Director: Mohit Suri
Writer: Chetan Bhagat (novel), Tushar Hiranandani (screenplay), Ishita Moitra (dialogue)
Stars: Shraddha Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor, Rhea Chakraborty, Greg Kriek
Runtime: 135 min
Genre: Drama, Romance
Released: 19 May 2017
Summary: Once upon a time, there was a Bihari boy called Madhav. He fell in love with a girl from Delhi called Riya. Madhav didn’t speak English well. Riya did. Madhav wanted a relationship. Riya didn’t. Riya just wanted friendship. Madhav didn’t. Riya suggested a compromise. She agreed to be his half girlfriend.
Madhav meets a girl named Riya and falls in love. After stuggling to convince her to be his girlfriend, she half heartedly agrees to be his “Half Girlfriend”
Review: Simrao, a village near Bihar’s capital Patna, has high hopes from Madhav Jha (Arjun Kapoor), their landlord of sorts. In the book, he is the scion of the now-fading ‘zamindaar’. Yes, I have read the book (one of my guilty pleasures in life).
Our guy is waiting to be called for the National Basketball team, and manages to secure admission in Delhi University’s St Stephen’s College. He meets and falls for Riya Somani (Shraddha Kapoor), a rich, but lonely girl. Somani agrees to become Jha’s half girlfriend—‘friend se thoda zyada, girlfried se kaafi kam’—a term that they keep repeating throughout the film. It’s a complicated situation which can break the poor Jha boy for ever.
Mohit Suri knows how to throw melodious music to hook audiences and he does that to stretch a thin plot for almost two-and-a-half hours.
Suri isn’t the only one guilty here. Even if you ignore Shraddha Kapoor’s “rich people have severe domestic issues” expressions, you can’t do the same with Arjun Kapoor, who seems to be sleep-walking through the film.
Whenever he is not playing the ideal son or one-hell-of-a-dedicated-lover, he is either being scolded by his hostel mate Shailesh Pandey (Vikrant Massey) or is delivering lectures on Bihar’s rich past. He also loves his drinks, but that part is probably unintentional.
In the end, it remains the story of a friend-zoned Arjun Kapoor who doesn’t know how to wriggle out of a destructive relationship. I can ignore his accent, but how can I not see his unwillingness to do justice to his role?
Half Girlfriend is confused, forced and takes the audience for granted. In one word: disappointing.