Guru is a 2007 Indian film co-written and directed by Mani Ratnam. It stars Abhishek Bachchan, Mithun Chakraborty, Aishwarya Rai, R. Madhavan, Vidya Balan in the leading roles. The movie also has Mallika Sherawat in a guest appearance. The score and soundtrack for the film is composed by A. R. Rahman. Similarities between Gurukant and India businessman Dhirubhai Ambani have led to speculation that Guru is based on his life. The movie was also dubbed in Tamil as Guru and in Telugu as Gurukanth. The film was released on 12 January 2007, and premièred at the Elgin Theatre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, making it the first Indian film to have a mainstream international premiere in Canada.
In a small village of Idar in Sabarkantha District North Gujarat, a young man dreams of making it big some day. His father [Rajendra Gupta], the headmaster of the village school, tells him that dreams never come true. Gurukant Desai [Abhishek Bachchan] decides to go to Turkey and enters the spice trade and then later is promoted but refuses the job because he wants to work for himself and not another man.
Manik Dasgupta a.k.a. Nanaji [Mithun Chakraborty], who publishes a newspaper Swatantra, treats Guru as his son. Guru likewise looks to him as a father figure who gives him support during his early struggling days in Bombay. He also develops a strong friendship with his granddaughter, Meenu [Vidya Balan]. Meenu develops multiple sclerosis as she grows up, and begins using a wheelchair later on in the film.
As Gurukant Desais business grows into one of the largest in India, he ruthlessly pursues success. He smuggles in parts for his polyester mills, illegally creates goods, and manipulates stocks to make a higher profit. But when Manik Dasgupta learns that Gurus means of success are not always honest, he, along with a reporter of his newspaper, Shyam [Madhavan], decide to expose Gurus increasingly corrupt ways.
The stress of his battle with the newspaper causes Guru to have a stroke, and he is paralyzed on his right side. Meanwhile, Meenu [Vidya Balan], who is now married to Shyam, is slowly weakening from her illness, and eventually dies. In the end, Guru is brought before a government inquiry into his unethical actions, but he persuades the panel to clear him of most of the charges. He is charged with less allegations and is allowed to return to his company, and the film ends with Guru continuing to dream of the future, and even greater success.
Guru was written and directed by Mani Ratnam, while Vijay Krishna Acharya wrote the Hindi dialogues. Shooting for the film took place in Mumbai, Turkey, Badami and Melkote [both in Karnataka], as well as in Chennai, Pollachi, Madurai, Chettinad region Tamil Nadu, and Athirapilly in Kerala. Much of the film was shot on the Express Estates, the former home of The New Indian Express and Dinamani. During one musical number, Aishwarya Rai fell from a bicycle and received bruises on her hands and feet. Filming had to be suspended for a few hours while she received first aid and the number was cut from the film and eventually replaced with "Barso Re". The music is composed by A. R. Rahman, with lyrics by Gulzar. Cinematography for the film is handled by Rajiv Menon. Several scenes were deleted from the final theatrical version, including a scene in which Sujata first gives birth to a stillborn child and a scene in which Guru becomes angry with Sujata for visiting Manik Dasgupta.
Guru has others involved in the production as a film that is reflective of a mans desire for ambition and success, and how times have changed from the period immediately after the countrys independence to the present. Some reports have speculated that this film is a biopic of, one of Indias biggest industrial tycoons, Dhirubhai Ambani. Like Guru, Ambani also had roots in Gujarat as the son of a schoolteacher, went abroad to work for the gas company Shell, and returned to India to import polyester. Ratnam has described Guru as inspired by stories both past and present.
Guru opened well upon release, gaining momentum as the days went by. In the United States, Guru, opening on a limited release, registered very good collections in its opening weekend, fetching 3 crores during this period, with a very high screen average. By its seventh week, the film has netted 41.65 crores in India, collecting 13 crores in the U.S. and the U.K.. As of 23 February 2007 Guru, released 12 January has grossed approximately Rs.80 crores across the world.
*Winner - Best Art Direction - Samir Chanda
*Winner - Best Background Score - A. R. Rahman
*Winner - Best Music - A. R. Rahman
*Winner - Best Choreography - Saroj Khan for "Barso Re"
*Winner - Best Playback Singer [Female] - Shreya Ghoshal for "Barso Re"
*Nominated - Best Film - Mani Ratnam
*Nominated - Best Director - Mani Ratnam
*Nominated - Best Actor - Abhishek Bachchan
*Nominated - Best Actress - Aishwarya Rai
*Nominated - Best Supporting Actor - Mithun Chakraborty
*Nominated - Best Lyrics - Gulzar for "Tere Bina"
*Nominated - Best Playback Singer [Male] - A. R. Rahman
Guru has generally received good reviews. The New York Times said of the film "You might think it would be difficult to fashion an entertaining account of the life of a polyester manufacturer, even a fictitious one. But the Tamil director Mani Ratnam, known for intelligent political dramas, has done so with "Guru," an epic paean to can-do spirit and Mumbai capitalism." The New York Post gave it three out of four stars, and the Los Angeles Weekly called it the best Hindi film since Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India. Richard Corliss of TIME Magazine compared the film to Frank Capras Its a Wonderful Life and said that one of the main highlights of the film was its climax. He further noted "For movies to celebrate an entrepreneur is rare..." Taran Adarsh of IndiaFM.com claimed in his review that "Guru ranks as one of Mani Ratnams finest efforts and one of the best to come out of Hindi cinema," but also claimed there were "under developed characterisations of Shyam Saxena and Meenu", played by R. Madhavan and Vidya Balan respectively. Praising both the actors for their performances in the film, he added "Madhavans role could have been stronger and Vidya Balan also suffers due to a weak characterisation", something Raja Sen of Rediff.com agreed with. Sen also said that "the point in the end when Gurukant Desai vociferously likens himself and his fight for more to Mahatma Gandhis freedom struggle was ridiculous." Khalid Mohammad questioned what he viewed as the message at the end, asking "as long as public welfare is on the agenda, it doesn''t matter if you use bribes and cross legal limits?." Abhishek Bachchan received almost unanimous praise for his performance while Aishwarya Rai also garnered good feedback.
Source : Guru Wiki Page