Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai
Actor: Abhishek Bachchan; Aishwarya Rai
Director: Mani Ratnam
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Jennifer Hopfinger | Chicago, IL, USA | 01/11/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"While actor Abhishek Bachchan might seem like a natural to play romantic heroes, given his looks--and he's usually cast in that type of role--he does his best work when playing unconventional, even unlikeable, leads--for example, his exceptional portrayal of a thug in 'Yuva' (2004). His turn in 'Guru' as a business tycoon with slippery morals is likewise one of his finest performances. The film chronicles the rags-to-riches rise of his character, Gurukant Desai, a poor Gujarti boy who goes first to Istanbul and then to Mumbai to make his fortune selling textiles. He's not book-smart, but he's a savvy hustler, and he gets ahead the only way a common man can--by bending the rules. His arrogance and ambition take him far, and he eventually becomes the king of a polyester manufacturing empire.
'Guru' also marks Bachchan's first successful pairing with actress Aishwarya Rai, whom he starred opposite in such weak films as 'Dhaai Akshar Prem Ki' (2000), 'Kuch Naa Kaho' (2003), and 'Umrao Jaan' (2006). Perhaps it's no coincidence that this was also the first time the two worked together while dating in real-life. (They reportedly became romantically involved during shooting. The couple married four months after the film's release.)
Rai is the bigger star of the two, but Bachchan outshines her in 'Guru'--only slightly though. Despite Rai's extraordinary beauty, she manages to pull off playing an ordinary woman whom no one wants to marry (!). Her character, Sujata, is a disgrace because she tried to elope with a man who stood her up. At the beginning of Guru's quest for success, he offers to marry her as a favor to her brother, who is Guru's friend and future business partner, but unbeknownst to Sujata, Guru really only wants her dowry for startup capital. The newlyweds soon realize they're kindred spirits: Sujata is as willful and defiant as Guru, and they both want more out of life than what they grew up having. Their shared dreams become the basis of their budding love.
But Guru's challenges at the bottom are more interesting than his problems at the top, and the energy, hopefulness, and heroism of the first half fizzles in the second. In addition, the plot becomes somewhat confusing because of underdeveloped characters. Manik (Mithun Chakraborty), a newspaper editor who championed Guru when he was an underdog, turns on him with little explanation. Shyam (R. Madhavan), a reporter who's obsessed with exposing Guru as a fraud, is grossly unethical himself. Manik's granddaughter Meenu (Vidya Balan), who becomes involved with Shyam, doesn't serve any purpose in the story. Finally, the film raises interesting questions about business ethics in the beginning, but fails to reach any satisfying conclusions by the end. Still, 'Guru' succeeds modestly as an epic about a challenging subject--a textile entrepreneur--and gets points for originality.
- The Bollywood Ticket: The American guide to Indian movies (Subscribe: The Bollywood Ticket)"