Cast: Arjun Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor
Director: Mohit Suri
Reviewed By : Nandini Roy
Where do you go when you’ve had it with the world? Tradition and cinematic cliche suggest some far-removed nook hidden from civilisation, a secret spot known only to you, but Riya Somani – the titular heroine of Half Girlfriend – has her fortress of solitude bang in the heart of New Delhi, atop the most securely fortified monument in the country. Whenever she feels overwhelmed, Riya casually slips past armed guards, steps over a chain or two and clambers up India Gate, sitting on the top to rhapsodise about the view.
I wonder why more of us haven’t tried this. Maybe take a barbecue grill up there, wave at the President every now and then?
Mohit Suri (along with the other cast and crew) tried really hard to make people go and watch this film; one example is saying at an event that it was the first film to be shot in UN, that too for free! But, will it be beneficial? Well, only the numbers will speak, starting today!
Based on a book by Chetan Bhagat, Mohit Suri’s new film is a preposterously dimwitted romance, irresponsible enough to lead on many a stalker-to-be.
Arjun Kapoor a.k.a Madhav Jha is a Bihari boy and the prince of a small village in Patna and he wants admission in one of the top colleges in Delhi to study sociology there. Surprisingly, he gets in. And, as we all know that he has shorthand in English but somehow manages to understand everything!
On the other hand, Shraddha Kapoor a.k.a Riya Somani is a posh-bred girl (as you can judge by her extremely-amazing outfits) who is obsessed with fist-bumping (Whyy??) and belongs from a super-messed up family background. And she has to face a traumatic situation everyday but finds her escape in music.
Madhav and Riya bond over basketball and instantly become friends. Then, they both start hanging out a lot and develop feelings for each other. *Ugghhh! Cliché * Anyway, she invites him on her birthday which is a high-end champagne brunch party at her mansion where Madhav feels really out of place. He then asks her the famous question of all times, “where are we exactly?”And she tells him, “Main tumhare safar me tumhara pura sath to nahi de sakti, but I can be your Half Girlfriend…” Okayyy then!
Riya is visibly fond of Madhav and loves being with him, but, at 19, is wary of the girlfriend tag and what it may entail. All systems seem go: She’s making him meet her folks, she’s using the word ‘us’ to describe them, she’s initiating the first kiss, she’s singing lovesongs to him across a crowded lawn. This warmth is countered by bewildering bouts of insecurity from the otherwise devoted but semantically obsessed Madhav, who disregards her affectionate requests to take things slow by manhandling her, and snapping that she should bed him or buzz off. She chooses the latter.
The boy can’t let go.
Despite what you may believe, or what the makers may have intended at some point during the production, this isn’t the story of a sincere young man confounded by urban love and left helpless by an unidentified relationship. It is instead the story of a man-child with a one-track mind who misses the point of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and relentlessly pursues a girl who would rather feign death than be with him. He’s a sulker with a martyr complex who repeatedly upends his own life and then whines about how he did it for her, leaving classes and jobs behind. Arjun Kapoor plays this lousy protagonist in a lumbering manner, slackjawed, forever nodding his head, and – in a misguided attempt to look simple – blankly smiling ear to ear.
Shraddha Kapoor is Riya, shrill and insubstantial, one of the film’s many characters who insist on speaking in English without being good at it. The prize for mangling the language, however, must be shared by the actor playing Riya’s father who, when shouting at her mother, sounds like he’s discovering words for the first time, and by Riya’s suitor, a man with an unbelievably cartoonish ‘what-ho’ accent who calls a simple diamond pendant ‘baroque.’ There is some reprieve in the form of Vikrant Massey, acing both English and Bihari tonality, and who, with the first smile he flashes – simple, confident, assured – demonstrates the straightforward vibe Madhav needed.
Well, we atleast expected that technically this movie will be worth a watch and TBH, it didn’t do any wonders. Let us break it down to you step by step. Screenplay by Chetan Bhagat and Mohit Suri was really loose and it made this film a total drab. Cinematographer Vishnu Roy did nothing more than putting a lot of 360 degree shots which really made us feel sick at times by making our heads spin.
Oh and the VFX! God… that bad VFX. The only part which was actually hilarious in the film was the VFX of Bill Gates’ face on a foreigner which made us laugh whenever he was there in the shot. It was so bad that it was actually good. (Pun intended)
Also starring in this film, after much noble talk of philanthropy and toilets for the girl-child, is Bill Gates. As in, a still photograph on Gates digitally glued onto another man’s body. Words cannot describe how mortifying this sequence is, a cameo to rank right up there with the time Cindy Crawford played Dev Anand’s mother.
Half Girlfriend is about two halfwits who belong together. It is a film that claims to celebrate romance and undying passion and gates both Bill and Indian, but all it does is applaud a spoilt man who believes he’s a scapegoat. He is not. He is, in fact, a man who hands the woman he loves a butcher knife, gets down on all fours, sticks his neck over a earthen pot of biryani and goes baaaaa. Off with his head.