Madhav Jha (Arjun Kapoor) is a rural guy from Bihar who gets admission in St. Stephen’s College, New Delhi through sports quota. He doesn’t like the obsession for English speaking in the college (he himself is poor in it) and decides not to stay there till he meets Riya Somani (Shraddha Kapoor), a rich and beautiful girl. Madhav and Riya befriend through their love for basketball and start spending time together during which Madhav falls in love with her.
But does Riya feel the same? Can she ever accept a backward person like Madhav? What has fate stored in for both of them?
Positive points: –
- The music of the film is excellent and probably the only other thing (apart from the performances) that keeps the film alive.
- Arjun Kapoor’s simplistic and heartfelt performance along with a sterling show by Vikrant Massey keep you hooked up to the film.
- Madhav’s search for Riya towards the end is also good and gives the flick its much needed emotional moment.
Negative points: –
- An illogical script with illogical characters behaving illogically throughout the runtime is a yawn-yawn recipe for movie making. Duh!
- Mohit Suri’s below average direction and his lack of insight as a movie maker makes an idiotic story look even more nonsensical (I don’t know for good or not).
- Abysmal VFX viz the Bill Gates’ sequence shows how backward Indian cinema is in case of visual and special effects even after the release of Bahubali 2.
- Finally, the thing which I hate to say but I have to, ie the movie is clichéd. There is nothing special or new in it except the concept of Half Girlfriend (which isn’t any meaty either).
Direction, Script and Other Technicalities: –
It’s time that Mohit Suri took a long break from directing and spend some time holidaying with his family (just a suggestion, it’s his wish what he wants to do, *sticks tongue out*). I can’t understand even after directing so many movies for over a decade, how he can show such a lack of skill and insight in the most important department of movie making. Probably he along with cinematographer Vishnu Rao didn’t set and figure out how to manage the scenes when resources are lacking. For an instance, when Riya is teaching her daughter to put the (basket)ball into the basket, we can see the tiny girl holding a tiny ball. But when the ball falls into the basket, it’s much larger and even the height of the same from the ground is much higher which is impossible for a tiny girl like her to throw the ball into. This doesn’t need a scientific brain Mr. Suri, one just needs common sense to visualize this!
Tushar Hiranandani’s screenplay and Ishita Moitra Udhwani’s dialgoues not only lack sense but also a zeal to induce the audiences’ interest in the story. The film not only lacked maturity in story telling but also an adequate and proper character development. We can even see idiotic montages like Madhav explaining a New Yorkian bouncer (or a bar guard, I don’t want to be rude on them honestly) in Hindi about his love for Riya so that the latter would let him in, which he did! Bleh indeed!
Now coming to my favourite of all in which Bollywood makers exclaim “Myself from village area” – The VFX department. I could have forgotten the fake basketball dump but Mr. Bill Gates ruined everything (not himself literally) and eventhough the sequence involving his character was supposed to be an emotional one, the shoddy VFX catastrophically destroyed not just the intensity of the sequence, but also the last residual respect we had for Mohit Suri and his team. Long way to go Bollywood!
The only thing in the technicalities that worked well for the movie was its soulful music, both in its soundtrack and its background music. The songs have not only been composed beautifully but have been used in the movie quite effectively. If Half Girlfriend has life in it, it’s because of its songs to a magnanimous extent.
Vikrant Massey shines in his (sadly) short stint. His acting is extremely dynamic as he shifts between opposite poles of emotions easily in the same montage several times. If given ample opportunities, he can perform better than half our younger generation heroes and we hope badly that it happens. Jai Mahishmati!
Arjun Kapoor too is lovely in the avatar of a simpleton Madhav. He dominates the sequences towards the end while portraying a broken person and we have to appreciate his efforts. Had it not been for his act, the climax wouldn’t have been as good as it was (apparently). His chemistry with Massey is even better than that with Shraddha.
Shraddha Kapoor has definitely evolved as an actor and we saw the change in Ok Jaanu but she still has a long way to go. She was still good in her emotional outbreak scene but she should realise that she could be a hell lot better.
Final Verdict: –
Even after some dedicated performances and delectable music, Half Girlfriend is nothing but a sheer disappointment for movie goers. However, I do feel the dukhi aatmas all over India can find it likeable but again, if you want to see it anyway, better wait for the torrents rather than going to any theatre.