Half Girlfriend
Director : Mohit Suri
Music : Mithoon, Tanishk Bagchi, Rishi Rich, Farhan Saeed, Ami Mishra and Rahul Mishra
Lyrics : Manoj Muntashir, Kumaar, Kunal Vermaa, Arafat Mehmood, Tanishk Bagchi, Laado Suwalka, Anushka Shahaney, R.Rekhi, Veronica Mehta, Yash Anand, Yash Narvekar and Ishita Moitra Udhwani
Starring : Arjun Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Rhea Chakraborty and Vikrant Massey

May 19, 2017 10:03:38 AM IST
Half Girlfriend Review By Vishal Verma, Glamsham Editorial
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Riya tu ja ja ja.. bhaag tu ja ja ja.. peeche pada hai Madhav Jha Jha Jha, Riya tu bhag ja ja ja.. she is the runaway Riya (Shraddha Kapoor) who refuses to be the piya (beloved - full girlfriend we mean) of the prince of Dumroan (name changed in the film) - Madhav Jha (Arjun Kapoor)...they meet and then they get separated to meet again and get separated dobaara..

It's difficult to decipher what director Suri is striving to say through this stale, pale and half baked AASHIQUI (read love story) which is actually an adaptation of Chetan Bhagat's book. First of all, how come an average book like HALF GIRLFRIEND can translate into a good Bollywood love story is a mystery. It seems as the writer - Chetan Bhagat who is in a wrong notion that he is the writer of the 'common' man, Mohit Suri also believes that he can make something out of this aadhi adhuri dastaan (incomplete, half-baked story).


The erstwhile dependable Mohit Suri (EK VILLIAN, AASHIQUI 2, MURDER 2) churns another stale aloo puri in HALF GIRLFRIEND after the rotten banana by the name HAMARI ADHURI KAHANI - the 2015 banally cooked love curry made us question Vidya Balan, Emraan Hashmi and Rajkummar Rao ki yeh tumne kya kiya.. (what have you done?).

HALF GIRLFRIEND is a simple story of the Royal Jha sahab - a boy from Patna, Madhav Jha (Arjun Kapoor) finding his love. Madhav enrolls himself into St. Stephen's College, Delhi and meets a modern girl from a rich family Riya (Shraddha Kapoor). Madhav struggles with his English but is a pro at basketball. This love for basketball brings Madhav and Shraddha together. Oh so faithful to the book written by Bhagat ji. Tushar Hiranandani literally follows the book and writes this screenplay with Ishita Moitra penning that cliche dialogue 'deti hai toh de..varna kat le(make out or get out).. wah kya adaptation hai.. clap clap.

A mundane script that doesn't offer any novelty in this typical love story that is an example of mediocrity at its best has some changes like Riya is shown suffering from the trauma of her father getting violent towards her mother while in the book she suffers from sexual abuse. Though Shraddha Kapoor's fondness towards crooning and getting drenched in rain is repeated but with diminishing effect.

Anyways coming back to our prince Madhav Jha who tries hard to maintain his Bihari accent and convince his 'half girlfriend' to become full. 'Friend se thoda jyada par boyfriend se kaafi kam' is what 'Half Girlfriend' means as explained by Vikrant Massey who plays Madhav's friend. But who demanded the explanation? We knew it's a love story and they will meet again not in Bihar but New York city, the script has given the permission as Riya madam wants to sing live in jazz, retro bars.

But before that, Riya has to run away from Delhi to get married to her parent's choice FBCD (Foreign born confused desi) and run away from him also after one and a half year (another half) oh god so half heartedness we see. Anyways the ghatna (story) shifts to Patna now and Madhav has grown a beard that's looking weird in the ghum (remorse) of Riya. Madhav decides to improve the condition of schools and become an ambassador for 'Beti bachao, beti pado' and 'Sochalaya' for girls in school movement. He pushes for a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and guess who teaches Madhav English - bhuje ki na (got it or not).. its none other than Riya. As the speech is getting ready, Madhav's attempts to woo Riya again as his full girlfriend gains momentum and I like it. Persistency is a key to success. Bill Gates arrives in Patna and this on screen durghatna (disaster) is the caricature moment of the year. Madhav delivers his speech in the language of heart but Riya disappears again. She is suffering from cancer and so are we feeling the pain out of this aadha adhura pyaar. The rest is how Madhav does bar hopping in New York to find Riya and by the way a heart broken Rhea Chakraborty makes an entry and I confess that this girl is better than the runaway Riya. At least she knows what she wants. Oh yeah.. All that's she wants - singer Riya have you heard that number.

So as cliche it can get, one day Madhav spots Riya in a bar and not inside an airport (novelty you see) and Riya finally becomes Riya Madhav Jha.

Nothing connects in this prolonged bore. The writers just follow the book. It's a weak, timid adaptation that lacks the emotional punch and the romantic connect. The chemistry between Riya and Madhav is not felt as it doesn't get established on screen. Mohit Suri's direction is strictly routine. Music fails to hold though technicalities are better. Production values are first rate.

Arjun Kapoor tries very hard and his efforts are seen. The limitation of Arjun as an actor makes the effort visible. Shraddha Kapoor is strictly okay. Vikrant Massey is fine. Rhea Chakraborty shines. It's sad to see a talent like Seema Biswas getting wasted as Arjun Kapoor's mom.

Ruined by a bland, by-the-numbers plot and mediocre performance, HALF GIRLFRIEND is a painful adaptation of Chetan Bhagat's novel. Yes we have had engaging adaptations like KAI PO CHE!, 2 STATES and the modern cult 3 IDIOTS (inspired) from Chetan Bhagat's work but we also had ONE NIGHT @ THE CALL CENTRE and now we have HALF GIRLFRIEND to give a full company.

Dekho but at your own risk.

 Half Girlfriend Review Rating : 
1.5/5 stars
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