The onus of success of this film actually is on all of us: Ashutosh Gowarikar

The onus of success of this film actually is on all of us

Rajan Singh24 Sep 2009

Ashutosh Gowarikar talks about What's Your Raashee?, the genesis of the film and casting Harman and working with Priyanka Q: Ashutosh, do you believe in zodiac signs in real life? AG: Yes, I do believe in zodiac signs but not in a very intense manner. After I have made this film What's Your Raashee?

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Ashutosh, do you believe in zodiac signs in real life?

Yes, I do believe in zodiac signs but not in a very intense manner. After I have made this film What′s Your Raashee? I have started believing in it, to an extent. Initially I was interested in knowing things only about my sun sign but now the realm of my interest have extended towards other sun signs too after I have made this film. And now when I have started knowing about the sun signs of my friends then I have started realizing that how each sun sign have similar qualities. When I see two Aquarians or two Scorpions, then I realize that on some level they both are similar to each other. I have started understanding the sun sign better now than before.

Ok, from where did the whole idea of making a film based on sun signs came from?

Actually the whole credit goes to Shri Madhu Rye Ji, who had written the original novel called Kimball Ravenswood on which What′s Your Raashee? is based. The novel is about a Gujarati family and talks about the world of Gujaratis. I actually wanted to make a romantic comedy after Jodhaa Akbar which was meant to be a light comedy and while researching I came across this play called A Suitable Bride by Naushil Mehta and then I thought about why not recreating the original novel on silver screen. After that, Naushil and myself wrote the screenplay for the film and then it started from there. Sun signs were a very integral part of the novel.

Have you shown the film to Ketan Mehta, as he was the first person to adopt it in the format of a TV series for DD under the name of Mr. Yogi.

No, not yet. The postproduction of the film is still on. But yes, I want to show this film to Ketan and of course I have to show the film to Naushil Ji too. I find this novel very interesting and that′s only because of the fact that this novel has spawned a TV series, a theatre play and now a film. And each time the interpretation is very different and so I am quite excited about this.

You also had the options of choosing 12 different people rather than going for a single character playing all the 12 roles; what made you earmark a single person to do all the roles?

The central idea behind this was that if there are 12 different girls in front of Yogesh Patel (the lead protagonist of the film) and then when he chooses one in the end then the perception of the audience will always be that he will get married only to the most beautiful girl from those 12 girls. But on the contrary when one actress will play all the 12 roles then the audience gets assured in a way that Yogesh Patel will in the end get married to Priyanka Chopra only and no one else. When the audience is assured of this then they can sit back and watch all the girls from different sun signs in a very objective manner and this was the main thought behind choosing Priyanka for all the roles.

There were also rumours floating that after the debacle of Love Story 2050 and Victory, you wanted to reshoot certain portions of Harman Baweja; how true is it?

There is no truth to this and it was all false rumour. Before the release of Love Story 2050, I had seen the rushes and we all had decided that Harman would play the central role of Yogesh Patel. At that time myself and Sunita, my wife had an internal chat that in the event if Love Story 2050 did not run at the box office then too will we still opt for Harman? And even if Victory too were to fail at the box office then too should we retain Harman for What′s Your Raashee? Then we decided that yes, he is required for the film and the simple reason is that he personifies Yogesh Patel. Harman suits the part and is extremely good as an actor. He has a very good dancing style. The fate of any film, if it runs at the box office or not is completely unpredictable and when a film does not succeeds at the box office then it does not mean that all those connected with the film have become devoid of talent all of a sudden. Talent will always be there, you can go wrong in your story telling process. Keeping that in mind we made this film. The ups and downs of actors of our film never really affected us. We were completely focused on our film.

Ashutosh GowarikarAshutosh Gowarikar

Ashutosh, please tell us as to on whom the onus of success for this film falls on?

The weight actually is on all of us. I don′t think so that an individual or an actor can solely make claims for the box office success of a film. It′s just not possible. These are all myths. I think, it′s the collective energies of everyone associated with the film, which is responsible for a film′s success. If we are to walk then we will walk together and that means that if we deliver a hit then it will benefit all of us. And if you don′t then it′s only the box office stamp that you get that your film did not become a box office success. But it cannot take away the fact that we all really enjoyed making a particular film. I think it′s all collective at the end of the day.

Any sun signs you feel you are most compatible with?

I think there are three sun signs, which I feel, are very close to me and they happen to be Librans, Gemini′s and Scorpions.

How did you manage to handle 12 Priyanka′s in the film?

It was actually 12 plus the original Priyanka so all together it was 13. I really don′t know how I handled it but it was good fun actually. It was definitely very exciting because every fifth or sixth day I would get see Anjali and then I would see Hausa and then Kajal. I have known her for long and then you get to see her in 12 different looks where every character is behaving differently and talking differently - it was all very exciting.

Finally tell us a bit about the plot of the film?

The film talks about Yogesh Patel who is based and working in Chicago and how he is called to Mumbai and is given orders that he has to marry in a span of ten days and he is not prepared for it at all. Obviously it′s going to be an arranged marriage. Then how he gets meet a girl from each Raashee and her interactions with all the girls is what film is all about. With some it′s emotional, with some it′s funny and it′s also about the various types of emotions that the character of Yogesh Patel goes through.

Thanks a lot.


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