Ambition takes you places

15 02 2007

Ever wondered how the late senior Ambani created a wealth that has so far remained unmatched in its sheer numbers? How did he make so much money that even after its division between his two sons they remain the biggest businessmen in the country? It is all because of ambition. His ambition gave birth to a peerless company that would go on to soar unimaginable heights of success. It gave rise to an industrial group that today is the most familiar name in every Indian household. Ambani didn’t believe in not taking opportunities.

This is the essence of GURU. Gurukant Desai (aka Gurubhai) is a believer in his abilities and does not let anything come in the way of his ambition. As he constantly says, he does not know the meaning of the word NO . He wants to be the best and wants to compete with the biggest businessmen around and he makes sure that nothing becomes a stumbling block in his way.

Gurubhai comes from very moderate means, having a father who constantly taunts him for his belief in making money by doing business instead of a steady job. But it is his desire for money that takes him to Turkey where he manages to earn a lot in a short time. He then returns to India, marries Sujata and along with his brother-in-law Jignesh goes to Bombay to trade in the cloth market. His first and foremost stumbling block comes in the form of getting a licence to trade in the cloth market, which is very hard to get. Whether he gets it or not is for you to see. I am not spilling any more beans.

Gurukant’s meteoric rise in the business world of India almost mirrors that of senior Ambani. Within a few reels you see Gurubhai changing his appearance from a young village boy to a middle-aged babu of the ‘60s, travelling in his brand new Mercedes and making money at the speed of thought! Some of my friends said that Gurubhai looked money-minded. I disagree. Gurubhai is ambitious, and he has all the traits that perhaps each one of us should possess. He thrives in risk-taking, has belief in himself and knows that he will not earn money just by sitting idle. He knows how to bend rules, how to connive with the netas and how to get things done in his favour. It is due to these traits that he earns a lot of admirers (like Meenu) and foes (like Shyam Saxena).

The movie is not only about Gurubhai. Sujata (okay, this is Ashwarya) is a good wife and knows that she is a partner in crimes of Gurukant (if at all they are proven). Manik Das Gupta is the idealistic editor of the newspaper The Independent. Shyam Saxena is a reporter with the Independent and as the film goes on, he reveals his true self which though not good, still it does no harm to his character. Meenu acts as his perfect foil and is literally in awe of Gurubhai.

The Performances
I thought Abhishek was superb in his portrayal of Gurukant Desai. He looks in control of the character he plays throughout the movie although I did feel that in the second half he was somewhat subdued. Only one scene towards the end makes an impact. In some scenes I felt that he was almost imitating the style of his father while there were some scenes where I felt that Amitabh (in his prime) would have done better.

Some of my friends said that Ashwarya was pathetic in this movie. I again disagreed. I thought that she has done a reasonably good job in her portrayal of Gurukant’s wife. Yes there are chinks in her acting skills but still she manages to carry herself well in the movie.

Vidya Balan. Hmm, what should I say about her? She is wasted indeed; still she leaves a mark on you as she plays the role of Meenu.

Madhavan as Shyam Saxena is also wasted although his role is not insignificant. In a way his role is a reflection of Gurukant’s misdeeds because Shyam also employs unfair means to get his works done just the way Gurukant did.

Mithunda is a transformed man. No longer will you feel that this is the same person who played Disco Dancer in the ‘80s and then did a streak of B and C grade movies in the ‘90s.

As for the music of this movie, I won’t say anything. Listen to it and get mesmerized by it.

My Verdict
To be honest, the second half was a kind of letdown after the near flawless first half. Maybe they needed to give Gurukant some more dialogues to speak; maybe they needed to give Sujata some more scenes about playing the helpful wife. Maybe just… maybe…

I still liked this movie. I liked it for Gurukant’s courage and ambitious nature. You have to possess these traits to be a winner. The movie is not just about Guru’s zeal for making money. It is also about what he had to do to earn the money and the trust of his shareholders. How you earn the respect of millions of people of your country is one of the highlights of the movie. Gurukant is admired for these very traits, just like Ambani.


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