Chetan Bhagat is one of the highest selling novelists in India. So, a film being made on a bestselling book authored by him is bound to generate curiosity. ‘Half Girlfriend’, based on the book of the same name, has been directed by Mohit Suri and co-produced by Bhagat, Suri and Balaji Telefilms. The book (and the film) explores the dynamics of the relationship shared by Madhav Jha (Arjun Kapoor), a bright, young man who comes all the way from Bihar to study in Delhi University and Riya Somani (Shraddha Kapoor), a rich girl from Delhi who all the boys in the college have their eyes on. A basketball match sparks off a friendship which results in Riya being Madhav’s ‘half girlfriend’. The trailer has been cut fairly well, it touches upon some high points in the film without giving away too much about the plot of the film. Of course, those who have read the book are fully aware of how the story unravels but the ones who have not seen will be in for some interesting twists and turns when they see the film in theatres.
Arjun Kapoor plays the role of Madhav Jha who comes from a rural part of the country and as one saw in the trailer, struggles with English. But, his appearance and the way he seems to have been presented in the film, does not really reflect his background. The pairing of Shraddha and Arjun is also a little odd as the strongly evident age difference between them, makes it hard for one to believe that they are batchmates. Sushant Singh Rajput was earlier roped in to play Madhav Jha before he opted out due to date issues. There were also some news reports suggesting that Kriti Sanon was considered for the role of Riya Somani. Sushant, incidentally, hails from Bihar and Kriti, too, is an urbane Delhi girl. One cannot help but imagine what a wonderful casting it would have been.
Keeping one’s disappointment with the casting and characterisation aside, the film looks like a faithful adaption of the book of his films have boasted of a couple of memorable songs. The Mithoon composed song playing in the background (“Main Phir Bhi Tumko Chahunga”) sounds really nice and one looks forward to see how it is picturised. Mohit Suri is known to handle emotions rather well and one hopes he does a good job at translating all the trials and tribulations that Madhav and Riya went about in the book onto the screen.