Madhav Jha (Arjun Kapoor) is a village boy from Bihar who comes to study at a prestigious college in New Delhi. Despite being poor in English, he manages to make it to the college through sports quota. He then sets his eyes upon Riya Somani (Shraddha Kapoor); the most popular girl in college. A chance meeting turns into a full-blown friendship, but Jha who is already head over heels in love with Riya wants her to commit to the relationship. That’s when Riya drops the “half girlfriend” bomb on him. Being the gullible simpleton, Madhav readily accepts anything she says. However, fate has different plans for them and they soon go their separate ways. But this can’t be the end right? So they meet again only to be separated again and then like shampoo instructions – lather, rinse, repeat.
Half Girlfriend became notorious for this one line that Chetan Bhagat wrote – Deti hai toh de warna katle. That’s the biggest irony of this tale because had the lead actually just done that we wouldn’t have to sit through 2 hours and 40 minutes of slow death.
Since I (thankfully) haven’t read the book, I can’t really draw parallels here. The first half begins on a decent note and moves on smoothly until it gets repetitive in a few places. And then begins the onslaught! Imagine this; the lead actors climb atop the national heritage structure, India Gate, to run away from their problems and there are never any guards to take notice. If that wasn’t weird enough, how about someone faking cancer in the film? I don’t want to give out the spoilers but there are some ridiculous occurrences in the film that will affect your decision to watch it.
Riya’s dream is to perform live at a bar in New York but throughout the film she’s shown singing only one song. In fact, since she sings it in English, Shraddha’s voice is dubbed and this backfires quite a bit. The makers have even tried to enforce a social angle to the movie by bringing the Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao campaign in.
Interestingly, Shraddha Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor are watchable and they do a fair job. But towards the second half, Arjun’s droopy eyes might just put you to sleep. Shraddha plays the rich and elite Delhi girl with ease and she grows on you as the film progresses. However, the same can’t be said for Arjun – his Bhojpuri accent seems forced and he is a misfit in the role. His bulky frame and monotonous facial expressions do nothing to help either. Overthrowing both the lead actors, Vikrant Massey manages to steal the show. He plays Arjun’s friend in the film and right from his accent, to his diction and his brilliant performance, everything is to watch out for. Even Seema Biswas, who plays Arjun’s mother in the movie plays her role well.
Songs like Baarish and Phir Bhi Tumko Chaahunga are almost addictive and you’ll find yourself humming them even after you exit the theatre. But that’s all you will remember, because even the few good actors in the film don’t save it from becoming a disaster at the box office.
Supriya Says: Half Girlfriend is not worth your time. You might as well spend time with your full girlfriend doing something else!