"India’s Polyester Tycoon"
What You Need To Know:
MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution with the entertaining GURU because Guru engages in some illegal and unethical business practices. The movie supports free enterprise and hard work as the path out of poverty but excuses bribery and dishonesty when business growth is blocked by government regulation.
(BB, CapCap, Pa, L, V, S, A, MM) Strong moral worldview overall with strong pro-capitalist content where man works his way up from poverty to ultra-successful businessman but some bribery and dishonesty are excused when business growth is blocked by government regulation, and man marries a woman he hardly knows in order to receive a dowry; five obscenities and no profanities; men smash windows of car; husband and wife in bed show some affection but nothing graphic and belly dancers; no nudity; some alcohol use but not excessive; no smoking or drugs; and, mention made of “God” in subtitles, but in context of Indian practice of putting a dot on someone’s forehead, Indian funeral shown with woman’s body being burned, various shady business deals and shady government practices contrasted and debated in newspapers and in court trial.
GURU is a movie from India starring Abishek Bachchan as Gurukant Desai, a poor boy who becomes India’s leading entrepreneur. As a young villager in India, he fails to pass the test in school and half out of embarrassment travels abroad to get a job. In business he turns out to be a whiz. He is offered a management position at a young age but turns it down to go home and start a business of his own.
Back in his village, he marries his friend’s sister to get a dowry that will help him get started in business. He makes his new brother-in-law partner in the business but angers him by making major decisions without even asking. He becomes a very successful polyester manufacturer by wheeling and dealing in creative ways, some of which are brilliant and some that are illegal. More than once he uses the press to combat government policies unfavorable to his business goals. Newsmen sometimes received gifts when writing favorable stories (true or not).
The brother-in-law and father-in-law, who run a newspaper, turn on him as he grows extremely successful and begin exposing every unethical and illegal deal they can. Guru’s business is closed by the government. He has a stroke and then winds up in court threatened with imprisonment.
The movie is well made, but in the tradition of Bollywood (the Indian version of Hollywood) there are music and dance interludes. The transitions back and forth from serious drama to song and dance take some getting used to by viewers outside India. Imagine Perry Mason and Della Street breaking into song and belly dancing in the middle of the pursuit of the real murderer. Also in the tradition of Bollywood, the movie runs two hours and 45 minutes and has an intermission.
MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution with GURU only because Guru does engage in some illegal and unethical business practices, including bribery. On the other hand, when one of his managers hires men to physically frighten the press, breaking windows in a newsman’s car, Guru scolds him severely. His attitude was, “Let the press say what they will; we will work on growing larger.”
Among the laws broken were government quotas on the number of American-made machines allowed in his factory. Guru imports extra spare parts and builds machines from them. The movie strongly supports free enterprise and hard work as the path out of poverty but excuses bribery and dishonesty when business growth is blocked by government regulation.