he totally shatters our expectations of him, and makes new ones. It may be early in the year, but it is tough to imagine anyone beating out Abhishek for the best actor award this year. There are truly no words to describe his performance. He just leaves you in awe the entire time. It is, without a shadow of a doubt, a once in a lifetime performance.
Aishwarya Rai also gives an outstanding performance. Many may still question her talents, but as the days go by, the haters are getting quieter by the minute. It is because of performances like the one she gives in Guru that people have no reason to make ridiculous remarks anymore. In a film dominated by Abhishek, she holds her own and leaves a big impact. This may be a deglam role, but she will impress nonetheless. Such is the talent of Aishwarya. This is the beginning of what looks to be a very successful year for Lady Ash.
Mithun Chakraborty can finally say he has made a comeback to Hindi cinema. After such a long time, we get to see this fine actor back in form. He plays Guru’s foil perfectly. You can tell this performance was straight from the heart. One just wishes Mithun keeps signing films like this, instead of wasting his time and talent in inconsequential roles.
Madhavan does not get much scope, but does a fine job with what he is given. His entrance to the film is rather disappointing, as it is right before the intermission and not dramatic whatsoever. The South Indian superstar is leaving his mark in Bollywood, and should be getting more notice in no time. He is a great actor whose talent justifies a place in Bollywood.
Vidya Balan is completely wasted as her role could have been done by just about anybody. After showing her acting prowess from her first film, this one is a huge disappointment in terms of her presence in the film. Not to mention, her kiss with Madhavan was very poorly done and should have just been taken out of the film. Vidya must have jumped at the opportunity of working with Mani, but she should have waited for something that fit for her talents.
The year may be far from over; as it is still the first quarter of the year, but it is pretty obvious that Guru will remain one of the best films of the year. It can easily be said that it is one of the best films of recent times. The movie will surely not be ignored during awards season, which will be around this time next year. It boasts of fantastic performances by the cast led by the magnanimous Abhishek Bachchan, the direction of a master, and music by the ultimate maestro. Guru is a rare cinematic experience. It is a film that must be experienced by one and all at least one time in their lives. If you haven’t watched Guru already, then what are you waiting for? The DVD has just released. Get it now!!!!!!