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Guru (2007) Movie review
Mani Ratnam's Guru is beyond words; something to be experienced, not described. It begins with Abhishek Bachchan looking at an empty stadium, and looking back at his roots, how it all began...
Son of a school headmaster, Guru Kanth Desai fails in his high school examination, and goes abroad to work with Shell Oil, selling their motor oil. Right from the beginning, he shows his sharp sense of observation and ability to make a fast buck. On completing seven years in Shell, he is promoted, but quits to come back to India and make money in business.
(Sujatha) Aishwarya Rai is a village girl, who is jilted by her lover and runs away from her home. In the train, (made exactly like a train of the 1950's), she falls on Guru; Guru falls for her, and leaves the train at his destination. Her younger brother is Guru's friend.
On returning to his hometown, his friends and relatives are overjoyed to see him. His father (who had failed in business before becoming a teacher), is disappointed that Guru gave up his lucrative job to enter the risky world of business. Guru is willing to marry his friend's elder sister (Aishwarya Rai), take his friend as an equal business partner, and set up business. They marry, and the three of them leave for the city, where they try to enter the world of yarn trading. But the traders have a closed membership, and only members may trade. Only a textile baron named Contractor may approve of new members.
Guru tries to meet him, is unable to meet him at his office for six weeks, and finally meets him at a golf course. Contractor challenges him to drop the golf ball in the hole in one attempt; if Guru succeeds, he will get the membership letter. Guru displays his lateral thinking, his talent for finding an unconventional solution by bypassing the rules; he lifts the balls, carries it to the hole, and drops it in. Contractor promises to issue the said letter, but fails to do so.
Frustrated and enraged, he looks for a solution and godfather. He finds his godfather in Mithun Chakraborthy, the aging owner of a newspaper, The Independent. The Independent carries articles how some persons are placing entry barriers to prevent newcomers poaching into their highly lucrative business activities. The Yarn Merchants' Association is forced to give membership to Guru, but the trading house is sealed and the activity declared illegal because it falls under the category of bets and wagers (satta trading). All the yarn merchants are now after his blood; but he is not defeated.
Guru transports his bundles of yarn to the residence of the IAS officer (who declared the activity illegal) and dumps all the yarn there, telling the officer that since he is no longer allowed to conduct his legal business activity, he is dumping the goods at the officer of the IAS officer. Late that night, the same officer comes searching for Guru in pouring rain, and agrees to rescind his order. Next day, Guru is declared the messiah of the Traders' Association. Guru starts bringing cheaper yarn from his hometown, trading in it, and making a tidy profit. But he is still not satisfied; he decides to start trading in a new yarn called polyester, seeing it as the yarn of the future. His own partner is against the change in activity, but Guru adamantly forges ahead. He expands his business activity using money taken from friends and business associates, giving them a share of the profits.
Next, he decides that mere trading in polyester is not enough; he must needs manufacture the same. His partner disagrees and leaves. While leaving, he reveals to his sister that Guru married her only for the dowry she brought, and which was the initial capital by which the business was started. She leaves in a huff. Guru is devastated, and brings her back.
They start their polyester factory, and after that