Updated: April 11, 2017 11:15:26 am
I have never been a fan of Chetan Bhagat’s novels. But when you watch films like 3 Idiots and 2 States, you come out of theatres with a certain joy. That joy lies in feeling a sense of place and people in movies based on his novels. Though Chetan Bhagat’s stories aren’t exactly innovative, but they are filled with little, fine details that make them delightful to read. So when you watch a 3 Idiots, you identify with the apathy and anger of a student in this country. You feel the texture of student life in our universities, colleges. What’s more, you get to listen to inside jokes of student life. You become familiar with the vernacular of campus life.
When you watch 2 States, you instantly make a connection. On a surface level, 2 States had nothing new to tell. It was a story of two individuals trying to get married against their parents’ wishes. But then the movie was based on Chetan Bhagat’s novel. You place the same two individuals in prestigious IIM campus, make one of them a hardcore Punjabi and the other a conservative Tamil Brahmin and you have got a perfect cocktail of entertainment. The same old story suddenly feels new, trendy and very very youthful. Few writers in the country know the pulse of youth as Chetan Bhagat does. When you watch movies based on his novels, you know that you are somewhere dealing with same little frustrations and problems. These are the small joys of watching Chetan Bhagat novel-turned-movie. Finding that instant connection that most Bollywood movies fail to provide.
So when we were about to watch the trailer of Half Girlfriend, we weren’t expecting to stumble upon some new, original story. However, there was a certain sense of curiosity to watch the trailer. We found Half Girlfriend trailer a huge disappointment. Haven’t we seen this a thousand of times before?
A poor boy ( just like Madhav Jha played by Arjun Kapoor) falls in love with a girl (Riya Somani played by Shraddha Kapoor) from a rich family. If that wasn’t enough to test our patience, it’s filled with cliches. Why does every modern romance forced to deal with friend-zoning? Dear Bollywood, there is more to modern romance than just being friendzoned by your girlfriend. Chetan Bhagat cleverly replaces the poor boy from Hindi films with a poor but aspirational Delhi University student. Now, we are not anymore in the 60s or 70s, so he has to have some modern problems other than that obvious financial ones.
Chetan dredges up his own past and has come out with this brilliant idea — boy can’t speak fluent English. Chetan very well knows that it’s still a dream to speak fluent English for millions of students from Hindi heartland. The movie seems to target the same students from Hindi belt. We aren’t complaining. However, we were expecting more details in this story set in Delhi University. We were expecting more characters. We were expecting more youth and life. We were not expecting hand-holding by makers. On the whole, the narrative seems total drab and fails to pack a punch.
Arjun Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor’s chemistry has the little spark. Shraddha Kapoor’s facial expression don’t seem to change. Arjun Kapoor’s Bihari accent looks terribly forced and lacks authenticity ( You can watch Raanjhanaa starring Dhanush and see how right accent can do wonders for a story). One also can’t miss the fact that Half Girlfriend is directed by Mohit Suri. In recent past, Mohit has given Bollywood some dreary films like Hamari Adhuri Kahani, Ek Villain and Aashiqui 2.
The only silver lining in the whole trailer is actor Vikrant Massey who is playing Arjun Kapoor’s friend in the movie. We hope that the film turns out to be decent and fresh. However, the trailer doesn’t raise our hopes or curiosity. It’s just another celebration of Bollywood mediocrity at its best.
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