A film that was, perhaps, the first of the big star biopics to arrive on Hindi cinema screens, Guru, was a masterpiece. Ratnam's wonderful tale was about a businessman willing to push the limits to achieve his dreams. On the 10th anniversary of the film, we take a look at the 5 factors which make Guru worth watching even today.
10 years of Guru: 5 things that made director Mani Ratnam's film special
Mumbai - 12 Jan 2017 13:46 IST
The Rahman Touch
This was only the third time AR Rahman and Gulzar combined on a soundtrack after Dil Se...(1998) and Saathiya (2002). Be it the soothing lullaby of ' Jaage The Der Tak' or the pumping rhythm of 'Na Na Re Na Na Re' or, Rahman's favourite song of the entire album, the wacky 'Maiyya Maiyya', the composer poured out some of his genius work into the film. From Arabic rhythms to Gujarati chants, the album was a delightful chutney of cosmopolitan music.
A stellar supporting cast
Mani Ratnam films are often not about the lead stars. They are wholesome stories enriched by characters prevalent throughout. Guru stands out for its wonderful supporting cast. From Mithun Chakraborty as the ramrod idealistic Nanaji, or R Madhavan as the ambitious reporter or Vidya Balan's heartbreaking turn as the adorable ' jalkukdi ', and even Arya Babbar as the loyal brother in law, the film is the layered with faces that are unforgettable.
One of the greatest directors of our generation (or at least the ones born in the 80s), Ratnam remains an auteur par excellence. As someone often bracketed as a Tamil filmmaker, Guru helped Ratnam cross over and establish himself as a power in the Hindi film industry. His ability to tap into the human side of what was a complicated story about one man's ambition elevated the film. It is a sign of a great director to find the universal in a very local story, and Ratnam does that with style.
Abhishek Bachchan - Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Ratnam took a risk casting the real-life couple, and soon-to-be husband and wife, in his first full-fledged Hindi film. It proved to be a masterstroke as the both the actors fed off each other's chemistry to deliver tour de force performances. Abhishek Bachchan's embodiment of the smarmy, ambitious Gurukant Desai won him a Filmfare nomination for the Best Actor.
Above all, the film was based on a fascinating story. Reportedly based on the rise and rise of India's business magnate, Dhirubhai Ambani, the film captured the ambition, struggles, and pains of one of the most enigmatic individuals in independent India's history. It was Ratnam's auteurist hand that brought a pathos and sensitivity to shape the character of Gurukant Desai.