Libran as I may be....
Since I'm all honest about what I think, you should believe me when I say that What's Your Raashee? wasn't abysmal as it has been projected by other more 'professional' reviewers. Seeing it from an audience perspective, I give it a rating of 2 out of 5 and here's why.....
The premise is well-known and simple. NRI MBA student Yogesh Patel (Harman Baweja) comes to India under insistence of his family to get married (why? that's utterly trivial, just remember...it's a BIG problem). When reading a book on sun signs, he comes to a decision that he can't possibly fall in love in such a short time span, and decides to meet one girl from each sign so that he can see their traits and his compatibility with each before choosing a bride. Basically, this gives him 12 chances at love...and if the situation arises that he doesn't fall in love, he'll pick the best of them all. If you hate anything from this premise, then the person to kill is Madhu Rye, author of 'Kimball Ravenswood', the book on which this movie is based.
Anyway, so he meets them all...some are good, some are not. The main point is that each has something special and that puts him in confusion and the audience into a deeper muddle over the climax of the movie. I won't say much about each girl, because that spoils the fun...since you want to know how each are...and this is the only fun part of the movie.
Where What's Your Raashee? fails first and foremost is its script. With an unquestionable interesting plot at hand, Gowarikar could have worked wonders, but ab banjar zameen par kaise kuch ugega. I could go and on with the problems, OH! What the hell! I will. (just can't stop myself). How can Yogesh get so influenced by an astrology book overnight that he can leave his entire fate to it? Why is there just one particular characteristic of each sign accentuated in each girl...seems like they just read Linda Goodman, picked their favourite trait and decide to use that as a basis for the entire character of the girl, obviously making it less believable. Why is Capricorn and Aquarius (in comparison) not given any personality at all? Why does Yogesh end up with the girl who's clearly chosen him on rebound? When the hell did he fall in love with her as he proclaims in the end????? Too many plotholes to cover, even within a duration of three and a half hours!
As if the main plot wasn't enough, we even have to go through these useless sidetracks of the brother's problems with the Underworld, and the uncle having or not having an affair. Do I want to know? Do I care? Clearly meant for comic relief....weren't we getting enough comedy from the 12 namoonees picked out for Yogesh?
Second problem - the length. Yes, it is a problem! A big one at that. We all know we sat through Jodhaa Akbar and our parents and grandparents through Mera Naam Joker. But at least both had some substantial content to offer for those 5 hours. This movie has substantial content, sure, but just as long as examination lasts - 3 hours....don't torture me for another half hour! The movie extends to three and a half hours thanks to the innumerable songs. I come to the conclusion that the songs that were not amongst my favourites were the best picturised. I still stick to the fact that the music is top-notch. But no amount of good music can sustain you for that long when the screenplay is so dull. Also, the occurrence of some of the songs is utterly random and not needed. Cutting some songs partly and some songs entirely would have proved more beneficial.
Last and largest problem - the climax. A sorry excuse for changing the storyline...all because Gowarikar didn't want to spoil the fun for those who had already read the book. In my opinion, it probably spoiled their fun. The climax is stupid, scattered and very disappointing. In the book and the TV show, Yogi ends up marrying some thirteenth chick who he just happens to fall for (or something) and we never even get to know her raashee. In the movie, the bride and groom had no 'romantic' moment, and suddenly they're marrying each other? The Aquarian (yes gasp quickly now) has no traits showcased that of being an Aquarian, but is given more supremacy than the other raashees... What did she have that the others didn't? What happened to the poignancy of the Cancer meeting or the instant attraction with the Virgo? (Aquarians may be happy or may not care....but seriously, think about it!) And trust me, when the plot 'comes together' at the end, you'd probably be holding your head and wondering, "Why the hell did I come and waste three hours to watch THIS end???" - we realise that the three hours of our life and 20 days of Yogesh's life were all a waste because the problem is solved with or without his marriage.
Now that I have THAT off my chest..let's come to the pros. There are some, otherwise I would've been crying literally for spending 150 on that PVR ticket. Firstly, you thought she was good in Fashion??? Wait till you see Piggy Chops in form as 12 different raashees. Epitomising that very accentuated trait we talked about earlier...she may not be believable as an actual person, but it's a hoot to watch her in each form. With what I know of each sign observing myself, my friends and family, she emotes very well. Which also brings us to one of the few positives in the writing - the familiarity of a girl with her raashee on the screen. You could easily make out which sign you're watching without prompting. Now to her counterpart, Harman is pretty spontaneous and has risen high from Love Story 2050 and Victory. Comparisons with Hrithik Roshan are inevitable, but Harman is pretty believable as the puppet in the hands of his family. He is a good actor, I have always maintained...just choose the right scripts man!
Dialogues are first-rate and a special mention should go to some fantastic special effects by Red Chillies and superb art direction. Costumes are just right. And as I mentioned before, some of the songs have been picturised amazingly....those very songs which may not be the best to listen to on the album like 'Maanunga Maanunga', 'Pyaari Pyaari' and 'Bikhri Bikhri'.
I'd be lying if I say that this film doesn't have its moments....Aries girl wannabe-Anjali asks Yogesh, "It must be snowing in Chicago" and your heart melts. Jhankana is the under-age Capricorn who goes back to playing hopscotch as Yogesh drives off. Kajal is taught the meaning of the truly magical romantic moment when she was still in a Mills and Boon fantasy in her head.
Each girl has some moment which touches your heart but it is this non-bias towards each raashee where Gowarikar fails miserably. You can't drive an entire movie with 12 fabulous scenes in god knows how many reels.
My suggestion would be that watch the movie once - just once. But you needn't go to the cinema hall. Wait for it to come on TV. It won't be that long....just a few months. That's good enou
About the Author: Rhea