There are films that entertain. And make you happy. Then once-in-a-while you get to watch a film that makes you say - hey what the heck...Let's give life another shot. In other words, you are injected with an unparalleled energy that bolsters your confidence and belief in the possibilities that one can create for one's own self. In spite of boulders of odds in your way. There's a multitude of emotions that Mani Rathnam's 'Guru' generates as you walk out of the theatre with goose pimples and a stammer in the walk. And yes, the buzz surrounding Bachchan Junior is absolutely true. Abhishek's priceless performance shall be reckoned as one of the all time finest acts in Indian cinema. The rumours surrounding the film being a biopic of Dhirubhai Ambani is true as well.
It takes courage to agree for such physical transformation as Abhi has undertaken totally in contrast to a conventional Bollywood hero image. He plays Gurukant Desai, the young-n-lean foreign returned villager with a funny moustache who gradually grows in years-n-stature as he treads on the road less traveled. He develops flab all over body unconditionally. Walks-n-talks in an awkwardly funny manner as he successfully climbs the ambitious stairs of his 'bijness'. Just can't take a No for an answer. And if a door doesn't open by greasing then he doesn't mind opening it forcefully.
After being the badshah of Polyster and being the leader of share market, Guru Bhai asks his loyal share holders, "Banna chahte ho Hindusthan ki sabse badi company." An encore follows. Next stop is petro chemicals factory for which once again he uses coercion to make the ministers come on his side. A newspaper publisher Manik Dasgupta (Mithun Chakraborthy) and a firebrand journalist Shyam (Madhavan) expose many irregularities in the functioning style of Guru Bhai.
Manik Dasgupta (Or Nanaji), a Gandhian, was the man whom Guru earlier considered as his father. Even though they respected each other personally, their ideologies clashed. Guru's wife Sujatha (Aishwarya Rai) is the pillar of support that always stands by him in the biggest of crisis. He also has a few select men who belonged to him for reasons more than mere business interests.
'Guru' is clearly inspired by life of the founder of Reliance industries Dhirubhai Ambani. For like Dhirubhai, Guru bhai hails from a village in Gujarat who wins over Mumbai with his native intelligence, ambitious zeal, wondrous people skills and even the paralytic attack is exactly a replica of the great industrialist's life.
Master story teller Mani Rathnam is in supreme command as he tells a gripping story in his trademark unusual style. He has used the Art Direction of Samir Chanda to perfection as he recreates the Mumbai Best trams of 1960s, coal engine powered trains and the old model cars on the marine drive promenade are also parked oh-so-casually. The area where Rathnam triumphs the most is his objective viewpoint while handling the context of Gurukant Desai's success. He doesn't justify or romanticizes the wrong means employed by Guru in moving up. And the final picture that emanates is that of a man who rose to the top to fall and then rise again. But he is not all black. Or all white. He has shades of grey with warts of blemishes. Yet his basic intentions are honest. The loyalty of the ordinary share holders of Gurkant Desai's Shakti Industries germinates from transparency. And that's Guru's biggest victory.
In the final analysis, Guru's audacity appeals and repels at the same time. You call him right and wrong in the same breath. But you still feel like favouring him as even if he is doing a wrong, mostly it is meant to oppose the unjust system that listens to nothing except 'force' or money power. And Abhishek Bachchan's body language successfully e