Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
What’s Your Raashee: Celestial Disaster
It stars Priyanka Chopra in twelve different avatars, playing a girl from each zodiac sign and Harman Baweja as Yogesh Patel, the eligible groom who has to choose one of those girls.
When I heard the premise, I must admit I was intrigued. It sounded interesting, and given Gowariker’s reputation, I went in expecting a good film.
Almost four hours, numerous songs and twelve mini-stories later, I came out with a headache.
Patel, who lives and works in Chicago, is tricked by his parents into coming down to India and getting married.
Given that he doesn’t have much time, Patel decides to see twelve girls only, each one from a different zodiac sign.
Of course, as you know, Priyanka Chopra plays each girl, albeit in a different avatar.
So there is Anjali, the awkward, simple girl who tries to speak English and smoke so as to impress her NRI suitor.
There is Vishakha, the ditsy heiress, and Pooja, the do-good doctor, all of whom are supposed to represent different facets.
Helping Patel in his search is his uncle, played by Darshan Jariwala (in an ugly wig and even uglier shirts). There is a mindless side track involving Jariwala and his wife and an astrologer-cum detective, just one of the many things weighing down the film.
The same story had been told by Ketan Mehta in his serial “Mr Yogi” many years ago and the reason that venture was a success was because it was divided into parts.
Watching “What’s Your Raashee” is like watching 13 episodes of a serial back-to-back and not a particularly engaging one at that. At some point, all the stories merge into one and you stop caring about who gets married to whom.
Instead you just want the credits to roll and make a bolt for it.
Three-and-a-half hours is a lot of time and if you want me to invest that much time in your film, there better be something worthwhile.
Unfortunately, there isn’t. Each character seems like a caricature and instead of providing us with some insights, all we see are superficial traits.
Oh, and a lot of songs.
When a film has as many as 14 songs, they better be good. But they aren’t. Instead they hamper the pace of an already flagging storyline and make you ache for that door even more.
The film has its moments, but those are lost in the haze of a clumsy screenplay and a story that just doesn’t move forward.
Of the cast, Harman Baweja makes a sincere effort, but doesn’t succeed very often. Priyanka Chopra should be commended for trying out such a different project but the fact is the screenplay fails her.
None of the characters are meaty enough to be memorable. Instead of giving them a song each, Gowariker should have put in more work in telling us their stories.
In the end, “What’s Your Raashee” begins to grate on your nerves. This isn’t an easy watch by any means. Go for it if you must.