I don’t usually go to cinemas to watch Hindi movies. I buy the DVDs and watch them at home. But when Mani Ratnam’s Guru came to Colombo I went to watch it at a cinema with my wife. Because I had read on the internet that Guru is such an entertaining and inspiring movie. Besides, I am a big fan of Mani Ratnam.
I was not disappointed. I enjoyed the movie from the beginning to the end. Romance between Guru and Sujatha was very creatively crafted. The songs were beautiful; especially Barso Re. Abhishek Bhachchan had done justice to his character. This was the best Abhishek movie I ever saw. Aishwarya Rai was as beautiful as ever and much better than in her previous movies. I think the credit should go to the director Mani Ratnam for getting the best out of Abhishek and Aishwarya.
The movie shows the conflict between the older generation and the new generation at the beginning. Gurukant Desai, usually called Guru, is a village lad. Guru’s father wants Guru to do well academically but Guru is not vibrant in studies. He wants to do a job overseas instead. Father resists by saying dreams never come true but Guru manages to go to Turkey to work at a fuel distribution company. Later he is promoted to a supervisor’s position with a big salary increase. But he refuses the promotion and makes his mind to go back to India to start a business of his own.
Rather than romance between Guru and Sujatha what my eyes went on to was the untiring efforts of Guru to make a business empire during the License Raj era which was not conducive to business. During that time it was extremely difficult to get licenses to start businesses. So Guru happens to bribe government officials including Chief Ministers and manages to get licenses for his factories. His main business is garments but he later expands to a host of other businesses such as petrochemicals.
Guru’s business model is such that he issues shares of his companies to the public. The public readily invest in his companies as Guru is very creative in his job that he produces a lot of profits. Thus the public gets a big share of their return on investment.
But his onetime admirer, Manik Dasgupta, a publisher of the popular newspaper Samachar becomes estranged with Guru and start revealing Guru’s dirty secrets in how he makes big profits, how he manipulates share prices and how he smuggles machinery into India and produces beyond quotas. This doesn’t harm Guru’s courage but he is upset as Manik is estranged with him. He still respects him for helping the former at the beginning of his business and shouts at Guru’s supporters who attacked Manik’s car.
Guru suffers from a sudden stroke after government seals his factory due to Manik’s attacks through his newspaper and is admitted to hospital. More than the doctors, Guru’s wife must be credited for his recovery. At the hearing of his case she helps him a lot. Ultimately he is fined a big sum of money for malpractices in his businesses but he is allowed to continue his factories after the courts hearing his side of the story.
Thus ends the story and it inspires us as to how one’s courage should be in business or any other ventures. The movie is loosely based on Dhirubhai Ambani’s story of how he built Reliance Empire in India. Ambani did not have an easy ride. Coming from a rural village with no proper English education, he had to fight against all odds to have a place in Bombay’s dog-eat-dog business arena. But he wins all wars against him and finally creates India’s biggest company, Reliance Industries.