Film Review: What’s Your Rashee?

What’s Your Rashee?

Directed by: Ashutosh Gowariker

Starring: Priyanka Chopra, Hurman Baweja

Can you tell someone’s rashee from the way they write? How far do our star signs show in our actions? Do not adjust your erm, screen, you are still reading a review for What’s Your Rashee (WYR), which shows astrology permeating every aspect of our lives whether we realize it or not.

WYR is the story of Yogesh Patel (Baweja) who must get married in ten days to clear the debt his older brother Jitu has run up. Faced with 176 proposals, Yogesh divides the proposals up by picking a girl from each star sign of the Zodiac, narrowing the list down to 12 girls (each played by Priyanka Chopra). WYR follows Yogesh on this journey as he selects his future wife…

WYR is an ambitious film that has quite a novel concept and manages to execute that concept quite well, with the theme of the film prevalent in every frame of the film. However, WYR has one major problem and that is its weighty screenplay that gives the film a bladder busting running time and sacrifices what could have been a well paced film into a rather long film which isn’t boring but when your buttocks are numb, its hard to concentrate on what is going on on-screen.

This is a shame really because each of the 12 characters in the film (who nearly all have their own song) have such detailed stories, they could all be watched in isolation on their own and would stand up to scrutiny with no complaints (and would work very well as mini TV series). Indeed, the devil is in the detail for this film. Technically the film is very good, with a seamless use of graphics that blend into the film and do not look out of place nor disrupt the flow of the film.

The music is very good (as one would expect from a Gowariker film) with the title song (which has a James Bond esque flavour with Priyanka in a cut out body suit throwing some serious shapes which turn out to be signs of the Zodiac – fierce) and each song is well picturised and neatly summarizes the sign of the Zodiac it represents.

In terms of performances, WYR is Priyanka’s film all the way. From that opening credits song till the last frame, Priyanka gives a tour de force of a performance in such an understated manner it is hard to believe that last year she was wasted in films like God Tussi Great Ho and Drona. Priyanka is clearly not afraid to take a risk and this pays off handsomely with her nuances almost note perfect. There is probably no other heroine who could have played this part so well and made it her own with such ease. In fact, Rani Mukherjee from Dil Bole Hadippa would do well to learn from Priyanka’s example and experiment rather than stick to the tried and tested formula. With WYR, Priyanka has raised the bar and is fast moving to the vacant number one heroine slot – following on the heels of Fashion, Dostana and Kaminey, Priyanka is on a roll!

The biggest surprise for me was Hurman Baweja. This is the first time I’ve seen him on screen and once you get over the fact that he looks like Hrithik, you realize he is a decent actor who has a good stab at the role. Though Hurman cannot match Priyanka, what he does do is let her take centre stage and provide a good support act for her to contrast with. This is easier said than done, especially for a hero and if Hurman can continue in a similar vein, then he could just continue surprising us all as a competent actor (which he clearly has the potential to become).

The supporting cast all deserve mention, all underplaying their characters so that they emerge as individuals rather than stock types. Finally, Ashutosh deserves applause for not only keeping a tight rein on the film but for fully exploring the concept he has conceived and doing it with finesse and thoroughness.

Like Dil Bole Hadippa, whether WYR is for you or not will largely depend on your opinion of Priyanka Chopra – if you are a fan, you will love this and should see it in cinema (just go easy on the soda until the second half). If you don’t see what the fuss is about (how could you not??), it is still worth watching WYR as it may just change your opinion of Priyanka and despite being a very long film, it is worth catching it on DVD if not in cinema. 

So, what will it be? Will you behave according to your rashee?

(Previously posted on 25th September 2009)


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