'Half Girlfriend': Movie Review

A Potpourri of Vestiges Review

By Murtaza Ali Khan

Featured in IMDb Critic Reviews

Half Girlfriend is a romantic drama film directed by Mohit Suri who has earlier made films like Awarapan (2007), Raaz - The Mystery Continues (2009), and Aashiqui 2 (2013). Half Girlfriend is based on Chetan Bhagat’s 2014 novel of the same name which presents the story of a Bihari boy named Madhav who falls in love with a Delhi girl named Rhea. The roles are essayed by Arjun Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor, respectively. There is practically nothing common between Madhav and Rhea except for their love for basketball. And so it is the game of basketball that brings them close. While it is a love at first sight for Madhav, for Rhea it’s little more than a good friend. Or maybe she is too frightened to make a commitment. But Madhav wants more out of the relationship and so he tries to cajole Rhea to give their relationship a formal name. After much contemplation, Rhea declares that at best she can be his “half girlfriend”—“A little more than a friend but much less than a girlfriend,” explains Madhav’s friend Shailesh. What ensues is a journey of self-realization for both Madhav and Rhea with destiny playing its own games.

Half Girlfriend can best be described as an ode to unrequited love. It is certainly not a perfect film by any means but director Mohit Suri tries his best to treat the subject matter at hand. He succeeds in making Chetan Bhagat’s story his own by delivering a film that makes Aashiqui 2 pale in comparison. Half Girlfriend is a film that's strictly meant for the hopeless romantic in you. 

Arjun Kapoor’s innocent portrayal of a village boy is what makes Half Girlfriend tick. Here he delivers a heart-touching performance that makes us root for him till the very end. Rhea comes across as a girl that not everyone can afford to fall in love with. Not many of us would be able to relate to Madhav’s infatuation for Rhea. But our own emotions don’t matter, only his does. And we can’t help but sympathize with him. That’s what a good performance can do.

Shraddha’s career has been going through a difficult phase. None of her recent films have performed as per the expectations. There have been rumors in the grapevine about her alleged affair with Farhan Akhtar. Bollywood is a competitive place and a slew of box-office failures can prove to be disastrous for a young actress. Watching her in Half Girlfriend it appears that she has finally got back her mojo. Just like in Aashiqui 2, it’s her eyes and not her words that do most of the talking. Credit also goes to Mohit Suri for eliciting a strong and memorable performance form Shraddha, yet again. Hopefully, Shraddha would be more careful while choosing her roles from now own. 

Mohit Suri has a way with romantic films. He deserves all the praise for visually translating the Chetan Bhagat novel. It is no mean feat to adapt a novel that too of a bestselling author like Bhagat’s. Suri, to his credit, adds his own nuances to tell a beautiful story. Half Girlfriend marks a solid return to form for Suri after the abysmal Hamari Adhuri Kahani (2015).

Another important aspect of Half Girlfriend that makes it stand out is Vishnu Rao’s breathtaking cinematography. The Delhi sequences are so beautifully shot that they end up doing a great PR for city’s tourism. Also brilliantly shot are the New York nigh sequences. There is a beautiful night sequence set at the top of India Gate that might get those who try to imitate it in some trouble with the authorities.

Vikrant Massey is a talented actor whom we have already seen in films like Lootera and Dil Dhadakne Do. In Half Girlfriend he steals almost every scene that he is a part of. His chemistry with Arjun Kapoor’s character is an absolute treat to watch.

The USP of all good romantic films is the music and who better than Mohit Suri to understand this? The music of Half Girlfriend tugs at the heartstrings. It is so intoxicating that one can hear the beats long after stepping out of the threatre. The song “Phir Bhi Tumko Chaahunga” composed by Mithum and sung by the one and only Arijit Singh and Shashaa Tirupati is like as an elixir for the lovelorn hearts.

Half Girlfriend succeeds in stabling a strong parallel between the rural and urban India and it does so ever so seamlessly. Apart from the rural-urban divide the class divide is also quite evident. The movie also touches about some crucial issues needed for rural development such as education for the girl child. Credit goes to Suri and team for not doing away with this aspect of the Chetan Bhagat novel.

Rating: 6.5/10

A version of this review was first published in Wittyfeed.

Half Girlfriend Trailer (YouTube)

Readers, please feel free to share your opinion by leaving your comments. As always your valuable thoughts are highly appreciated!

People who liked this also liked...
Share on Google Plus


Post a Comment

Thanks for sharing for valuable opinion. We would be delighted to have you back.