A still from the film.
Director: Mohit Suri
Cast: Arjun Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Seema Biswas, Vikrant Messy
Must feel good for writer-turned-producer Chetan Bhagat being lucky enough to get his characters transformed onto the reel. But at the same time it also must feel terrible for the filmmakers who choose to make films based on his novels (Rajkumar Hirani being an exception, who adapted ‘Five Point Someone’ into ‘3 Idiots’). Director Mohit Suri, who is specialised in making sob tales aka disasters, dares to adapt the author’s melodramatic novel ‘Half Girlfriend,’ in his latest offering.
Madhav Jha (Arjun Kapoor), an ambitious guy from a small town in Bihar, moves to Delhi, to pursue higher education in an upmarket college. He meets Riya Somani (Shraddha Kapoor), a rich, fashionable yet emotional girl. She has a dysfunctional family and aspires to become a singer in New York. The two bond over basketball matches and soon fall for each other but a big surprise (Rofl) awaits! Riya’s been married off to a dirty rich guy from the States. Soon after, Madhav moves back to Bihar.
Few years later, the two meet again in Patna, incidentally, but by that time Riya is single all over again for Madhav (as expected Rohan leaves her). Madhav’s mother Seema Biswas doesn’t approve a divorcee as a daughter-in-law, and Riya sacrifices her love and leaves India telling the biggest lie she could think of (she is dying of blood cancer). But our Indian heroes never lose hope for true love and guess what, the two meet again in New York and bingo! It’s climax here and that’s pretty much it. What? And they live happily ever after. Whoa!
The big question here is why Mohit Suri is so depressed in his life? His characters are either dying of some highly abused diseases on screen or have a sad ending. Be it ‘Aashiqui 2,' ‘Ek Villain’ or ‘Humari Adhuri Kahaani’, the most saleable thing during these releases were the boxes of tissues available in the market. He surely has potential to show happy romance on celluloid, then why does he continue making incomplete love stories every time, is beyond the reviewer.
Oh, sorry, ‘Half Girlfriend’ has a happy ending but it is a novel's adaptation (Cut, copy and paste). Shot in and around exotic locations of New York, the UN headquarters (a first for Bollywood), Delhi and Bihar, ‘Half Girlfriend’ is not as good as half of anything miserable you might have seen or experienced in your life. The dialogues are corny and the screenplay is as good as Mills and Boon.
The film is certainly not for the classes. Even the producers must have targetted the youth specifically. The idea of a boy meeting a girl, departing, and meeting again, is the safest bet to play with the psyche of college bunkers and Mohit has played smart with that. The film has every possible ingredient of a run-of-the-mill love story. But, if Mohit has to sustain in the business, he must challenge himself with something more interesting rather than making a tear-jerker. The saving grace of the film could be its music. With two-three melodious tracks in it, popcorn isn’t a bad idea to lounge to in the multiplex.
Arjun Kapoor can’t act to save his life. He looks like this big piece of flesh roaming on the busy streets to find his love. A good actor could have spoken Hindi in a Bihari accent way better than him for sure (producers couldn’t afford to get him a tutor?) Barring his debut ‘Ishaqzaade’, Arjun has never managed to impress with his performances. However, Shraddha Kapoor does a fair job but in bits and pieces. Since she is Mohit Suri’s favourite, that could be the reason that she looked a little better than her previous films. Her teary eyes are bearable but her voice is grating. Her laughter is cute but her expressions are awful! The one who steals the show in the film is Vikrant Messy who has an amazing grip on the Bihari accent. He is actually a lot better than both Arjun and Shraddha. Seema Biswas has a striking resemblance with her character in ‘Vivaah’ and has done justice to her part in this sinking ship. Rhea Chakraborty is good in her cameo.
On the whole, ‘Half Girlfriend’ is too bad a film for human eyes. Unless, of course, you still like to watch love that is not only mushy, but also cringe-worthy, all at once. The film is definitely not worth your ticket price.