Mani Ratnam and the disclaimer of the movie, both deny to have any resemblances with any person or incidents but once you see the movie you dont believe them.
Apparently the movie is based on the first business tycoon of India, Dhirubhai Ambani, once the movie begins you can’s stop comparing.
At the dawn of the independence of India young Gurukant Desai (Abhishek Bhachhan) ,of a small town of Gujarat, wants to leave India for Turkey for which his head-master father reluctantly agrees. In Turkey Guru has job of delivery boy at Burma Shell company. Guru can smell money anywhere, and in seven years he is promoted at Sales Supervisor, but he turns down the offer and decides to return his hometown and to start his own business.
While returning he meets Sujata (Aishwarya Rai) in train , where she is betrayed by a coward man who had turned up as they had decided to run away from their home because of their affair.
When Guru mentioned his idea of own business, his father rejects the idea as he had failed in his business and wants Guru to continue the service. However Guru refuses to give up his plan but main obstacles is shortfall of money for his business. He is desperate to raise some money and for that he agrees to marry his frinend’s sister as her father is giving good dowry for he is ashamed of his daughter, who turns out to be Sujata.
Eventually, Guru along with his wife and brother-in-law leave for Mumbai. Where he learns that to trade in cloth business he is required to have a letter of recommendation from ,Farzan Contractor(?) the president of the association. Guru after bitter experiences finds that the president of the association have monopoly over whom to allow to do business and whom to not. In his anger he meets with Manikdas Gupta(Mithun Chakarborthy), who is editor/owner of a newspaper and strong believer of honesty and integrity, prints the story of Guru and soon Guru is in business and he becomes mentor of Guru.
Guru , who don’t like to listen no, progress at rapid speed by hook or crook, which Contractors find threatening to their monopoly , and try to buy him out. Furious at that, Guru starts printing all kind of allegation against Contractor in the newspaper of Manikant , in the long absence of Manikant.
When Manikant returns and finds the improper means used by Guru against his rivals, he abandons him and asks to a young journalists Shyam Saxena (R. Madhvan) if he can expose Guru. Shyam starts his war against Guru by finding information of his illegal business activities, and sometime by creating false stories to print.
Meanwhile, Guru has made Shakti Corporation as one of the leading company with the supports of thousands of share holders and distributing the profits lavishly between them. One of the director of Shakti Corporation reveals , while giving interview to Shyam, that the company has imported factory machinery without permission and without paying custom and excise etc.
As soon as the news is public, the government appoint commission against Guru for all the offences from smuggling illegal machinery to raising his compny’s share using improper means.
He roars before the commission in the public hearing that he has not done anything illegal. What he wanted to do a business where he is good at and to do business why had to either beg or to kick to open the door of business and he did both when necessary begged or kicked. Eventually Guru is declared guilty only on two counts out of twenty six and ordered for some hefty penalty.
First thing first, the plot is very exciting, a story of rags to riches based on real time industrialist. Now see similarities between the character of the reel and real. Headmaster father, service as petrol delivery boy, at Burma Shell Company, shrewed business sense, business in clothes, eventually becomes the polyester prince, pioneer in taking support from share holders for capital, large share holder base , huge annual share holder meetings, attack of paralysis and have a good look at the logo of Shakti Corporation.
Mani Ratnam has taken pain with shooting periodical scenes and the movie is gripping. Abhishek is able carry the movie on his shoulder and Aishwarya Rai was as ever, stunning and stunned and has done decent role as supporting wife
Moral of the movie , as some says, is to manipulate everything for one’s own success. Ofcourse, we can argue out either way but looking to the other movies I am not as much concerned with what moral the movie conveys. But the movie could be more intensified by portraying struggles and ups and downs of the character.
Music number is not at par with the reputation of Raheman, only number I can hum is Barso re megha .. but overall the songs do not add much spice in the story rather distract the story.
Well, I enjoyed the movie but it , DEFINITELY , could have been better. It is one-time-see and you should see the movie to form your opinions.
Interesting article on Dhirubhai from Time