At the peak of his career, Sanjeev Kumar did nine roles in Naya Din Nayee Raat. Shekhar Suman played nine different characters in David Dhawan's Chor Machaye Shor. Kamal Haasan was seen playing 10 avatars in Dasavatharam. Sonu Sood was in 11 different garbs in Dhoondte Reh Jaaoge and recently Randeep Hooda attempted 18 roles in Mere Khwabon Mein Jo Aaye. All films did badly at the box office.
Will it work?
Stars attempt to do multiple roles in films to showcase their versatility and talent and Priyanka is attempting to enter the Guinness Book of World Records with her 12 roles in What's Your Raashee? But the big question is: will it work?
Trade magazine Super Cinema's editor, Vikas Mohan says, "Audiences reject films where stars do multiple roles. The past films with established actors like Sanjeev Kumar and Kamal Haasan have proved the trend. The reason is that audiences find no consistency in the roles. When they see 12 characters being played by the same star the audiences can't connect to them. Unmein interest khatam ho jata hai. Generally stars do multiple roles to prove their versatility but the films don't run."
About WYR?, Mohan says, "Talented actors like Sanjeev Kumar and Kamal Haasan can still carry off the film convincingly. But does Priyanka have the ability to carry off 12 roles when she can't perform convincingly in one? Stars should remain within their limits." He goes on to add, "What's Your Raashee? doesn't even have good music. There's no buzz about the film."
Taran Adarsh, editor of Trade Guide too agrees,"Though it's true that films like NDNR and Dasavatharam where stars play multiple roles haven't done well, it's a big high for an actor to exhibit their talent in varied roles. As far as WYR? is concerned, it depends on the story and screenplay. Director Ashutosh Gowariker knows today's sensibilities. He adds, "I wouldn't mind seeing Priyanka in WYR? without any prosthetics." Another film expert and editor of Film Information, Komal Nahata says, "We can't generalise these things based on past experience. It could be just a coincidence that such films haven't done well. If WYR? has a story and screenplay that connects with audiences, it could do okay."