Verdict - A slow second half makes this a slow watch but makes is a good date movie.
Half girlfriend, based on Chetan Bhagat’s novel is a weepy kind of romance where the hero behaves like all Indian heroes do – fall apart when the girl you love walks out on you. Not even an internship with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in New York is good enough to distract our man from his true love. Instead he spends his time over there Googling bars where he may find her working as a singer and then getting drunk and trawling all the bars and clubs he has shortlisted. What is a measly internship when compared to finding the love of your life and living happily ever after I ask you?
The movie follows a typical Chetan Bhagat trajectory where all sorts of things keep happening in the story till it is three quarters over and then there is some huge drama after which it all ends happily or sadly or whatever. So, the first half sees a lot of action with the basketball bonding and and the half girlfriend commitment (she never really explains what that means. Just sort of looks at him meaningfully. We are supposed to get it. Only, I didn’t) and then the break up and the village and so on. You are kept pretty much occupied. The second half becomes slow as the movie becomes more about him mooning around and being the depressive drunk. No one likes a depressive drunk, we all agree on that. So you twiddle your thumbs a bit till the pace picks up again and the movie reaches its end.
The half romance is kind of appealing more because I find that Arjun Kapoor can do romance quite well. He is too beefy for a basketball player but there is something soft in his expression which appeals to my sentimental side. He did it in Two States and now does it again here and succeeds in making you feel bad for him when she keeps going away. He also manages the gauche, vernacular bit with dignity, not letting it become a caricature of a village bumpkin. Shradha Kapoor looks the perfect Li’l Miss Unhappy Rich Girl from a broken family. She has the poise and manner of someone to the manor born and then switches to a more laidback persona as the movie progresses, quite naturally. They make for a decent romantic pair. I don’t know why the film scrimped on getting the actors who played the parents. They have two important scenes in the movie that determine her personality and they totally spoil the impact of both these scenes. Vikrant Massey as Madhav’s friend gives a good performance.
The music has become quite popular though it was one romantic song too many for me. I would have enjoyed a light -hearted song to replace one of the maudlin ones just to keep the proceedings from becoming too sentimental. And yes of course ‘Stay a little longer’ comes on so many times that I fear I will be haunted by a vision of Shradha Kapoor at night in a white sari warbling it in a distinctly Carnatic music style.
Half Girlfriend is half entertaining I would think. There are a few good emotional moments, but also a few facile ones and the second half drags on too long. Good as a date movie if you go halves on the tickets.