Guru (1997 film)

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Malayalam ഗുരു
Directed by Rajiv Anchal
Written by C. G. Rajendra Babu
Story by Rajiv Anchal
Starring Mohanlal
Suresh Gopi
Music by Ilaiyaraaja
Cinematography S. Kumar
Edited by B. Lenin
V. T. Vijayan
Janasammathi Creations Pvt Ltd.
Distributed by Janasammathi Release
Release date
  • 12 September 1997 (1997-09-12)
Country India
Language Malayalam

Guru (literally: The Teacher / Spiritual Guide) is a 1997 Indian Malayalam-language fantasy film directed by Rajiv Anchal and written by C. G. Rajendra Babu from a story by Anchal. Mohanlal played the lead role in the film, while Nedumudi Venu, Srinivasan, Suresh Gopi, Sithara, Kaveri Muralidharan and Sreelakshmi appeared in supporting roles. Guru is highly symbolic and makes a strong statement on terrorism by religions and the evils of the world.

The original musical score and songs were composed by Ilaiyaraaja. His symphonic score was conducted and performed by the Budapest Symphony Orchestra, Hungary. This was the first time in Indian cinema, the background score of a film was recorded completely outside the country. Guru was the first Malayalam film to be selected as India's official entry to the Oscars for the Best Foreign Language Film category.[1][2][3]


The story starts in a small peaceful village in India. There is harmony between hindus and the muslims that live there. They all get along like a family. Raghurāman (Mohanlal) is the son of a local hindu temple's priest. When an ambitious politician's (NF Varghese) goons disguised as Muslims causes trouble at the local temple, tension breaks out between the two communities. The tension soon flame into a religious riot. Muslims and hindus begin killing each other for the sake of their own religion. Raghurāman joins hindu gang which is about to attack a group of muslims who have taken refuge in a guru's asram (a place where a holy guru lived and worked). But at one point, Raghurāman has an out of the world experience in the asram.

He is now in the world of blinds. He is taken to a world where everyone is blind (Religious) and where people do not believe in the sense of sight (Logic/commonsense). Raghurāman saves a man from the death and befriends him. He is astonished by perfect activities of the citizens. They actually believe it as a sin to think that there is something called sight/vision. Their children are taught that there is no world of sight from childhood (brainwashed by parent's religion). When Raghurāman tries to tell them that there is a world of sight (common sense) and that he can see, they don't believe him. They consider him evil because he can do things that they can't.

Raghurāman eats a common fruit (Ilaama pazham: Symbolic of religious beliefs) that they have in that land. He finds out the hard way that this tasty addictive fruit is the cause of their blindness. Now that he is blind (religious) and helpless, the king's soldiers, whom he had evaded before, captures him . The king (Suresh Gopi) sentences him to death by drinking the extract from the seeds of the same fruit that made him blind. This form of punishment has never been given to anyone before. The seeds (commonsense) of the addictive fruit that Reghuraman ate, is considered to be fatally poisonous and bitter (truth). After the soldiers carry out the sentence, he is left to die. But instead, he gets back his vision and realizes that his blindness is cured by the seed's extract.

He then spreads the message throughout the kingdom that their beliefs were wrong. They still refuse to believe him. Those who believe in Raghurāman, takes the seeds and experiences the sight for the first ever time in their life. People who gained the sight now tries to take revenge on the one's without the sight. Raghurāman stops them with a wonderful speech. In the end, everyone including the king is convinced to take the bitter seed (truth) than the delicious fruit (Lie). He is brought back into the normal world by the Guru's spirit. Raghurāman realizes that his thirst for revenge for the sake of religion was a sin. He stops the riot gang's plan to kill muslims by blasting a bomb, and helps the people without seeing their religious status.



Rajiv Anchal cite his influence for the film to H. G. Wells's short story The Country of the Blind, which tells the story of a man who finds himself in a valley of blind men. Anchal first read the book during his college education. He was awestruck by its story and the description of the valley of the blind. He used the Wellsian theme in the film to picturise the human condition, that of "darkness overpowering the soul". Anchal is a disciple of the spiritual leader Karunakara Guru, founder of Santhigiri Ashram in Pothencode, Thiruvananthapuram. The idea for the film came when he met guru seven years ago (since the release). The film is based on the guru and tells the message guru strive to convey to the materialistic world. The fund for the film was raised by 60 of the disciples in the Sathigiri Ashram that including Anchal. The film was made on a production cost of 30 million.[4]


The film's soundtrack contains 6 songs, all composed by Ilaiyaraaja and Lyrics by S. Ramesan Nair. The orchestration for the film's songs and background score were composed and conducted by Ilaiyaraaja, and performed by Hungary's Budapest Symphony Orchestra.

No. Title Singer(s)
1 "Aruna Kirana Deepam" K. J. Yesudas
2 "Deva Sangeetham" K. J. Yesudas
3 "Deva Sangeetham" K. J. Yesudas, Radhika Thilak
4 "Guru Charanam" G. Venugopal, Chorus
5 "Minnaram Manathe" Sujatha Mohan
6 "Thathaaram" M. G. Sreekumar


Screen Videocon Awards[5]
  • Best Cinematography (South) – S. Kumar
  • Best Director (Malayalam) – Rajiv Anchal
  • Best Actor (Malayalam) – Mohanlal

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Guru goes in search of the Oscar". The Hindu. 2 November 1997. Retrieved 15 March 2011. 
  2. ^ Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
  3. ^ "44 Countries Hoping for Oscar Nominations". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 24 November 1997. Archived from the original on 13 February 1998. Retrieved 13 October 2015. 
  4. ^ Jose, D (16 March 1998). "Blind man's buff". Retrieved 4 August 2016. 
  5. ^ "And the Winners Are...". Screen India. 17 April 1998. Retrieved 10 April 2011.

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