'Half Girlfriend' movie review: Not all Chetan Bhagat books should be made into films

Half Girlfriend movie review: Not all Chetan Bhagat books should be made into films

The film and the characters fail to connect with the audience

By Anita Iyer

Published: Fri 19 May 2017, 3:27 PM

Last updated: Wed 24 May 2017, 11:52 PM

Half Girlfriend is an adaptation of Chetan Bhagat's book by the same title. The story is simple - a boy from Patna, Madhav Jha (Arjun Kapoor) enrolls himself into St. Stephen's College, Delhi and meets a modern girl from a rich family Riya (Shraddha Kapoor). He cannot speak a single flawless sentence in English and his character follows the Bihari accent through the movie. 
He falls for her but she agrees to be his half girlfriend - more than a friend but less than a girlfriend. Arjun is playing a north Indian guy in the film, and stays true to his character throughout. 
We have seen Shraddha play the girl-next-door roles in her earlier films and here she is playing the basketball, wants to play at a New York café as a musician but none of this is convincing.  
You don't connect with any of these characters and that is where the problem starts. They come, do their scenes and exit without leaving an impact on you. The film lacks real emotions - however hard they try, you aren't able to get involved in the narrative.  
Vikrant Massey as his friend, Seema Biswas as the boy's mother appear to take the story forward but end up adding too much drama even in scenes that could have been handled without going overboard.
Mid-way in the film you wonder that if the English language is such an impediment, why won't he just learn it instead of cribbing till the last line in the film?             
The story unwantedly brings in twist and turns, even as you eagerly wait for it to end. I can remember at least one place where I heaved a sigh of relief assuming the movie was finally over, only for it to go on for another half hour. This was the general feeling of the audience watching the morning show. Mohit Suri's films are known for good music and thankfully the songs appear as a breather in this painful storytelling.                         
Director Mohit Suri tries to weave a love story from a yet another Chetan Bhagat novel but fails miserably. After all, not all books popular with the youth need to be adapted on the big screen and this film is testimony to it. Yes, Kai Po Che, 2 States and 3 Idiots were blockbusters but don't forget Hello was also an adaption of Chetan's One Night @ the Call Centre.
After enduring the pointless movie for 2 hours and 15 minutes, I am glad I didn't waste my time reading the book. The million dollar question remains - if the book didn't really get good reviews, why would anybody make it into a film in the first place?
Watch the film if you have absolutely nothing to do this week or are an Arjun, Shraddha Kapoor fan.  
Starring: Arjun Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Seema Biswas, Vikrant Massey
Directed by:  Mohit Suri
Now playing at theatres in the UAE
Rating: 1/5

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