What's Your Raashee?

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What's Your Raashee?
Whatsyourraashee3.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ashutosh Gowarikar
Produced by Ronnie Screwvala
Ashutosh Gowarikar
Screenplay by Naushil Mehta
Ashutosh Gowariker
Based on Kimball Ravenswood 
by Madhu Rye
Starring Harman Baweja
Priyanka Chopra
Music by Sohail Sen
Cinematography Piyush Shah
Edited by Ballu Saluja
Production
  company
UTV Motion Pictures
Ashutosh Gowariker Productions
Distributed by UTV Motion Pictures
Release date(s)
  • 25 September 2009 (2009-09-25)
Running time 211 minutes[1]
Country India
Language Hindi

What's Your Raashee? (Hindi: वॉट्स यॉर राशी?, What's Your Zodiac Sign?) is a 2009 Indian social comedy film, co-produced and directed by Ashutosh Gowarikar and starring Harman Baweja and Priyanka Chopra. Chopra plays 12 characters, depicting the signs of the zodiac; each character has traits related to her astrological sign. Based on the novel Kimball Ravenswood by Madhu Rye, the film depicts the story of a U.S.-based Gujrati NRI in search of his soul mate from twelve girls (all played by Chopra). The actress was considered for Guinness World Records as the first actress to play 12 different characters in one film.

The film was released on 25 September 2009, and received mixed-to-negative reviews criticising its run time (3 hours, 31 minutes). However, critics unanimously praised Chopra's performance and the film's music. At the 15th Screen Awards, Chopra received two nominations for her performance in the film: Best Actress and Best Actress (Popular).

Plot[edit]

In a quaint rural village, an elderly man awaits the postman. He receives a card from his youngest grandson, Yogesh, and decides Yogesh will be his heir. In Mumbai, Yogesh's family consults an astrologer to learn if their eldest son (Jitu, a debtor) will go to jail and gives him Yogesh's birthdate to learn his future. They are astonished to learn that Yogesh will inherit a fortune if he is married on the 20th of that month; the phone rings, and the family is overjoyed to hear that Yogesh's grandfather has made him his sole heir.

Yogesh is successful, and living in Chicago. He gets a text message that his father had a heart attack, and rushes to Mumbai. When he arrives, Yogesh learns that Jitu lied to him. The family explains that Jitu owes a rich man 212 crore rupees in gambling debts; if Yogesh does not marry on the 20th of the month, Jitu will go to jail. At first Yogesh is adamant that he will not marry, but Jitu tells him that he also borrowed 112 crore from a mob boss; his parents are unaware of this. Yogesh is annoyed, but agrees to marry when the gangster threatens them.

When Uncle Devu posted an ad with Yogesh's photo, 176 girls replied. Yogesh decides that he will see one girl from each raashee (zodiac sign). Devu’s wife asks Yogesh's father to hire a detective because she suspects he is cheating on her. When Yogesh's father learns the astrologer is also a detective, he hires him. Devu then brings Yogesh to meet the girls. There is a meeting with each of the twelve girls. Meanwhile, the detective identifies Devu's mistress as a woman named Anila.

When Yogesh has met most of the girls, one of them, Sanjana, asks to talk to him privately. She tells him that a boy has agreed to marry her, and her uncle and aunt ignore her reluctance. She asks Yogesh to give her time to decide what to do about her boyfriend. He agrees, telling her about his problems with Jitu. Sanjana, touched that Yogesh will help her despite his own problems, hugs him. Devu walks in, and thinks he has interrupted them; Sanjana chases him, trying to explain. Tailing Devu, the detective is unaware that he was with Anila at the hotel and sees Sanjana and Devu. Sanjana shows Devu a picture; when he says something, she becomes angry and tries to leave. Devu stops her, holding her while she cries before they leave in his car. The detective convinces Yogesh and his father that Devu is having an affair with Sanjana. Anila then comes downstairs, looking for Devu. Yogesh shows her the photos, telling her that Devu and Sanjana went to Khandala (a hill station near Mumbai). The detective tells Devu's wife the same thing, and they find Devu at a hotel with Sanjana. Yogesh and Devu are angry; Devu thinks Yogesh betrayed him and Yogesh thinks Devu is having an affair with Sanjana.

After seeing the last girl, Yogesh's mother tells him to choose with his heart instead of his mind. Yogesh sees all the girls in a dream (to the song "Chehre Jo Dekhe Hain"), and in the morning decides whom he will marry. He goes to Rajni's office because she offered a five-crore dowry, and is relieved to discover she is marrying someone else. He goes to Devu's house to tell him he wants to marry Vishakha, but Devu calls her and rejects her. He says there is no need for Yogesh to marry her; he knows about Jitu's debt, and says he will choose Yogesh's bride himself.

Yogesh is impatient, but Devu keeps his bride a secret. When she enters, Yogesh cannot tell which of the girls she is. When the ceremony ends, Devu welcomes the father of the bride as Sanjana's father. Yogesh is stunned when his grandfather brings the money to pay Jitu's debts (after Devu explained what was happening). He asks Devu how he arranged the marriage; Devu explains that when Sanjana followed him and showed him a picture of her boyfriend, he remembered seeing him kissing another woman in Khandala. He brought Sanjana to Khandala, and to the hotel to confront her boyfriend. Sanjana told him she would marry Yogesh because she realised she loved him, and Yogesh realises he loves Sanjana too. The film ends with Yogesh being asked what his bride's raashee is. He says he doesn't know; she has the best features of all twelve.

Cast[edit]

Characters,traits and song related to each[edit]

Character name Zodiac sign Description Positive traits Negative traits Songs
Anjali Patel Mesh (Aries) Awkward, small-town girl who does not speak English well For Yogesh, she seems to have clear intentions and they are comfortable together. He does not feel romantic towards her; she pretends to be stylish, and has only recently finished school. "What’s Your Raashee? (Pal Pal Dil Jisko Dhoonde)" (made for Aries)
Sanjana Shah Kumbh (Aquarius) Attractive, successful microbiologist A well-educated NRI (non-resident Indian), she and Yogesh have much in common and he finds her attractive. She asks Yogesh to reject her because she has a secret boyfriend. "Jao Naa" (made for Aquarius)
Kajal Khakhar Mithun (Gemini) Fashionable, classy, romantic college student Outgoing, a good dancer who enjoys a good time. Like Yogesh, she enjoys music. They get along well, and she wants to marry him. Argumentative; their ideas differ, especially about love (she wants to wait a year to marry) "Aaja Lehrate" (made for Gemini)
Hansa Parekh Kark (Cancer) Honest, dedicated, educated girl who has been unlucky in love Quiet, traditional, hard-working. Yogesh respects her for admitting that she is not a virgin, but was sworn to secrecy by her family. Not over her previous relationship. Although she tells Yogesh she would be a good wife, she cannot assure him she will love him unconditionally. "Bikhri Bikhri" (made for Cancer)
Rajni Parmar Tula (Libra) Successful, ruthless business tycoon Well-balanced, with a strong foothold on her business Bossy; sees marriage as a contract (Yogesh is shocked by her pre-nuptial agreement); strict and rude "Maanunga Maanunga" (made for Libra)
Chandrika Jamnadas Meen (Pisces) Traditional, naive daughter of a wealthy jeweller Sweet and elegant Timid at first, but later thinks she and Yogesh were lovers in a previous life. Possessive; father is controlling and proud. "Sau Janam" (made for Pisces)
Mallika Desai Simha (Leo) Successful NGO employee Good fashion sense, and an accomplished classical dancer Quick-tempered; strong, preconceived notions about NRIs; rejects Yogesh. "Dhadkan Dhadkan" (made for Leo)
Nandini Jassani Vrishchik (Scorpio) Ambitious small-town girl who dreams of modelling in Chicago Beautiful, passionate, knowledgeable about Chicago Pushy; hides her real self. Yogesh feels that Nandini only wants to marry him so she can achieve her goal. "Aa Le Chal" (made for Scorpio)
Pooja Goradia Kanya (Virgo) Dedicated physician who helps Indian villagers Educated, caring and loving; Yogesh and Pooja are instantly attracted to each other. Adamant about not wanting to settle abroad "Pyaari Pyaari" (made for Virgo)
Vishakha Zaveri Vrishabh (Taurus) Beautiful daughter of a wealthy cotton industrialist Energetic, fun-loving, friendly and playful Pretends to be immature to see if Yogesh is interested in her only for her money, making him uncertain about her "Su Chhe" (made for Taurus)
Bhavna Shukla Dhanu (Sagittarius) Religious and superstitious Pretty, expert in astrology and spiritual in nature Relies on stars and horoscopes, and realising she and Yogesh are incompatible; tries unsuccessfully to seduce him. "Salone Kya" (made for Sagittarius)
Jhankhana Makar (Capricorn) Fifteen-year-old village girl Simple, quiet, lives in her own world; craves education Nervous and aloof; Yogesh is shocked by her youth "Koi Jaane Na" (made for Capricorn)

Crew[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

What's Your Raashee? is a romantic comedy based on a novel by Madhu Rye, who calls the book a tingly comic which studies human nature and can be considered a "sex thriller". Before the film was made, Rye said that Ashutosh Gowarikar might adapt the plot to enhance its cinematic appeal.[2] What's Your Raashee? is Gowarikar's first romantic comedy. In an interview he said, "It is a genre that I have always loved and I had always wanted to attempt. My favourite films of this genre are Roman Holiday and When Harry Met Sally, amongst several others. I'm also a great fan of Chupke Chupke and all romantic comedies of Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Basu Chatterjee".[citation needed]

The film began shooting in Mumbai on 6 December 2008,[3] and was filmed at 65 different locations. Gowarikar said that filming this movie was more challenging that his previous effort (2008's Jodha Akbar), due to the many locations. Shooting began its second stage in mid-January, with scenes filmed in Chicago and Baroda. What's Your Raashee? was shot on a start-to-finish schedule,[4] and filming concluded in April 2009.[5]

The song "Aaja Lehraate" was filmed in a single shot. It was a draining process for Priyanka Chopra and Harman Baweja, since each mistake required returning to the beginning and there were many takes. The actress became ill from the stress of filming, and production was delayed until she recovered.

Casting[edit]

This is the second film pairing Harman Baweja and Priyanka Chopra in pivotal roles; the first was Love Story 2050.[6] According to Gowarikar, Harman was signed for this film before Love Story 2050 was produced.[7] Chopra later joined the cast; each of her twelve characters has a unique appearance and personality.[8]

Promotion[edit]

After completing the film's first shooting schedule, Gowarikar asked Nabeel Abbas to design the trailer. Ashutosh and Nabeel came up with a concept, and a teaser poster was released on 20 January 2009. The poster looked like a book cover that, according to Gowarikar, "will not reveal much about the film [but] at the same time will have a feel of the film".[9]

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

What's Your Raashee? premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on 19 September 2009.[10] The film received mixed-to-negative review, which criticised the film's length but praised Chopra's performance. The Times of India rated the film 3 out of 5, noting that the film works because Gowariker maintains fluidity in the narrative and gets uniformly-good work from his cast.[11] Sukanya Verma of Rediff.com praised Chopra's performance: "Priyanka Chopra transforms into 12 new skins with astonishing distinction, voice and spirit. The actress reinvents herself into this unique individual every single time ranging from batty, bashful and boisterous. This is simply her show."[12] Sonia Chopra of Sify wrote, "A film that could have been hugely entertaining, What’s Your Raashee? is affected by serious flaws like a repetitive layout and agonising length. If the film is still somewhat watchable, it’s only for Priyanka Chopra’s consistently stellar act. She carries the film ably on her shoulders, giving a fun and uninhibited performance".[13]

Box office[edit]

The film did poorly at the box office, earning Rs. 120 million during its run and declared a flop by Box Office India.[14] It is Harman Baweja's third consecutive film which failed at the box office. Telecast rights for the film have been sold to Tata Sky for their Showcase Premiere.

Awards[edit]

Soundtrack[edit]

The film's score was composed by Sohail Sen, with lyrics by Javed Akhtar. The soundtrack was released on 18 August 2009, and consists of 13 songs: an introduction and 12 others (one for each zodiac sign and character played by Chopra).[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "What's Your Raashee? (PG)". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  2. ^ "Gifting Harman-Priyanka another love story". Retrieved 9 July 2008. 
  3. ^ "Priyanka, Harman team-up again". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 8 December 2008. Retrieved 8 December 2008. 
  4. ^ PTI (8 December 2008). "Gowariker begins shooting for 'What's your Raashee?'". DNAIndia. Retrieved 29 January 2009. 
  5. ^ What's Your Raashee? on the move Masala.com Retrieved on 29 January 2009
  6. ^ "Harman, Priyanka go for arranged marriage". Retrieved 20 May 2008. 
  7. ^ Ashutosh Gowariker to make another period film Masala.com Retrieved on 29 January 2009
  8. ^ "Priyanka Chopra in Twelve Different Avatars in 'What's Your Raashee?'". Movie Talkies. Retrieved 4 August 2009. 
  9. ^ Harman Baweja impresses Gowariker. One India. Retrieved on 29 January 2009
  10. ^ What's Your Raashee? to premiere at Toronto Film Fest. BusinessofCinema.com. Retrieved on 3 August 2009
  11. ^ Ghosh, Avijit (25 September 2009). "What's Your Raashee Review". The Times of India. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  12. ^ Verma, Sukanya. "It's Priyanka Chopra's show all the way". Rediff.com. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  13. ^ Chopra, Sonia. "What’s Your Raashee? is not much fun". Sify. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  14. ^ "Box Office Earnings 02/10/09-08/10/09". BoxOffice India.com. Retrieved 15 October 2009. 
  15. ^ "Priyanka chopra bagged two best actress nominations at the screen awards". 
  16. ^ "what's your raashee bagged four nominations at stardust awards". 
  17. ^ Sohail Sen for '…Raashee?' IANS. Retrieved on 13 August 2009

External links[edit]