Saturday, February 03, 2007

Where there is a will…

I don't want to walk... I want to run!
I saw Guru recently. I think it was the first movie since Iqbal that I saw in a theatre. Its not that I don’t watch movies in halls, but just that my current company does not.

I thought it was about 40 minutes too long, the performances were a bit contrived- especially AR (more about that later), and Junior sounded just like papa in the closing soliloquy. Somehow the songs didn’t feel like Rehman (well if you ask me songs have no place in cinema- probably only background score). The sub-plot of a multiple sclerotic Vidya Balan, was a pathetic attempt at portraying an investigative journalist’s conscience. However, I still liked the movie.

The point is that with a subject line as powerful as this it is very difficult to not deliver a hit. Junior does a just about OK job, and his fiancée is plastic as ever. The highlights of the movie for me were the return to mainstream by Mithun-da in the role of Ramnath Goenka, the superb and justifiably irritating portrayal of S. Gurumurthy by Madhavan- I have noticed that he is particularly good at the role of a sometimes chocolate, sometimes irascible youngster- mostly a different breed of the angry young man. There were familiar references to political and business scions, the Bombay Club and so on… things we have only heard of so far.

I found the closing sequence slightly Ayn Rand-ish. It did remind me of the closing courtroom scene in Fountainhead, or the money monologue of Atlas Shrugged. I thought the script was particularly strong in that aspect. In ideology it was truly objectivist- in the way he defends himself by saying he did nothing wrong if all he did was meet the demand for an absolutely legit ptoduct.

However, I think the greatest take-away from the movie is that it enlightens the youth of today to our murky industrial past. How the so-called pioneers of Indian industry contributed to ensure monopoly, prices were manipulated, and the demand supply curves were completely out of whack. I mean where else in the world does one face a two-year waiting period to buy a two-wheeler. But it also shows that how a person who chooses to not to accept the word “No”, can succeed (and how) even in a world like that. That one is not always required to fight the system, but to go with the tide and make the best of it. That there nothing succeeds like success, and that in the endgame, the means are mostly meaningless. "Agar ek din mein kanoon ban sakta hai toh ek din mein badal bhi toh sakta hai"

Further, it is a testimony those who dare to dream, think big, and spare no efforts to make it happen. It is proof that even when socio-political climate was not ideal, those who took on the world, did manage to make it happen. And how!!!
Another important lesson from the movie is that this world is only as difficult as the people who make it up. Everyone has a soft spot, you just have to know where it hurts them the most. Whether it is a principled bureaucrat, or a spoilt scion of the country's leading industrial house. To have that killer instinct is very important.

It sometimes makes me sad that our film industry is so immature that it still offers roles of such infinite possibilities to a person such as Aishwarya Rai. Her performance, like the others before, is simply pathetic. Truly, in this world there is no limit to where looks can take you…
I am told women find Junior very hot, but I am sure even they could not have tolerated the absolutely gross close-ups in the hospital. I mean this guy needs a face job, and fast if he insists on giving these shots.
Final Verdict: It could've been a much better movie, but when your competition is the cheesy Salaam-e-Ishq, or whatever, it is hard to remain inspired.

"Why walk, when you can run???" Iacocca.


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dazedandconfused said...

Didn't like the movie at all...I expected a lot more from a Mani Ratnam movie. But yes, Mithun Da and Madhavan were the only bright spots.