Incidentally, the two releases this week (Half Girlfriend and Hindi Medium) have a common theme- lack of English language skills creates hardships in love and live. Half girlfriend, particularly, believes in extremes and caricatures. Madhav Jha (Arjun Kapoor) is studying in a top Delhi college but can’t speak English beyond yes, no, thank you. Riya Somani (Shraddha Kapoor) and the sundry other university officials speak English like they were directly imported from England. Having studied in Delhi University myself, I can say for sure nothing can be farther than the truth.
The hero’s mantra is don’t get defeated, but defeat defeat (yes, that’s two times). Unfortunately, the only winning he wants is to get the girl. For his determination, he has no ambition, professional or otherwise. He lives for the girl, at her beck and call, and even refuses to get a life after she leaves him. He opts out of placement to go back to his village, straight to his mother
Riya on the other end is non-committal. She makes out with him, takes him to meet her parents yet she is not his girlfriend, not even friend with benefits. She leaves him many times only to come back finally leading to a predictable end. When she is away, out hero is a loony guy, getting drunk, searching for her everywhere and otherwise not doing much with his life. Even when he gets an opportunity to work in Gates Foundation, he spends all his time getting drunk and hopping from one bar to another.
Ground realities never come in the way of story development. Riya can easily bypass security and go on top of India Gate at will, she faces no immigration woes as she flits between USA and India. She can easily croon her off-tune songs in random bars. For her, getting a gig is New York is easy, even though she hails from another country where English is not the native language. Madhav’s solution to find Riya in New York is to visit bars every evening and drink till he is sloshed. Really, is that even a plan? And what’s even more preposterous is that he actually manages to find her in this random manner. In fact he is a stalker and a whining sulky person when Riya is not with him. And almost like a dog when she is with him. Can you blame her for dumping such a guy? We even have a guy with Bill Gates’ digitally superimposed face looking like a zombie in the film.
Arjun Kapoor is miscast. He looks old for the part. There is an awkwardness around him that can be a career-killer. In comparison, his friend in the film, Shailesh (Vikrant Massey) is way more impressive. Shraddha Kapoor’s character lacks heft but at least she looks pretty. Chetan Bhagat’s book was not a great read. Half Girlfriend, the film, is not a great watch. You are better off giving the film a miss.
By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=53618051
Rating : 2/5
Starring: Arjun Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Vikrant Massey
Director: Mohit Suri