Mani Ratnam's Guru and more

Know more on the biggest and much awaited opening film of 2007! Learn bits from Guru…

67 Capturing the moment

Cinematographer Rajiv Menon says, “I think this is the first time Mani has shot a film abroad. This is a great film on many counts. For Abhishek, it’s probably a landmark film. I think he has done his job well. Abhishek has a childlike enthusiasm and goofiness on the sets, but when it comes to giving a shot he is an instinctive and attentive actor. We have captured that joie de vivre of Guru bhai really well, yet making him vulnerable at certain points. The grey side to Guru — his hunger to achieve success, the guilt that he carries — these things have come out very well.” For Abhishek, this is going to be his greatest performance till date.

The mark of a pro

During a shoot in Kerala’s waterfalls, Mani Ratnam was in a dilemma because he had shot in the same location earlier. It was a challenge for him to shoot that place in such a fashion that it looked novel to the audience. He did so and was happy with the result.
Golden period
Mani Ratnam has a thing for shooting in what he calls the magic hour, the early morning light. All the stars had to wake up by 4 am to make it for the 6 am ‘magic hour’ shoot.

Lateral thinking

On his magical pairing with A R Rahman, Mani Ratnam says, “Rahman and I work well together because I think both of us are willing to experiment, both of us not scared to fall down. In Guru, we have tried to do something different from what we have done before. Rahman is willing to think laterally, it does not have to be in the same grain as the film. It can go, it can be a counter-point and he is very good at that. We both know we can take drastic steps and may get something different. The fact that you want something different is what makes you get something different.”

Guruspeak

Says Abhishek Bachchan, “As an actor, one can’t find a more interesting and exciting script than this. It’s almost like a biopic. Initially, I was scared because it was going to be challenging. When Mani sir comes to you, he means business. He will not give you an easy film. And once you are on the sets, he will really make your role tougher by the demands he has in terms of performance.”

Set theory

Guru is about India in the 1960s and 1970s, with a special thrust on Bombay of those times and its mill culture. Set Designer Samir Chanda recreated the mill compounds of Bombay in Chennai and that’s where Abhishek Bachchan has shot the mill and labour union scenes.

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