Me Thinks

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Guru - Why not?

As a protest against the thundu beedi role thats been thrusted on one of the finest actors of tamil cinema today (I am talking about Madhavan), I've decided not to watch theaters. The only hero, in recent times, I can think of who did a good job in his very first movie is Madhavan. Maniratnam did it to Arvind Swami first (though I am not a great fan of Swami's acting) and now its Madhavan. Sad! My friend, Bubby, has written a prompt review as usual and I thought I'd also join the review-Guru gang. And here it goes.

I saw Guru last weekend. Its a very very well made film .Its a bio pic of Dhirubhai ..saari Gurubhai a.k.a Gurukant desai played by Abhishek bachchan. Abhishek bachchan is fantastic. Though the reviews have gone ga-ga over his fiance Aishwarya rai's performance as Sujata, Gurubhai's wife, I felt that her acting was nothing great.. the same plastickey expressions. Her 'kezhadu' tattufying shows badly in close-up shots. Looks like abhishek's akka..

Loved Mithun-da as Abhishek's mentor turned enemy . Madhavan plays a tundu beedi in the film.. paavam!Vidya balan has been wasted. Vidya is a very talented actress [parineeta, lage raho munnabhai].Would have been better if she had played Sujatha. I guess casting Aishwarya rai has its own advantages at the box office. The Vidya-Madhavan liplock is sad...

The screenplay is very good. Cinematography [rajiv menon] and the production design [sameer chandra] are of excellent quality. Sameer-da has recreated th e1950s ka mumbai very well. FYI,All the old Mumbai scenes have been shot in Binny mills, Madras on a set erected in 20 days.

The special effects are very well done. Watch out for Mithun-da's entry scene. That was shot in Pondicherry and the old Mumbai marine drive recreated as special effects in the background. Unless told, one cannot make out.

A R R's music is super. I wish they had picturized the Mast-Mast and the Yeh hai rathen .. songs better. Aishwarya's entry song is so typically Maniratnam... heroine dancing in the rain n 'chalakkudi' falls [Aaathadi ammadi in Idhayathai tirudade, Ohoo megam vandado in Mouna ragam, Chinna Chinna aasai in Roja].
Mallika sherawat sizzles in the opening number [box-office zindabad!]
The songs have been placed arbidly, esp the Mast-Mast song..The ek-lo song sung by Bappi-da is a real waste.

Maniratnam's casting is bang on... be it Aishwarya's brother [Arya babbar -raj babbar's son], Abhishek & Aishwarya rai's parents, the mallu IAS officer, - watch out for Pratap Pothen [yes, the same songi of radika's ex- husbands] , the Gujju Mottu bhai [Manoj Desai] and ofcourse Mithun-da.

Song picturization as I mentioned earlier is a big let down... The mast-mast song shot in Madurai in the aayirangkaal mantapam- the same place where "Kannalane" (bombay) was shot... ditto for the climax court scene. A bigger let down!

But over all, Guru is worth a watch despite a sagging second half.Abhishek's body language, dialogue delivery - it shows that he has put in his best and mani ratnam has extracted the best out of him.

Prior to the release of the film, I am told that Amitabh bachchan saw the film and arranged a special preview for the Chopras, Johars and the likes just to show them that his son can act and he should not be cast in tundu beedi roles in KANK, Dhoom 2 etc.
[info courtesy: Guru team Line producer]

Guru - An interesting life story of a village, visionary and winner!


Blogger Oracle said...

Ash akka? More like Aisu paati! I hate the woman for being everything I dont want a woman to be!

11:35 AM  
Blogger The Kid said...

"songi Pratap Pothen"

I used to think that he was one of the very few mature actors in his days.

3:04 PM  
Blogger The KnickerBlogger said...

I didn't think Vidya was wasted just way way under used. I heard her role was trimmed and Ash's expanded...but I thought Vidya's parts were the only emotionally moving parts of the film

5:48 PM  
Blogger Ajay said...

i guess tbis is the first hindi film by mani ratnam that has some good reviews...
and ur review raises my expectations of the movie...

11:30 PM  
Blogger Mahadevan said...

'Thundu beedi role' - a lovely phrase. They say thundu beedi is the greatest energiser for the starving millions.

"Aishwarya Akka" - You call a spade a spade.

'songi Pratap Pothan' - This songi was the Soul of Balu Mahendra's Moodupani.

3:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey deepz,

I forgot to add that I hate Maniratnam for not giving opening credits for his team especially the assistant directors, production managers and the line producers. In the film industry, it is a big thing to have your name in the opening credit list.
The Assistant directors and the production managers are a hard working lot and they deserve to be on par with the other H.O.Ds (costume, cinematography, art direction, music etc)

Except for the biggies, none of his assistants get to be a part of the opening credit list.That way, I appreciate the Chopras, Johars, Bhansalis and most other Bollywood producers and directors who ensure that all the assistant directors and the production team get to be a part of the opening credits.

8:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>finest actors of tamil cinema today (I am talking about Madhavan)
Neenga Madhavan rasigai mandra thalaiviya irukalam. aana ithellam konjam over.

Bubby's review is good. May be Bubby shud start a blog.

10:56 AM  
Blogger ramya said...

nijama nalla review koduthu irukeenga deeps..

songi pratha pothen has a lot of talents too thou he is a songi....

Aish's skin has its own wrinkles for her age of 33, which is obviously seen in some close up shots.

12:01 PM  
Blogger Syam said...

yenna thaan solunga...paati aanlum aisu aisu thaan :-)

1:55 PM  
Blogger Me too said...

Parava illaye! With a bye-runner friend you get a super post as well as save some 'dhuttu'/energy!!!

"thundu beedi role" - LOL!

4:12 PM  
Blogger I said...


Post request: about Republican Allentown.

- I

10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A hopeful review. Thanks. :-)

Ive always felt Abhishek was a good actor, he just needed to be harnessed well. After all 2 rights [his parents] can't make a huge wrong!

10:26 PM  
Blogger APAM NAPAT said...

Please watch it in Tamil and write the review.

1:20 AM  
Blogger Me said...

Pratap Pothen aa nan avana paakavey illaye....mebbe i slept during that part of the movie....:p

10:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is in defence of my brethren, the other anonymice

the reason, i believe, most of the anonymice are anonymous, is to not ruffle you, the author. let me refer you to your own post, where you say that you are non-confrontational.

let us say i had difference of opinions with you (and you knew me), but i did not want to be openly confrontational. what better avenue than be anonymous whenever i express my contrarian views and put my real name whenever i am in agreement, eh?

- s.b.

3:17 PM  
Blogger D LordLabak said...

oracle, care to elaborate?;-) she looks her age now or maybe older, can't deny that.
kid, is it the name or do u like him anyway?;-) j/k. I liked him as Gappi and in Sindhu bairavi.
hi brooklyn guy, emoionally moving?! people are talking only aout the liplovk though. Wonder why that is!
ajay, it has raised mine too.
Mahadevan Sir, is nenjatthai killadhey by BMSaravanan, a valid suggestion but who'll read my blog then?;-)
ramya, igazhchi pugazhchi ellam Bubby key. Thanks though.:-)
Syam, ash still has some loyal folowers like you, adhaan she is still acting.:-)
MT, aamaam bye-runner illa powerplay maari idu.:-)
Me, you went to a movie with your wife and slept thru it??!! Read the marriage manual again.:-)
Sriram, mail pandren unakku.
Rads, I've become an abhishek fan too.
Rajesh, is a dubbed movie worth watching?
Anon, meaningless banter or giving an earful with an anonymous signature still is wrong. But I agree with some of your points.

4:32 PM  
Blogger KK said...

Seems like you have written in detail about the movie. I will watch the movie and come back and read it :)

Just now read about the america maapilai post... its like a Deja Vu... I am sure if I read ur post earlier or I talked about this some where else... but very valid point :)

6:13 PM  
Blogger Arunkumar said...

hey nice review. didnt know about the binny mills set and mitun's entry scene in pondichery , cant believe its not mumbai.

i like the phrase 'thundu beedi' but i felt Madhavan was suited and apt for that character.

8:19 PM  
Blogger Me said...

...deepa en head vedichings...pratap pothen enna role la nedichan...seekaram sollunga....

10:35 PM  
Blogger The Visitor said...

Pothen has always been a good actor - Moodupani, Nenjathai Killadhe, Varumaiyin Niram sigappu, Panneer pushpangal, Azhiyaadha kolangal, Chamaram (Malayalam).

12:00 PM  
Blogger The Visitor said...

I agree that not all posts evoke in one the desire to comment.
Consider people like you. You'd have to have this as a career.;-)

Do you know of any opening? I'm interested! ;)
PS: My current comment policy - I will not comment on my blog.

3:33 AM  
Blogger ramya said...

hey nangalum guru paarthachey solla marandhutom, first day mudichitom mattera...

3:46 AM  
Blogger Ginkgo said...

well good movie..yeah..couldnt help the stream of yawns post interval..

If this really is Dhirubhai's story...I would love to read that guys biography when it comes out..if ever..:)

12:02 AM  
Blogger Harish said...

I wish I could comment something...I am yet to see the movie

12:20 AM  
Blogger Swamy Srinivasan aka Kittu Mama said...

guru songs are gr8. maya maya and hey hairathe is a blast from A.R.R

have not wateched the movie but your words are tempting me big time :)

10:55 AM  
Blogger KK said...

Okies mez back after watching the movie. Guru is a decent pic... But surely it wont become one of the best of Manirathnam. I felt the cinematography was bit let down. May be my expectations from Rajiv Menon was more. I agree with you that songs could have been taken better.
Where was Prathap Pothen in the movie???

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pratap pothan was the official who seals the market ! It's his house that Guru bhai downloads all the material. It's the guy who comes to Guru bhai's house in the rain and begs him to come retrieve all the stuff, and that he'll have the market open first thing in the morning.

I have always found Pothan a fine actor. But Mani has the reputation of adding prominence to even the smallest of characters !

Btw, nice review !

1:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice review.

I felt many scenes were familiar from Mani's older movies.

Like the scene where Guru bhai enters the officers house and leaves all the goods, similar to how kamal breaks into the contractors house and ransacks it !

The romance scene with abhishek and ash on the bed hitting and playing with each other looked very much like abhishek and rani from yuva...

there were many more too, felt so mani rathnam like !

1:25 AM  
Blogger Inder said...

remember the climax scene in manirathnam's 'kannathil muthamittal'? the action scene between srilankan govt forces and the liberation group... it was shot in pondicherry too.

nost of jism was shot there.

nowadays too many movies are shot in pondicherry :)

11:02 AM  
Blogger Me said...

thank u bystanderwatchin...:)

Deepa: cinema pathi kostin keta...immediately answer pannanom... that is equivalent to giving water to thavicha vaai.... pannadhavangala... non stopaaa dhrava movies potu taarchar pannuvaangala...anniyan chi garuda puranathula solli iruku....

12:30 PM  
Blogger D LordLabak said...

ArunKumar, after performances in kannatthil mutthamittal and Aidha ezhutthu, Madhavan definitely deserves a better role, right? but I guess its Maniratnam style too. remember how he made Vivek a dummy in Alaipayuthey?
SK, with your contacts, are you kidding me?;-) Thats a good comment policy (not commenting)ramya, first day pakkardhellam "andha kaalam" aayiducchu ippo enakku.:-(
Ginks, a biography is not there in
the market already?!
harish, good luck and write a review like a true Indian blogger.:-)
kittu, agree. the songs are good. Is the karaoke out?
KK & Me, I guess bystanderwatchin anwered yoru questions. bystander, thank you.
Casper, Maniratnam is past is prime I feel. repitition is inevitable.
Inder, true. tax-free thanni does invite a lot of cinema crew.;-)
Me, enna virus kaccheechu ba. Coming online after lonnnng.

3:36 PM  
Blogger KK said...

Thanks ByStanderWatchin :)

4:31 PM  
Blogger Me said...

...achocho...appana ok...

2:39 PM  
Blogger R R R said...

yeah..nice review abt thundu beedi roles.. i heard the songs as well.. neat simple tracks from ARR..

1:42 AM  
Blogger SKM said...

Mallu officer Pratap pothan???!! couldn't recongnize him at all.
I just liked the movie for the AB's part.Thats it.Nothing else.Songs are lousy.Ash, Vbalan, Madhavan all are waste.Nice review you have given here.

9:17 PM  
Blogger Appu said...

the observation of heroine introduction related to typical mani was something that never caught my eye :)

1:52 PM  
Blogger Malesh Ponnusamy said...

Guru was not a disappointment like Yuva. Yet the classic maniratnam innovation and touch is missing. Nowadays there is a lot of good talent in the industry and no one looks forward to a maniratnam movie like before. I think he needs to take a back seat.

Btw, one of Abhisek's better performance. Madhavan's role could be played by anybody... dont know why he took up the role.

1:46 PM  
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4:25 PM  

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