If the idea behind Madhu Rye’s book Kimball Ravenswood was to expose the double standards of the Indian male, while poking fun at how shallow he can get by his outlook towards different types of women, maybe Ashutosh Gowariker didn’t get that.
For a filmmaker confident of sustaining the audience’s interest for about four hours (including interval, trailers, etc), Gowariker seems to be an extremely insecure storyteller. He claims to have bought out all the 60,000 copies of Rye’s book that inspired the film. So how would we know how much he’s ruined it?
While the content of What’s Your Rashee indicates that the Indian male is a jackass, the form tries to present him as the conventional righteous hero who takes it upon himself to liberate women imprisoned by their families — the guy who puts family before self, even if family amounts to dowry-seeking scoundrels who owe money to half the town. Instead of making it a dark comedy about the ugly truth about men, a wise Gowariker goes in for the feel-good.
Duh! According to this movie, the hero does not want a girl who is submissive (Aries) or bossy (Libra). He does not want a girl who isn’t a virgin even if she promises she will try to love him (Cancer). He does not want a girl who wants a career in India (Virgo) or a girl who wants to be a supermodel and flaunt her body (Scorpio). He does not want a girl who asks for time (Gemini… she says they could get engaged in ten days but that isn’t good enough for this hero). He does not want believers in re-incarnation (Pisces) or astrology (Sagittarius… also because she suggests premarital sex). He does not like them short-tempered (Leo) or eccentric (Taurus). Thankfully, he also does not want underage girls (Capricorn… the ugliest of the lot) or a girl who already has a boyfriend (Aquarius).
Priyanka Chopra acquits each of these types with unique quirks associated with these signs and is quite charming in most of her avatars, but there is seriously, no other reason for you to watch this movie.
Though Hurman’s not the best actor around, this is really not his fault. How do you play a character born under an Ashutosh-discovered zodiac sign? But Baweja Jr. has indeed come a long way from his Love Story 2050 days. Gowariker is not a bad filmmaker, and this film may still work as a 13-episode TV series (as Mr. Yogi did) if he can add all his deleted scenes back in the film. But, he desperately needs a screenwriting course that will teach him economy in writing.
At the outset, we know we are going to watch 12 episodes featuring a Priyanka Chopra and a song each. The indulgent filmmaker takes over 25 minutes in the First Act just to get to the first episode as if it were impossible to establish the hero and the bizarre situation he finds himself in, through his interactions with the girls.
Stories don’t always need to be said from A to Z, Mr. Gowariker. Surely this 211-minute film didn’t need more than 125 minutes (with all 13 songs; 10 minutes per episode) but the director bides his team with ridiculous subplots.
And, just to conceal the identity of the girl the boy would marry, Gowariker decides not to take the boy’s opinion into consideration. So, in the climax, the boy cluelessly looks at his bride and wonders who the hell she could be (since all of them look like Priyanka Chopra). It’s like he won a lottery, and had absolutely no say or choice over the issue. Imagine the frustration of an audience that was cheated into believing this was a Rashee contest. What? He took four hours to tell us he didn’t really have a choice?
What’s Your Rashee
Director: Ashutosh Gowariker
Cast: Hurman Baweja, Priyanka Chopra, Darshan Jariwala
Storyline: Jackass needs to choose a bride in ten days to inherit ancestral property, and hence, decides to sample girls from each zodiac sign
Bottomline: Watching a guy remain confused for four hours could be tough on your back