Half Girlfriend Movie Review: Arjun-Shraddha’s Confused Romance Breaks Your Heart Into Half!

When you find the name Chetan Bhagat rolling in the start credits, you already know what you have signed up for! Nevertheless for those who haven’t read the novel, here’s how the plot unravels… Half Girlfriend opens with a heart-broken Madhav Jha (Arjun Kapoor) who learns that Riya Somani (Shraddha Kapoor) has left him. The film then rewinds back to the time when they first met at St. Stephen’s college in Delhi. Madhav is a Hindi speaking boy from Patna who has secured a seat in the college under sports quota. On the other hand, Riya is a posh city-bred girl who has an affinity for ‘rains’. It’s love at first sight for Madhav on the basketball court. His friends caution him that ‘bawaal’ Riya is out of his league. But Madhav has his mommy’s advice to reckon upon- ‘haaro mat … haar ko harao’. Pretty soon, Madhav and Riya become good friends as they both share a common interest- basketball. A typical love story of a poor-guy-falls-in-love-with-a-stinky-rich-girl is just cooking up. But hey, there’s a catch! Riya has set the rules straight. ‘Main tumhari girlfriend nahin. But I can be your half girlfriend’, she tells Madhav and the poor lad is too dazzled to react. While they are trying to fit into this new relationship, one day our Romeo, provoked by his friends to test Riya’s ‘love’ tries to get touchy-feely with her in his room. When Riya tries to rebuke his advances, he throws in a crassy line, ‘Deti hai toh de varna kat le’ and almost ends up phyically assaulting her. Time to break up! Riya decides to settle down with her childhood buddy Rohan. Madhav meanwhile is left with a broken heart. Enter a major life transition. Madhav, still suffering from pangs of separation, returns back to his hometown Dumraon. He decides to devote his life to worthwhile causes, like improving the village school, and taking up English lessons so he can get a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. But hey what’s a love story without a twist! Enter Riya Somani who is now a divorcee. Will old feelings be rekindled or will she be Madhav’s ‘Half Girlfriend’ forever?
Mohit Suri’s last film Hamari Adhuri Kahaani had me pulling my hair in despair when he reduced the super talented Vidya Balan to a crying banashee in the film. Two years later, the man returns back to the spotlight with Half Girlfriend. While Bhagat’s novel isn’t a piece of pure literature with a great storyline, the filmmaker too doesn’t get a bigger playground to display his directorial skills in terms of plot. His characters are superficial and fail to keep you engrossed. They just seem to be fleeting in and out of the scene without evoking any emotions in you.

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