Movie: Half Girlfriend
Cast: Arjun Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Vikram Massey, Seema Biswas
Producers: Ekta Kapoor, Shobha Kapoor, Chetan Bhagat, Mohit Suri
Director: Mohit Suri
It’s a normal practice for filmmakers to turn books into movies, and in the Bollywood scene, Chetan Bhagat’s books are seemingly considered to be the bible for directors if they seek a ready-made storyline.
Half Girlfriend, a yet another Chetan Bhagat book-to-film adaptation, which has released today, bears testimony to the fact that Bollywood directors are ready to blindly follow the half-baked plotlines of the author and expect it to be a hit every single time.
As it’s known, the story of Half Girlfriend revolves around the two (terribly casted) protagonists Arjun Kapoor, who plays the Bihar boy Madhav Jha and Shraddha Kapoor the (wannabe) affluent girl Riya Somani, who overcome their language barriers and bond over their love for Basketball, which only lasts for a short while and then we are exploring their (annoyingly) complicated love story.
Riya is seen dealing with her super-messed up family issues and the over-the-top idealist Madhav is seen being a goof with Riya, a puppet to his roommates in St. Stephens and a mamma’s boy to Seema Biswas. At one point in the movie, Riya vanishes into thin air. Based on very little clues that Madhav has, he moves to New York with the excuse of an internship with Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, hoping to find here there. Given that it’s a Bollywood film which is an adaptation of a Chetan Bhagat novel, the end is quite predictable.
Now, here is what we thought of the movie.
The dialogues are pretty witty (except the ones given to Shraddha) and we liked Arjun Kapoor in some parts where he was a total goof (which seemed like natural acting to us), but that wasn’t enough to make us overlook his miserable performance. In our heads, we compared him with Sushant Singh Rajput almost every step of the way, who (obviously) won.
Arjun’s Bihari accent, we felt, was his way of mocking the ethnic group. In fact, people who even attempt to mock the group produce a more authentic version of the dialect. He said during an event that “Madhav Jha is a once in a lifetime character”. He was right. Such blunders should not be repeated.
Shraddha, on the other hand, should have been replaced with the original choice for the female lead, which was Kriti Sanon, no doubt about it. (Either that or she should have considered some acting classes). Although it was demanded from the actress to look superficial if one had to play Riya, it takes a special skill set to make a bad character look even worse on the screen
On the brighter side, the supporting cast such as such as that of a Bihari student group led by Arjun’s college room-mate Shailesh (played by Vikrant Massey of the hit TV show Balika Vadhu fame) and the soothing musical numbers were somewhat a breather. However, we did not see the sense in playing the track “Phir Bhi Tumko Chahunga” zillion times during the film. Also, there is an English track which is repeatedly sung by Shraddha which starts with the line “Stay A Little Longer With Me”, which we felt was her way of pleading to the audience to give her (failing) career one more chance.
The best part of the film was the HORRIBLE face morph techniques which were used to make someone look like Bill Gates (Who appears in the second half). Someone from the first year of animation school could have done a better job.
I will conclude my review with two pieces of advice to the lead cast, the director, and the producers.
- Arjun and Shraddha Kapoor, you should NEVER play lovers for a film. You guys would do better as siblings. Also, it’s time you let this debacle pass by and shift your focus to Mubarakan and Haseena respectively.
- Mohit Suri, it’s time that you take a hiatus (or a complete retirement) from film direction and try making a few music videos. You never know, that might just be your calling?
- To the producers, it’s time you write this move off in your books as one big loss. Don’t be hopeful about getting back even a small percentage of your money.
Our Verdict: If you have to choose between the two releases of this week (The other one being Irrfan Khan’s Hindi Medium), you should begin deciding what kind of food combo you want while you watch the Irrfan Khan movie. Strictly avoidable!
Our Rating: Half Star for the music.