Monday, October 22, 2007

My Very First Movie Review

Lately Mr. Smith and I watched an Indian film called "Guru". This film was released early this year and was a big hit. The fact that it stars Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai had a lot to do with the success, I am sure. They are India's version of Bruce and Demi or Brad and Jennifer, except that they are still together. We were very excited to see this film because we had heard such good things about it.

It starts out well. A young ambitious man, Gurukant Desai, works hard, looks for opportunities and begins to succeed. When he tries to break into the world of big business he finds that corruption has closed all the doors for the average man. Through determination and his wits he is able to break through. Unfortunately, to increase his success he eventually becomes just as corrupt as the men he fought at the beginning. Bribes, false financial documents and all kinds of illegal business practices become his new way of life.

Finally he is brought up on charges and I thought, "Aha! Here is where he regrets what he has become and returns to his honest ways." No such luck. Instead he is portrayed, once again, being unfairly targeted by the establishment. He even compares himself to "another man that was called a criminal" Mahatma Gandhi. That's right. Wouldn't all those former CEO's in the US who served time for many of these same crimes be glad to know that they are actually heroic figures? That they were only practicing that long celebrated tradition of Civil Disobedience?

Don't get me wrong, I know not all movies portray actual good guys as "the good guys". I love a good heist film. I like revenge films. I even like it when a hero is shown to be a flawed human being, as long as what he/she did to become a hero was actually heroic. But this film starts out like It's a Wonderful Life, and ends with George Bailey beating Mr. Potter by becoming Mr. Potter. Not exactly the triumphant, feel good ending it's presented as.

The artistic quailties of the film are good and the characters are interesting, unfortunately the disappointing story line ruins it for me. I guess the film in my first film review gets one out of five stars.


suburbancorrespondent said...

Oh,no - that is disappointing! So, is the movie in English? Or with subtitles?

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Smith,

I'm non-Indian and love this movie. I like that Guru was a grey character and did not turn good at the end. He instead admitted that he did whatever he needed to do to succeed - bribery, kicking doors that were closed to him, etc. since he came from a lower class.

Any other outcome would have been to contrived.

Rachel said...

I think that a movie with a story line like this, is so open to differing opinions. I like movies where the person is good regardless of where it gets him/her. (i.e. the constant gardener)
I personally could never have respect for a character that succeeds by dishonest means. I probably wouldn't like the movie, as well. I watch movies for escapism, to a certain degree. Again, I say, it is a matter of opinion.
I like the movie review idea.

Hunnydu72 said...

Did they bust out into musical numbers? That's the only reason I don't check out Bollywood flicks is because they bust out into song. Movie in the theater, song on the radio--it messes me up to have it any other way.

Mrs. Smith said...

Suburbancorrespondent - The version I saw was in Hindi with English subtitles.
Anonymous - I agree that he was a very interesting character, and it is a good movie as far as quality goes. His attitude and argument during his trial seemed contrived to me. Even if he didn't apologize for what he had done, I would have liked some kind of acknowledgement that he had changed his moral code to succeed. Instead he was portrayed as a victim who was being unfairly prosecuted, a hero. But what do I know? I hated Titanic and can repeat every line of Adventures In Babysitting (1987)!
Rachel - Escapism. I am a firm believer in it! Who needs reality in their entertainment?
Hunnydu - Three songs I think. They weren't bad. The last one seemed to interrupt the story a bit, but it is important the their success here.

Lauren said...

Adventures In Babysitting. Classic.