Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Guru



Again another awesome malayalam movie. Only in kerala will they make a movie like this and release as a main stream commercial movie.This surrealistic movie is one of a kind movie which takes u on a fantasy trip and uses metaphors to convey a message.

------------story-------
The movie is the story of Reghuraman, son of a hindu priest living in a village. This peaceful village changes after a communal violence started by politicians.Reghuraman joins the hindu gangs and takes part in the violence. A hindu guru in that area, gives shelter to all the muslim people affect by the violence.Reghuraman who goes there to kill them goes though a great experience. He gets transported to a land where every child is born blind. Among the blind people he sees another story unfolding an age old story of a poor singer being loved by the princess .Reghuraman does his part to solve the problem. His experience at that place totally changes him .what happens to him and the peoples of the fantasy land is the rest of the movies.
-----------

This movie does a story inside a story technique with reghuraman getting involved in a different story happening at the fantasy land. The Fantasy land story as such is interesting. But that story is not just for entertainment, metaphors are used in the story for the audience to see the relation between that story and the main one.

The usage of fantasy world and metaphors to make people understand a contemporary problem is something that i have never come across in any other mainstream indian movie. The movie is not a perfect one, it has its mistakes, but they are minor blemishes on the bigger canvas in which rajiv anchal has painted a beautiful movie.

Rajiv anchal the director has done a wonderful movie.At the end of the movie he finishes the story of the fantasy land and beautifully ties it to the original story leading to a perfect ending.So At the end, the message is crystal clear.You don't need pages and pages of dialoges to get across the point.You will just understand it.



Credits:
A decent performance by mohanlal.The guys responsible for making the fantasy world happen should be mentioned here.

Art Director:Muthuraj

Make-up: Pattama, Rasjeed



Costume:Satheesan,the costumes are supposedly resembling the Sumer and Egyptian costumes, exported from Gujarat centuries ago.All the 3 got the kerala state award for 1997.Kunnukuzhi Antony the guy who provided props for this movie says that guru was the most challanging movie of all that he has done.



The director of this movie Rajiv anchal has moved to US and is making english movies now.


Music:

illayaraja

If you are into Western classical music, you are in for a treat in this movie.This is one of the very best of illayaraja's work. Recorded mainly in hungary, the music of this movie is outstanding. This is a favorite of lot of people who are interested in orchestration, compositions and BGM's of the maestro.

The fantasy world where mohanlal gets transported is a completely imaginary one and the people there use weird musical instruments.This gave lot of scope for the music director to do some creative work and Illayaraja who loves challenges has done exactly that.Listen to the music, the sound are kind of unheard or rarely used in indian film music.

Illayaraja is again another colossal talent who got struck within the boundaries of regional cinema. This veteran Music director who has scored around 1000 movies, is peerless in indian film music when it comes to western classical style compositions and orchestration. Raja who loves to do western classical composition with indian touch has taken the music of this movie to a different level.

Raaja with richard king

If you want to know more about how to understand his compositions and how to appreciate his music, check out the article given below. This is written for an old illayra raja song called 'etho mogam', there is a link to the song above the article. Follow the song with the explanation to understand that composition.

Etho mogam article here

Coming back to guru.All the songs in this movie are awesome, I love the Aruna Kirana Deebam for its exotic music, the way he decorates the whole song with vocal interludes, the way he slowly sets you up for that grand opening taking you higher by creating tension in the vocals/music and bringing you down by resolving the tension with softer music and keeps doing it all over again through out the song, taking you on a fantasy ride.

Listen to the all the songs here here.The quality of songs in musicindia is not that good.This is just half the experience, Listen to it on the original CD and the experience will be very different.For the time being listen to it in earphones with high volume so that u can pick the various instruments playing in the background.

Awards & Recognitions:
1997 was the year of lohithida's boothakanadi and Jayaraaj's Kaliyattam.The former winning the best film at the state and the later winning the nationals.The only recognition that came to guru was the fact that it was the official indian nomination for the oscar in 1997.Supposedly the only malayalam movie to get selected for oscar.

Mohanlal and rajiv anchal might not have deserved any awards but i feel illayaraja deserved it for this movie , but he was pathetically denied the Best music director award at the nationals and as well as at the state.

Links:
Rajiv anchal's interview on guru
Rajiv anchal moves ot US
illayaraaja official website
Illayaraja

Comments:
Very good review and sharing of information. Btw, being a north Indian, I have always lived on the hindi film music and ghazals which I need more than air at times. But unfortunately the magic of Illayaraja only means the sweet melodies of 'Sadma' to me. Can you tell me how I can acquire some of his mp3s and appreciate his music? I can't listen to music online :(

-- Akshaya
 
braveheart,
Raja has a big fan base and some die hard fans.There are lots and lots of forums for his songs...u just have to know the good songs.think u can try coolgoose or something for mp3's.

you can also buy his musical compositions on the net.
1.How to name it(All violin)
2.Nothing but wind(Flute with hari prasad chaurasia)
3.India 24 hrs

and his latest
thiruvasagam A oratorio.
http://www.tis-usa.com/
 
akshaya,
i will write an detailed article on him later.check out these old songs and bgm's for now audio quality is not that great.All these songs came in early 80's, check the intelligent use of guitars,violins and beautiful beautiful vocal chorus with counterpoints.

1)http://www.dhool.com/sotd2/348.html

2)http://www.dhool.com/sotd2/189.html

3)http://www.dhool.com/sotd2/239.html

4)http://www.dhool.com/sotd2/117.html

BGM's
http://www.dhool.com/sotd2/69.html

http://www.dhool.com/sotd2/102.html

http://www.dhool.com/sotd2/120.html
 
Awesome..AWESOME!!! For a long time I thought, I was one of the lone voices for this particular IR composition. I have mentioned Guru almost every single time that i have mentioned Ilayaraja on my blog and I am thankful that you have highlighted not just the movie, but the soundtrack as well. I am no advocate of piracy, at least not publicly, but Ilayaraja's is one case where I think piracy would enable much more people to listen to him and add to his business. Thank you once more for taking the effort to bring Guru out into the open!
 
Anti,
You are welcome.Guru is definetly one of THE best works of the maestro.Yes i also wish he releases CD's of his BGM's.
 
Good review, but the photo is not of Rajeev Anchal. It is of Thampy Anthony, who acted in the former's movie BEYOND THE SOUL.
 
SMA,
thanxs for the info.will correct that.
 
yeah he released the BGMS as the music messaiah
 
I think Guru is definetly one of the best works of the maestro. I love this story and i love music. thanxs for the info.

Thanks
onno david
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Agree on the remark on the music of Guru. I cannot understand malayalam. But Ilayaraja's score (both background music and songs) are ethereal in this film. The movie in itself is awesome.

Liked the post. Thanks :)
 
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