Saturday, January 20, 2007

Movie Review - Guru

Define Irony... paying 10 % service tax for a movie about a guy who evaded tax worth 12,000 crores... and ended up victorious because of a 4 and a half minute self righteous speech.

I would really like Mani Ratnam and Shankar to be in the same room and watch Anniyan and Guru back to back. That would be an experience. One produces movie after movie that makes people wonder what would happen if everyone in India started following the rules and paid taxes dutifully... while the other makes a slip-shod effort at justifying/chronicling a blatant tax evader's life story... and makes him win at the end.

Mani does not attempt at including even a semblance of logic or legitimacy into the storyline. It just moves on.. jumps 10 years in one song.. then spends 30 minutes on an unnecessary item song... characters that go nowhere are introduced all the time... on the whole the movie gives you the feeling it is no different from any other tripe being produced (Veyyil included).

Mani keeps you guessing about what Guru is all about... if it is about the love life of Guru... yes.. there are enough lust and teenage love scenes that Mani is famous for. (Why do manly characters act 'cute'... in those love scenes? Does Mani commission a 15 year old girl to write those scenes?) The elder Guru especially after the stroke relies more on Aishwarya... some of the most contrived scenes... Aishwarya at her hamming best.
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Ok I got it out of me.. there are no words to express how affected her acting is. Why couldnt she just have been a pretty face on those giant screens ?

If the movie is about the businessman in Guru... Mani has seriosuly messed it up here. The way he climbs the ladder is shown in horrible cliches... I mean if this is how Guru made his money there must be atleast 350 Gurus in each Indian language that has a movie industry... every year... That is how cliched it is... and every sequence has either Nayagan (going to the collector's house... poor Prathap Pothen... or Thalabadhi... written all over it. Oh those horribly hackneyed dialogues...)

What is Guru? Do you dare to ask?
Imagine a biography of a person... in the hands of Schultz or Bill Waterson.. what is he going to make of it? Caricatures for characters, 'cuteness' for screenplay... and an ad flim without a semblance of logic. Yes that is what you will get in Guru. Take your girlfriend to the theatre... and put some economics fundae while you are at it.. she will marry you the next day. Yes some girls actually liked the movie :-(. (alt.humor.tasteles... here I come)


iyengarkatz said...


i was expecting some more meat and sarcasm, but for now will settle for what is offered!! ;-)

Escape.... Great Escape said...

But you did not tell me what you thought of the movie da :-). So did you think the movie was good ?

iyengarkatz said...

dei....if i thot the movie was good, would i be eager to read your review?? ;-)

even his song picturizations, which showcased his creative best was lacking!

the only reason i asked for more meat was because elsewhere you had mani fans taking one-two scenes and trying to find the traces of genius in them to justify the whole i wanted to see how you would do the same in opposite :-)

The Individualist said...

Enjoyable review. :D
Logic, well, yes, proves elusive for most of the movie.
The one thing that I watch these movies for is that..
they somehow manage to kindle your sensitivity.. something about these movies makes you want to be a great man too. The sensitivity that one is accustomed to losing in the rigours of day-to-day life, is in a faint way rekindled.
And I like that. It's irritating to be apathetic all the time, you know. Makes you feel.. umm inhuman would be a wrong word.. yes, unhuman.
Of course, that is what happens to me when I watch these kind of 'the hero becomes a great man' movies.
Well, not when Vijayakanth does, though. :p

Escape.... Great Escape said...

Katz... yes.. for that, I would need to read other reviews of Guru.. to be even decently caustic. I did not.. i hated that movie so much :-(.

And individualist :-)... well thanks... but frankly I think this is just a case of expectations gone sour. I felt it was a good story... and for whatever Guru did... there had to be a better explanation.

Mani was more capable surely.

mysorean said...

Good one! Finally I find someone who agrees with my view of the movie! Same pinch Ramanan! :)

Escape.... Great Escape said...

Yes. I felt Guru was a shadow of the other "normal man becomes great" movies... as the Individualist put it.

Mani comes out to be a trick pony with a limited number of tricks... (just to be sure.. he is not a one trick pony...).

And Individualist... Vijaykanth movies inspire me more. :-). In every possible sense.

Sriram said...

Have always believed that Mani Ratnam is an overhyped director not worth the media space that he commands. Can't think of a decent movie of his after Mouna Ragam and Nayakan. Ok, Yuva did have its moments but then only so much.
Shankar on the other hand is a paisa vasool director. A few movies with strong social messages clothed in masala format. Am I complaining, hell NO!!!

Escape.... Great Escape said...

Correct. Shankar makes a commercial movie and does not try to feign like he is making good cinema. On the other hand, Mani Rathnam is a sham. He passes a few gimmicks of as movies. No content nor logic but excellent presentation.

ALl the halmarks of a great ad movie maker.