dazzles Toronto at '...Rashee' premiere
Toronto, Sep. 20, 2009
Bollywood beauty Priyanka Chopra dazzled the Toronto audience as
Gowariker's "What's Your Rashee?" brought
the curtains down on the last day of the 34th Toronto International
Film Festival (TIFF) here.
Gowariker, Priyanka and actor Hurman Baweja were given the ceremonial
red carpet reception at the city's Roy Thomson Hall where the film
premiered Saturday. And festival co-director Cameron Bailey was
on hand to welcome the trio.
"It is an honour to have India's great and very diverse director
(Gowariker) here with us today. We welcomed him here in 2001 with
'Lagaan' and we welcome him here again," said Bailey.
Unlike 2001, Gowariker said, Saturday was a special day for him
as it was the first time his film was being premiered at one of
the world's top film festivals.
"I am apprehensive, waiting in anticipation how the film is
received back in India when it is released next week. I hope the
planets (rashee) are with me," Gowariker told IANS.
Waving to the crowd in the theatre hall, Priyanka said she was
thrilled to be at the Toronto film festival for the first time.
She asked the audiences to be forgiving as it was her first film
premiere at a major international festival.
Looking a little bewildered, Hurman, who plays the role of Yogesh
Patel, said they all worked very hard on the film and he was excited
to see it being premiered at the Toronto fest.
In the packed hall, the audience enjoyed every moment as the over
three-hour-long film unfolded on the big screen.
After initially switching between India and Chicago, the plot settles
on NRI Yogesh Patel's Gujarati family as the search begins for a
bride for him.
Shortlisting 165 girls who respond to their matrimonial ad to just
12 - each of one sun sign - Yogesh and his family start meeting
each girl, starting with the Aries sun sign.
Twelve songs - one for each sun sign - keep the plot afloat as
Priyanka changes chameleon-like from the role of one girl to the
If she is homely in one role, she is a bold student in the other,
a dedicated doctor in another and a corporate in the next. If in
one role she says she knows nothing about love, in the next she
frankly admits to having an affair with someone.
In between, Gowariker has thrown in a little bit of the bhai (don)
world to add variety to the plot.
"What's Your Rashee?" was the second Bollywood film to
be premiered this year at the festival after "Dil Bole Hadippa",
which stars Rani Mukerji and Shahid Kapoor.
But many other India-specific films were also screened at the film
festival this year.
These included "Window" (Janala) by Buddhadeb Dasgupta,
"The Man Beyond the Bridge" (Paltodacho Munis) by Laxmikant
Shetgaonkar, "Road, Movie" by Dev Benegal, and "Cooking
with Stella" by Dilip Mehta.
There were also quite a few films that were either partly shot
in India or have Indian connections. "The Waiting City"
by Claire McCarthy revolved around an Australian couple coming to
Kolkata to adopt a child.
"Google Baby" by Zippi Brand Frank depicts the business
of surrogacy motherhood in Gujarat.
"The Joneses", the highly-rated American film by Derrick
Borte, had equity from India's Vistaar Religare Film Fund.