‘Half Girlfriend’ movie review: A tedious watch!

‘Half Girlfriend’ movie review: A tedious watch!

Directed By: Mohit Suri
Produced By: Balaji Motion Pictures, Mohit Suri, Chetan Bhagat
Cast: Arjun Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Vikrant Massey
Duration:  2 hours 15 minutes
Rating: 2/5

 Yet another Chetan Bhagat movie, this should be saying it all, but well…! So the movie starts with Madhav Jha (Arjun Kapoor) who belongs to Buxar, Bihar and applies in a very prestigious college in Delhi, St. Stephens. His poor English with a heavy Bhojpuri accent plays spoilsport. But since he’s a state level basketball player, he gets through college with the help of sports quota. Here starts the love story…He happens to meet Riya Somani (Shraddha Kapoor), beautiful, rich, high-profile and all that jazz! Riya and Madhav are poles apart, but they gel along well eventually due to their common love for basketball. Like every other typical love story, Madhav falls madly in love with Riya, but Riya doesn’t wish to be his girlfriend. But since their friendship is a little more than just friends, the very complicated theory of ‘Half Girlfriend’ creeps in. Sooner than later, Madhav tries to get physically intimate with Riya which ends up in an abusive situation with her. (Dena Hai Toh De, Varna Kat Le… AHEM!) This, obviously becomes the turning point for Riya and she breaks every bond with Madhav. Over the period of time, Riya suffers an abusive marriage and on the other side, Madhave returns to his village, unable to bear with Riya’s absence from his life. Back in the village, he begins to concentrate on his village’s welfare, where his mother runs a small school. Didn’t we say this is a typical love story? Because destiny brings them in front of each other once again, after all these years, but this time in Bihar. Oh also, Bill Gates comes to Bihar and promises financial aid to the keen educationists of the state. So if you go to see, more or less it was Bill Gates who reunited the two lost souls. But there’s nothing to blame on Mohit Suri. The first half of the film only concentrates on the adaptation of the book.

Method acting doesn’t always work out. Madhav Jha is so far the most divergent character Arjun Kapoor has played; and it doesn’t look like he was very comfortable in Madhav’s shoes. That is not to say we question his acting abilities. Give him one ‘Aurangzeb’ or one ‘Finding Fanny’, he will show you his prowess.  But not here. The best diction coach or many of Mohit Suri’s script reading sessions didn’t help Arjun assimilate his character’s best traits. As a result, Madhav Jha turns out to be a person whose crisis never comes completely real, and never connects to his dilemma; especially after the first half (since that’s when the melodrama begins). Shraddha Kapoor looks even more plastic, and never manages to inhale the ethos of her role altogether. While she supposed to be a woman torn between her own choices and the choices that others make for her, the conflicts lived by Shraddha look ersatz; much to our dismay. The only performer in ‘Half Girlfriend’ is Vikrant Massey, who pulls himself throughout.

The most noticeable drawback in the screenplay of ‘Half Girlfriend’ is, none of the characters are convincing. An honest, grounded, soft-spoken Madhav Jha who is studying sociology because he demands to understand how “Bihar is as it is” and wants to uplift his village, easily gives in to his friend’s plans to drag Riya Somani into his room and ask for s*x. Riya Somani, who takes no offence of Madhav’s very poor English and very fetchingly declares “Hum Kya Kehte Hai Woh Important Hota Hai, Kaunsi Language Mein, Woh Nahi”, communicates with him in her affluent English for the rest of the film. To our surprise, he manages to make sense out of them. Madhav’s mother, the Rani Saheba of Simrao, a widow who brought her son up singlehandedly and taught him to never give up on life, strangely turns into a woman with orthodox outlook as soon as she comes to know her son is mixing up with a divorcee woman; and delivers sleazy dialogues like “Chhodne Ki Aadat Hai Aap Ko. College, Husband, Thali Mein Khana”.  Hiccups! The list can go on.  On top of that, the second half is unbearably slow. We’re more desperate for the love story to come to a conclusion, more than Madhav himself is.

The production of ‘Half Girlfriend’ is rather a little saviour. In Mohit Suri’s films, songs are like scenes; they escalate the story. Here, ‘Baarish’ and ‘Phir Bhi Tum Ko Chahunga’,  two soothing numbers, will manage to grow on you. Rest are to simply add emotional quotient. The film has been decently shot. But a thousand slow claps for the miserable VFX of Bill Gates. I mean, how?

Skipping ‘Half Girlfriend’ won’t be a loss. However, watch if you are in for a predictable and heavy-hearted love story.

Watch trailer:

Also Read: Filmmaker Mohit Suri says he misjudged Arjun Kapoor as an actor

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