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Mani Ratnam pins his hope on Abhishek

Though his last film Yuva didn't meet with expectations at the box-office, there was no doubt that whatever came from Mani Ratnam had to be different. As his film Guru releases this week, Mani spoke to IndiaFM in an exclusive interview.

The tagline of Guru says 'the most controversial man of the year'. Tell us something about it?
I think that is what the film does. You add a tagline because that represents the kind of film it is. It is a man's life and there are ups and downs, bright side, darker side in it and it does deal as to how he had to do it and why and what happens in the way you take a call. So it does in a way show the success story with all its shades.

Tell us about Abhishek Bachchan's characters in the movie?
Abhishek plays the main, central character in the film, the whole film is seen through the eyes of Guru- from being a young boy to a fifty-five year old man. It is really a huge, larger than life character and it is a very significant role in the sense that he carries the entire film on his shoulders and I am extremely happy with the way the film has turned out.

What about Aishwarya?
She has played a very earthy, village girl who gets married to Guru. It is a very realistic character and she has done it with real ease. She is really mature and has done it remarkably well.

What about Mallika Sherawat?
She is in the early part of the film, is there as a part of the song Mayya Mayya as well.

Tell us something about A.R. Rehman's music?
The film is really of fifty stages and we wanted the music which would be kind of evoking that period but would not be replica of that period. He has done the work which kind of gives you the flavour of that period, but still is contemporary and still is today. That is the kind of combination which is the same way, the film has been shot, the film has been cut and things like that. It evokes certain period but still is today's nourish.

Which is your favourite track in the film?
Tere Bina.

How has been your whole experience of shooting a Guru?
It has done at one stretch practically of three months, so we had the entire team with us, so it was really very good, and it gives you the freedom. Abhishek had to grow. So we shot the entire film practically chronologically. So we started with the younger version of and then it slowly started building. As he grew, he had to put on the weight to become middle aged and he did that and he put substantial amount of weight and his looks carries of the body language of a middle aged person. Towards the end of the film he had to lose (weight) again, which he did. So it was really quite a demanding role more than one sense.

Like you said his look it really interesting.
Yes, I think it has worked out to a large extent because it looks very real in a sense that he comes through as somebody. He has performed so well that you cannot make out which has been acted out. It is just really a mature performance.

In which era does the film happen?
From the fifties to the eighties.

Why did not you plan any Tamil version like you did for Yuva?
I think there is too much of an effort to redo the film, to get one film right is tough enough.

The premiere is happening in Canada, how does it feel?
Good, it will be a little cold there but I am glad that an Indian film is getting a mainstream screen and a premier in Canada is fantastic.

What is the USP of the film, what do you think, why should people come and watch the film?
I think Abhishek Bacchan has done a remarkable role. I think it will stand out and I think that will be enough reason for them to watch the film.

What are your expectations from this film?
To be the best.

What about next film?
Next is next, let us not worry about it. Let us get this correct and let us get it on the road and then we will get into the next.

It has been said that the film has been portrayed from the real life character. Your comment on it. The film is fictional and there will be links to real life of several people but that is how a good fiction should be, it should connect to reality. So it will have connections but it is really a fictional piece of work, the characters are fictional, the situations, the incidents, the way it has built are all fictional. 

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