I am disappointed with Mani Ratnam. Guru turns out to be a lackluster, slow-paced and very predictive movie. The latter part of the movie turns slow and quite boring. The songs were not spectacular either.
But that’s not why I didn’t like the movie. I didn’t like the movie for the message it conveys- Do whatever it takes to succeed, even if it is the corrupt or illegal means. The message is dangerous and it epitomizes the attitudes of the new generation of India- inimical to itself. When a poll was conducted if the Indian youth would resort to the methods employed by a scandalous stockbroker to earn the ‘success’, majority of those who polled said a resounding ‘yes’. When I saw that result in a magazine few years ago, I couldn’t believe it. India has changed. It has changed for good in many ways. And it has changed for the worse in many ways. The Indian youth has wrong role models and that’s not a good development.
While I expected the protagonist to be punished for his illegal practices, the movie condones, accepts and legitimizes those actions. Such condoning, then accepting and then legitimizing all pervading corrupt practices leads to institutionalizing them forever. The present India needs to moves away from doing that- we need to move away from corruption that seems to touch every Indian soul. We need to say what is right and follow it, however hard that path may be. We need to know what is wrong and discard it, however hard that path may be.
Babudom, corruption, untouchability, casteism, nepotism, dynastic politics, etc, are all bad things of India. Legitimizing those practices perpetuates them. This movie does the same.
Should judiciary be influenced by public opinion? I think NOT. In this movie, the judiciary falls for the applause and approval of the corrupt protagonist and basically gives him a clean chit. I came out of the movie with a heavy feeling. What has become of us? Why are we rationalizing and explaining away the wrong acts as if we are victims of this system? What Guru Bhai does is plain wrong. Just because the system is wrong, we cannot use subversive tactics to undermine it and capitalize on it, to reap rewards from it.
Just because the tax system in India is fallible, should we stop paying taxes or evade taxes using ‘smart’ techniques? Should we disobey traffic laws just because they are not perfect? Our corporate laws are not perfect. I face these imperfections everyday in my life. We all get ample opportunities to easily subvert the system, go around it, to basically reap the bounties. That’s not right. We need examples of heroes who have done it right in spite of the flawed system. Not the examples of those who have ‘smartly’ outmaneuvered it.