This Frame To Frame Breakdown Of Mani Ratnam’s Directorial Brilliance “GURU” Is Just Epic!


Contributed by Vamshi Gajendra

Birth of GURU:

Every story has an initiating point…Real Guru behind the reel Guru…Talking about the origin of the thought “ I was thinking about the way we are emerging as a nation. When I was in school, Lal Bahadur Shastri had said that if every individual abstained from eating one meal a week- Tuesday nights, there would be that much more food available for the poor. This was the India I grew up in”. There is a transition period for India from the time it was set free to the time it set up its own stature in the world as an emerging nation. Mani Ratnam, being a direct witness of that changeover in his times, can be considered as one of the first reasons to develop a script like GURU. This flavour comes up in the life of Great Industrialist Dhirubhai Ambani. His life is a perfect example that has witnessed grand changeover India in various forms. Mani Ratnam adds up “Unless I feel that it is something new, an area I haven’t been before, something that is happening in India in front of me, a transition that I can capture, it doesn’t excite me. I couldn’t have done the film unless I had this peg of a newspaperman (Mithun Chakraborty) who is old school and someone who believes in right and wrong. It is this newspaperman who helps me tell the story, though I think it is subtle in the film..”

Frames Of GURU:

Argument with father:

There are two scenes in the story where Guru has to disobey his father to follow his own dreams. In both the scenes we can observe the different shaped geometrical representations in the background .. which symbolise the different opinions of father and son.


First Car:

Innocence and amusement in the eyes of Aishwarya Rai.


The locomotive entering between them as a barrier just alike the misunderstanding.


Bhoomi Pooja:



This scene has a very aesthetic appearance which comes when GURU does Bhoomi pooja to lay his first factory. This is his first huge step. It can be simply shown as plans turning out into buildings , but Mani Ratnam chose to show it in a very sensible way and more realistic. The rain in this scene is like nature showering its blessings on Guru.


The Rise Of GURU:




Grown Up GURU & Sujatha:

Love grows with age.


Blank Cheque Scene:



This 3 minute sequence in the story has got all the highs in it, Guru being offered a blank cheque to give up all .. the subtle way he reacts to it but roars in rain along with his wife.. to drag his contractor on to road. The background score to this scene gives goosebumps.



To fight with Guru.. you have to be Guru!


Father Of Rich India:


The casual discussion in this scene symbolizes the fact that Guru is the father of 25,000 people(share holders) – A clever and comic way of depicting a fact.

Time Swings In The Swing

The swing they are on .. is also a story telling element. It deals with recollecting from where they started from.. This is one of the most alarming scenes in the movie. Guru gets paralysed.


Recovery Of GURU:

This scene – where Guru’s children sing a song standing beside Guru – who has been paralysed is inspired by Mani Ratnam’s from real life. A few months before the film’s shooting began, Charu Hassan , Mani Ratnam’s father-in- law was injured severely in an accident in Paris. Suhasini has to go there to take care of him, who was injured so badly that he cannot even remember his past life and people in it. It is then Suhasini garu began to sit beside him and sing Carnatic songs to which they were grew up listening to. It was first music that brought him back. Being inspired from that.. this script has been plotted.


Court Scene:

This last 30 minute scene revolves around the investigation for the allegations faced by Guru. Sujata becomes his voice as he is paralysed. This depicts the support system with in their relationship.

The convincing way Guru explains his allegations with reasonable questions he poses to the jury team. With 5 minutes of time to speak .. he completes everything within 4:30 minutes ..and claims 30 seconds is his profit .. same as in the business he’s doing. That’s an interesting and clever way of convincing he’s not guilty.

And he’s not the one who is scared to get punished, after all he’s a courageous dreamer..

And his dream continues:


GURU Bhai Vs Dhiru Bhai:

The film is a loose interpretation on Dhirubhai Ambani’s life with some fiction added to it.
There are few similarities that can be drawn:
1. Guru bhai / Dhiru bhai
2. Story takes lead from a village in Gujarat , which is the home state of MR.Dhirubhai


Uniqueness Of GURU:

1. GURU was the first Indian film to be premiered at Toronto, North America.
2. GURU is the second Biopic in Mani Ratnam’s filmography.
3. GURU was the only film which held its shooting overseas (TURKEY) and that too because the story demanded it.
4. GURU character is dubbed by actor Suriya in Tamil.
5. Additional dialogues were penned by Anurag Kashyap.

Thank you Mani Ratnam garu for giving us a movie that instills inspiration in the mind of every businessman and aspiring entrepreneur.


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