Arjun Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Vikrant Massey, Rhea Chakraborty, Seema Biswas
Balaji Motion Pictures
Why would Mohit Suri make a film based on one of Chetan Bhagat’s most mediocre work? Why would Arjun Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor agree to be a part of it? These mysteries I don’t have an answer to, but I vouch you will for sure get a run down on what HALF GIRLFRIEND is all about, and perhaps I could save 2 hours and 15 minutes of your life.
The film is about Madhav Jha (Arjun Kapoor) and his half-girlfriend, Riya Somani. For those who do not understand what the term half girlfriend means, it is basically an I-don’t-go-beyond-first-base kinda girlfriend.
Getting back to the film, Madhav is confused. He used to be a big fish in Bihar. However, the moment he reaches St. Stephen’s College in Delhi - he is cut down to size due to his inefficiency in speaking Queen’s English (Obviously, the makers of this film haven’t seen HINDI MEDIUM). His inability to speak correctly doesn’t hamper his suave quo on the basketball court. He ends up flooring Riya with his moves, and she eventually decides to be Madhav’s HALF GIRLFRIEND. Unfortunately, since Madhav sports expertise are restricted to basketball, he doesn’t understand the baseball metaphors, and he forgoes first base and lands himself in a muck as he tries going straight to third base with Riya. Riya takes it the wrong way, Madhav takes it worse…
Soon, his frustrations over his soured relationship with his half-girlfriend, turns into desperation. His good friend Shailesh (Vikrant Massey) tries his level best to dissuade Madhav from losing the plot, but heck, Chetan Bhagat never had it, how will Madhav ever manage. So the film moves from Delhi to New York, because Madhav is still trailing his lost love now in jackets and overcoats which add layers to his bulk and makes him look a wee-bit too bulky in some scenes. Riya, on the other hand, is still in her minis, but she has efficiently adapted an accent when she is singing at live bars. Psst. She is singing in English, and this time Madhav doesn’t look so clueless, though he is drunk, so that might have affected him more than we can know. Beause by this time, the audience (I can speak about all of us who were seeing the film) were just waiting to go home to a life that made sense.
Mohit Suri’s adaptation of this Chetan Bhagat novel can be best described as cumbersome. The acting, the jerks in narrative, the change in the tone of the film, the tedious actors (I am obviously not counting Vikrant Massey and Seema Biswas in this, they are as good as they are used to being) and the music are all below satisfaction. While Arjun Kapoor sheds his Biharisms to adopt New York via Delhi accent, it does seem like Shraddha Kapoor only insisted that she wanted to look pretty in the film. That’s clearly all she does. While her team of professional helpers manage to give her a gorgeous variety of looks from sporty to rockstar to a sexy-girl-next-door, Shraddha’s acting is pretty monotonous. The character in the film defies logic and lacks emotions. In comparison, Madhav hams with excess. The music - barring one song ("Main phir bhi tum ko chahunga", Arijit’s signature song for the film) is boring. The lyrics, the music don’t work the way Mohit’s uncles (the Bhatts) usually have in the movies. Had the music had more soul, the film would have had a steady heart given the 2 hours is packed with a lot of songs. Instead the film rambles on forever!