What's Your Raashee? - A Romantic Comedy by Ashutosh Gowariker
What's Your Raashee? is a 2009 Hindi-language romantic comedy film written and directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, based on the Gujarati novel Kimball Ravenswood by Madhu Rye. The film stars Harman Baweja and Priyanka Chopra, who plays twelve different characters, one for each zodiac sign. The film follows the story of Yogesh Patel, a young man who must find his soulmate in ten days to save his family from ruin.
Yogesh Patel is a successful NRI living in Chicago, who receives a letter from his grandfather in India, asking him to come back and get married. Yogesh learns that his brother Jitu has taken a huge loan from a gangster and is unable to repay it. The only way to save Jitu is to marry a girl from a wealthy family who can pay off the debt. Yogesh agrees to find a bride in ten days, but he has a condition: he wants to marry a girl who matches his horoscope.
Yogesh meets his uncle Devu, who is a marriage broker, and asks him to arrange meetings with twelve girls, one from each zodiac sign. Yogesh hopes that one of them will be his perfect match. He meets Anjali, a Pisces girl who is a doctor; Sanjana, an Aries girl who is an aspiring actress; Kajal, a Taurus girl who is a dancer; Hansa, a Gemini girl who is a librarian; Rajni, a Cancer girl who is a businesswoman; Nandini, a Leo girl who is a politician; Bhavna, a Virgo girl who is an accountant; Jhankhana, a Libra girl who is a lawyer; Mallika, a Scorpio girl who is a journalist; Pooja, a Sagittarius girl who is an NRI student; Chandrika, a Capricorn girl who is an astrologer; and Vishakha, an Aquarius girl who is an activist.
As Yogesh goes on dates with each girl, he learns about their personalities, their likes and dislikes, their dreams and aspirations, and their compatibility with him. He also faces various challenges and dilemmas along the way. He realizes that each girl has something unique and special about her, but he also has to deal with their flaws and drawbacks. He finds himself attracted to some of them, while others turn him off. He also discovers some secrets and surprises that make him question his decision.
With time running out, Yogesh has to choose one girl out of the twelve to marry. But who will it be? Will he find his true love or will he settle for someone else? Will he save his brother or will he lose his family? Will he follow his heart or will he follow his stars?
Harman Baweja as Yogesh Patel
Priyanka Chopra as Anjali (Pisces), Sanjana (Aries), Kajal (Taurus), Hansa (Gemini), Rajni (Cancer), Nandini (Leo), Bhavna (Virgo), Jhankhana (Libra), Mallika (Scorpio), Pooja (Sagittarius), Chandrika (Capricorn), and Vishakha (Aquarius)
Darshan Jariwala as Devu Patel
Dilip Joshi as Jitu Patel
Anjan Srivastav as Bharatbhai Patel
Manju Singh as Shakuntala Patel
V.M. Badola as Nanaji
Rajesh Vivek as Bhautesh Joshi
Yuri Suri as Moolrajbhai
Dayashankar Pandey as Chand
Bhim Vakani as Kacharbhai Patel
What's Your Raashee? is the third collaboration between Ashutosh Gowariker and Priyanka Chopra, after Lagaan (2001) and Jodhaa Akbar (2008). Gowariker had always wanted to make a romantic comedy and was inspired by the novel Kimball Ravenswood by Madhu Rye, which he had read in his college days. He bought the rights of the novel and co-wrote the screenplay with Naushil Mehta, making several changes to the original story. He decided to cast Harman Baweja as the lead actor after watching his debut film Love Story 2050 (2008).
The biggest challenge for the film was to create twelve different characters for Priyanka Chopra, who had to play a girl from each zodiac sign. Gowariker did not want to use prosthetics or makeup to differentiate the characters, but relied on Chopra's acting skills and body language. Chopra worked hard to give each character a distinct voice, accent, mannerism, and style. She also had to change her costumes, hairstyles, and accessories for each role. She said that playing twelve roles in one film was the most difficult and rewarding experience of her career.
The film was shot extensively in Mumbai, with some scenes in Baroda and Chicago. The film used sixty-seven locations in Mumbai, including Marine Drive, Bandra-Worli Sea Link, Gateway of India, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Haji Ali Dargah, Juhu Beach, and Film City. The film also featured a cameo appearance by singer Sukhwinder Singh, who performed a song at a wedding scene.
The music of What's Your Raashee? was composed by Sohail Sen, who made his debut as a music director with this film. Sen replaced A.R. Rahman, who was Gowariker's regular collaborator but was busy with other projects. The lyrics were written by Javed Akhtar. The soundtrack consisted of thirteen songs, each representing a zodiac sign and one compilation song. The songs were sung by various singers, including Alka Yagnik, Udit Narayan, Shaan, Bela Shende, Sohail Sen, Tarannum Malik, Aslesha Gowariker, Marianne D'Cruz Aiman, Rajab Ali Bharti, Bhavya Pandit, and Ashutosh Gowariker himself.
The songs were well received by the critics and the audience, who praised Sen's fresh and melodious tunes and Akhtar's poetic lyrics. Some of the popular songs from the album are "Jao Na", "Sau Janam", "Aaja Lehraate", "Bikhri Bikhri", "Su Chhe", "Salone Kya", "Dhadkan Dhadkan", and "What's Your Raashee?". The soundtrack was nominated for several awards, including the Filmfare Award for Best Music Director.
What's Your Raashee? had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on 19 September 2009. It was released in India on 25 September 2009. The film faced a major setback when its master copy was stolen from Adlabs before its release. The police managed to recover the master copy and seized several pirated copies of the film from various places.
What's Your Raashee? received mixed reviews from the critics and the audience. The film was praised for its music and Priyanka Chopra's performance, but criticized for its long running time of over three-and-a-half hours and its weak screenplay. The film was also compared unfavorably with Gowariker's previous films like Lagaan and Jodhaa Akbar.
The film was a commercial failure at the box office, earning only 17 crore against its budget of 32 crore. It was one of the biggest flops of 2009.
What's Your Raashee? received three nominations at the 55th Filmfare Awards: Best Actress for Priyanka Chopra, Best Music Director for Sohail Sen, and Best Lyricist for Javed Akhtar for the song "Jao Na". However, it did not win any award.
Priyanka Chopra also became the first actress in history to portray twelve roles in one film, a feat that was considered for inclusion in the Guinness World Records.