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Abhishek and Aishwarya Rai
Director Mani Ratnam seldom makes a comment on his films before their release. As for his much-awaited bilingual movie 'Guru', which is releasing for Pongal, the director made a departure and told English daily that the film was not based on the Ambani family. "It is a plain rumor and the film is purely fictional and could be based on anyone's life," he said.

Mani Ratnam was non-committal when his attention was drawn to the opening track in 'Guru' which "clearly says in Gujarati "Dhirubhai is coming". Asked if the film was shown to the Ambanis, he smiled and said he was not aware whether they had seen it.

About Abhishek, he said "though Abhishek's role could not be termed one of a lifetime, he is playing an out-of-the ordinary role spanning 30 years that showcases his immense talent as a performer". "He (Abhishek) has grown tremendously as an actor and he is carrying a film on his shoulders this time," Mani Ratnam said in pride.

He was all praise for Aishwarya Rai's "mature, substantial performance". He described as "excellent" the "chemistry" between Abhishek and Aishwarya.

Lauding A.R. Rahman's music in the film, he said, "Both of us are happy working with each other. Rahman has always lived up to all my films." On cinematographer Rajiv Menon's work in the film, the acclaimed film-maker said,"its not glossy story telling. The cinematography is very real and captures the period in its true essence."

About the film itself, he said he had attempted to make it within the commercial framework. "I would like to connect to my audiences and I have made the film keeping that in mind. It is logical, real and dramatic and made with the viewer in mind and something really substantial."

The story is about a boy who dreams of making it big and achieves his goal. Besides Abhishek and Aishwarya Rai, the cast includes Madhavan, Mithun Chakraborthy and Vidya Balan. 

The first show of the film (in Tamil) will be on January 11 at 6.30 p.m at Sathyam Cinemas in Chennai to raise funds for the Shakthi Foundation, a Chennai-based non-governmental organization working for the physically challenged rural poor.

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