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Guru opens with a big bang in US

Besides receiving great reviews from the press, the film has seen the biggest opening ever for an Indian film.

india Updated: Jan 17, 2007 13:02 IST

Mani Ratnam's Guru has not only received great reviews from the mainstream American press but also made $843,200 over the four-day weekend, one of the biggest opening grosses ever for Indian cinema in this country.

Comparing the normal Friday-Sunday gross, the new Abhishek Bachchan-Aishwarya Rai starrer opened better than India's official entry to this year's Oscars, Rang De Basanti, and Krrish with Hrithik Roshan in a superhero act, according to

The New York Times followed up its story Sunday hailing the film's glitzy red carpet premiere as heralding "not only the arrival of a movie, but also a growing cultural phenomenon" and followed it up with a review suggesting Guru exalts India's rising influence.

Mallika Sherawat in a still from the film Guru. 

The New York Post gave it three out of four stars, the highest grade it has ever bestowed on a Bollywood film, and Los Angeles Weekly called it the best Bollywood film since


. Even Time magazine reviewed the film.

"You might think it would be difficult to fashion an entertaining account of the life of a polyester manufacturer, even a fictitious one. But the Tamil director Mani Ratnam, known for intelligent political dramas, has done so with Guru, an epic paean to can-do spirit and Mumbai capitalism," said Andy Webster in his review in the New York Times.

"Ratnam's experience shows in his gorgeous compositions and fluency with pacing and effects; the inevitable, though unobtrusive musical sequences display a similar command," he said in the review titled "Polyester and Power at Play for a Mogul and His India".

Richard Corliss of Time magazine said a ritzy premiere like the one in New York "would typically take place in Mumbai (Bombay) or in Ratnam's home town Chennai (Madras). But Bollywood films have eyes to be as popular in America as in India, Indonesia, the Middle East and North Africa, where they dominate cinematic culture".

"For movies to celebrate an entrepreneur is rare - usually you get exposés -but not wrong. Guru's nearest equivalent might be "It's a Wonderful Life", except that this small businessman has to cope with success, not failure.

"And there's no denying the dramatic oomph of the climactic courtroom scene, with Gurukant defending himself and the class he stands for. Still, it doesn't seem like a natural weave for Mani Ratnam. This Guru is more like a fine polyester," he said.

TheLA Weekly said, "Ratnam's enthralling and eventful new picture Guru is one of his best yet; in fact it may be the best Indian commercial (Bollywood) movie since the Oscar-nominated Lagaan (2000)."

First Published: Jan 17, 2007 13:02 IST