Guru (1980 film)

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Guru 1980 poster.jpg
Poster of Tamil version
Directed byI. V. Sasi
Written byHaasan Brothers (dialogues)
Based onJugnu
Produced byPrakash R. C.
CinematographyJayanan Vincent
Edited byK. Narayanan
Music byIlaiyaraaja
Shiv Sakthi Films
Release dates
  • 18 July 1980 (1980-07-18) (Tamil)
  • 19 July 1980 (1980-07-19) (Telugu)
Running time
159 minutes

Guru (transl. Teacher) is a 1980 Indian action adventure film[1] directed by I. V. Sasi. The film stars Kamal Haasan and Sridevi, while M. N. Nambiar, Muthuraman and Mohan Babu play supporting roles. It revolves around a philanthropist who masquerades as a vigilante.

Guru, a remake of the 1973 Hindi film Jugnu, was simultaneously made in Tamil and Telugu-languages. The Tamil version was released on 18 July 1980, and the Telugu version the day after. It was a blockbuster and completed a 365-day run at the box office.


In pre-independent India, Raghu is a revolutionary who is disowned by his aristocratic father and is presumed dead while fleeing from the police. Ten years later, Raghu's wife is shot dead by a landlord attempting to rape her, and her young boy shoots the landlord in retaliation and absconds.

Several years later, the boy has grown up to be Ashok, a rich, reputed philanthropist who runs "Parvathi Nilayam", a shelter and institute for orphaned destitute children, named after his mother. Unknown to all except his close friend and associate Mahesh is the fact that to support "Parvathi Nilayam", Ashok also masquerades as "Guru", an elusive criminal who carries out several heists and is being hunted by the police. Meanwhile, Ashok's grandfather has been raising an impostor, Ramesh as his grandson, who has turned out to be felonious.

Ashok meets and falls in love with a charming girl, Sujatha, the niece of a top police official, who strives to win her affection and succeeds. Ashok, in the guise of Guru, also tangles with a notorious mob headed by a one-armed man, one of whose associates is Ramesh. Ashok also has a chance encounter with his lost father, Raghu, who is now working as a professor, but Raghu conceals his identity to keep Ashok safe.

In a shocking twist, Ashok finds out that the landlord whom he had murdered as a boy was none other than Sujatha's father, and he starts rebuking Sujatha without revealing her the truth, leaving her heart-broken. Distraught and despondent, Ashok plans one last big heist to support "Parvathi Nilayam" permanently, hand it over to his friend Mahesh and seclude himself forever. Whether his plans succeed forms the rest of the story.



Guru is a remake of the 1973 Hindi film Jugnu.[2] For the song "Paranthalum Vidamatten" where Kamal Haasan travels in an aeroplane and Sridevi in a helicopter, the producer bought an aeroplane and a helicopter from Delhi. The song was shot over four days.[3]


The music was composed by Ilaiyaraaja. Kannadasan, Gangai Amaran and Panchu Arunachalam provided lyrics for the Tamil version.[4][5] For the Telugu version, all lyrics were written by Acharya Aatreya.[6][7][8]

1."Aadungal Paadungal"KannadasanS. P. Balasubrahmanyam 
2."Parandhalum Vidamatten"KannadasanS. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. Janaki 
3."Perai Chollava"KannadasanS. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. Janaki 
4."Endhan Kannil"KannadasanS. Janaki 
5."Maamanukku Paramakudi"Gangai AmaranS. Janaki 
6."Naan Vanangugiren"Panchu ArunachalamS. Janaki 
1."Aadandi Paadandi"S. P. Balasubrahmanyam 
2."Nela Ina Ningi Ina"S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. Janaki 
3."Perucheppana"S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. Janaki 
4."Kannula Kipu"S. Janaki 
5."Nimmasettu Needunnadi"S. Janaki 
6."Naa Vandanam"S. Janaki 

Release and reception[edit]

Guru's Tamil version was released on 18 July 1980; the Telugu version was released the day after, on 19 July. Both versions were critically and commercially successful. The Tamil version was also successful in Sri Lanka, it ran there for two years becoming the second Tamil film after Vasantha Maligai for having successful run in Sri Lanka for two years.[9][10] Kanthan of Kalki appreciated the performances of the cast, particularly Haasan, but felt the plot was an amalgam of various Hindi films.[11]


The visuals for the songs "Paranthalum Vidamatten" and "Endhan Kannil" became iconic for the "technical marvel" in the former, and Sridevi's drunken comedy in the latter.[12] In retrospect, Haasan has been critical of the film, calling it "crap".[13]


  1. ^ Gupta, Rachit (7 July 2016). "5 masked superheroes from films". Filmfare. Archived from the original on 19 September 2016. Retrieved 17 March 2020. This star studded action adventure wasn't exactly a superhero movie, but it did feature Kamal Haasan in an outlandish costume playing justice seeker and do-gooder.
  2. ^ "Sridevi: 5 times the actress bowled us with her performance". The Times of India. 12 August 2015. Archived from the original on 17 March 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  3. ^ "விமானத்தில் கமல், ஹெலிகாப்டரில் ஸ்ரீதேவி!" [Kamal in an aeroplane, Sridevi in a helicopter!]. Kalki (in Tamil). 15 June 1980. pp. 12–13. Archived from the original on 5 April 2023. Retrieved 3 April 2023.
  4. ^ "Guru Tamil Film EP VInyl Record by Ilayaraaja". Mossymart. Archived from the original on 6 October 2021. Retrieved 6 October 2021.
  5. ^ "குரு (1980)". (in Tamil). Archived from the original on 20 February 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  6. ^ "Guru Telugu Film EP VInyl Record by Ilayaraja". Mossymart. Archived from the original on 6 October 2021. Retrieved 6 October 2021.
  7. ^ "Guru (Telugu)". Gaana. Archived from the original on 17 March 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  8. ^ "Guru (1980)-Song_Booklet". Archived from the original on 4 April 2023. Retrieved 6 October 2021.
  9. ^ ராம்ஜி, வி. (19 July 2020). "கமலின் கமர்ஷியல் 'குரு'வுக்கு 40 வயது! – இலங்கையில் செய்த மெகா சாதனை!". Hindu Tamil Thisai (in Tamil). Archived from the original on 19 July 2020. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  10. ^ ராமநாதன், ஆர். கே. (31 October 1982). "?". Kalki (in Tamil). p. 56. Archived from the original on 16 April 2023. Retrieved 16 April 2023.
  11. ^ காந்தன் (10 August 1980). "குரு". Kalki (in Tamil). p. 14. Archived from the original on 5 April 2023. Retrieved 5 April 2023.
  12. ^ Nayak, Satyarth (2019). Sridevi: The Eternal Screen Goddess. Ebury Press. pp. 45–46. ISBN 978-93-53056-78-0.
  13. ^ Rangan, Baradwaj (7 November 2019). "A look at Kamal Haasan's hits and misses in the 80s, before he became the Kamal we know today". Film Companion. Archived from the original on 15 April 2020. Retrieved 13 April 2020.

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