Movie Review: Guru
Venkatesh, Ritika Singh, Mumtaz Sorcar, Nassar, Tanikella Bharani and Others
Director - Sudha Kongara
Producer - S. Sashikanth
Banner - Y Not Studios
Music - Santosh Narayanan
Guru is the remake of Irudi Suttru starring Madhavan in the lead role. The film was a hit in Tamil and its Hindi version was liked by the critics. Venkatesh liked the script very much that he decided to remake it in Telugu. Guru is a faithful remake of the original without any notable changes. Venkatesh's towering performance as the determined coach is a treat to watch.
What is it about?
Aditya (Venkatesh) is a talented but failed boxer due to the politics in Boxing Federation of India. He is sent to train women boxers in Vizag and he spots talent in a slum girl named Ramudu (Ritika) who sells vegetables for a living. Aditya lures her into boxing by paying her salary. Ramudu is a natural talent but equally arrogant and stubborn. It takes a lot of time for Aditya to convince Ritika and make her a boxing champion. It the story of a tough coach and a stubborn student with many twists and turns.
Venkatesh breathes life into the role of a grumpy coach with unmistakable charm. He is at his very best as the aged coach, who does anything for the sake of the sport he loves. He is so perfect in the character that it is hard to imagine any other actor as Aditya. The extremely impressive newbie Ritika Singh steals the show with a knockout performance. This is the third time that she is cast in the same character, but Ritika shows no signs of disinterest and is as good as in the original. Mumtaz Sorcar as Ritika's sister has once again come up with commendable performance. Nasser is too good and Tanikella Bharani is effective. Zakir Hussain looks the part. Anitha Choudhary and Raghubabu are aptly cast as the parents of Ritika and Mumtaz.
Sudha Kongara didn't make any noticeable changes to the original script for which she has done a lot of research. Even the dialogue isn't changed as Sudha wanted to keep the soul of Irudhi Suttru intact. She did a fine job in handling Guru without any hiccups. In fact she has scored better in the emotional scenes in this version.
Soundtrack scored by Santosh Narayanan is strictly average, but the background score is top notch as it builds tension and elevates emotions in key scenes. Cinematographer's job also is commendable. Editing is crisp without any boring moments. Production values are good.
Few lags here and there
Accent used for the female lead
You've seen it all if you had already seen the original. Apart from slight changes the script remains the same. Even the dialogue is just a translated version of the original. What's the striking difference about Guru is Venkatesh's soulful performance as the aged coach. He is so good with the salt and pepper look and tough body language. His emotions are so honest that you get involved into the journey of Aditya and root for him.
This is the kind of output we get when the lead actor is totally in love with the character. Venkatesh the star never came in between the script and stayed in the background when a young actress like Ritika Singh took the center stage. Ritika is a very fine actress and will surely win hearts of Telugu audience with her terrific portrayal of Ramudu. Both Venky and Ritika make it an engaging watch despite the cliches of a regular sports drama.
The pace slows down in the second hour, but the emotions worked out well and keep us emotionally engaged. The ending is predictable as we can easily guess the outcome despite the drama. Guru isn't a perfect film, but it is one of the finest sports dramas that are made on Indian screen. Raw appeal and keeping it grounded is what separates it from other sports dramas. People who haven't seen the original will like Guru and those who have seen it will be satisfied with one of Venkatesh's finest performances.
Guru is not a regular commercial film, but has enough to keep the audience engaged and entertained. However, films like these usually don't appeal to the masses as they expect family sentiments and comedy from a star like Venkatesh. If they are willing to accept him as a character without bothering much about his image, Guru can hope for a long run at the ticket window besides the accolades.
Verdict: Well Done Guru