Movies, like any art form, supposedly mirror the times we live in. So decades from now, when the grandchildren of the millennial generation stumble upon a copy of the movie Half Girlfriend, the following ten things are what they’ll find, and thereby judge us all:
1. While the rest of us commoners go to a pub, bar or a café to get rid of our blues, the rich Delhi girl, Riya Somani (Shraddha Kapoor) unwinds on top of India Gate, which is also her go-to meeting point with her college half-boyfriend Madhav Jha (Arjun Kapoor). Because, of course, the monument is guarded only by one security personnel and there’s no way you can be spotted by the heavy influx of tourists. “Main jab dukhi hoti hoon toh yaha aa jati hoon (I come here when I am sad),” she innocently justifies.
2. Riya, who aspires to sing at a jazz bar in New York City, lives in a mansion in Delhi, the kind where you have a spiralling staircase right in the middle of the house and a chandelier in the bedroom. If it’s any explanation, the film is co-produced by Balaji Motion Pictures.
3. From the committee members of St. Stephen’s College to Riya’s to-be husband, anyone who is supposed to be rich and fancy, speaks like Mr. Darcy from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Hindi or English, doesn’t matter. Madhav’s roommate, who also hails from Bihar, changes accents faster than Mohit Suri changes the weather in the film.
4. Talking of the weather, it always rains when Madhav cries or laughs or sings or ogles at Riya. And when he’s in New York, it snows. Weather jinx, anyone?
5. Bill Gates makes a guest appearance, albeit a cheap hologram version of the tycoon. Gates is shown in a small village in Bihar, listening to Madhav make a pitch about educating young women, and instantly dishes out a Rs. 50 lakh grant.
6. And that’s perfect timing to drop the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao promotional line. For it’s all about loving your government.
7. Of course it was Riya who helped Madhav write and memorise that speech. He relays the entire speech back to her while running on a platform as Riya chugs away in a train. The entire speech.
8. Then there are the various descriptions for the ‘hero’. From waiters glorifying Madhav as, “Bihar ka babua” at Riya’s hoity-toity home soiree to people at the UN Headquarters in New York declaring, “Madhav Jha is not a name, Madhav Jha is an attitude”.
9. After Riya informs Madhav about her blood cancer, she remains untraceable. He goes off to New York eventually and without any good reasons runs (quite literally) from one jazz bar to another, looking for Riya. Why would someone be singing in a jazz if she was dying? And what’s his golden strategy to find her? To ask all bartenders to inform him if there’s a brown girl who ever sings there.
10. Of course, getting a U.S. visa is a cakewalk, especially if your plan is to make money singing in a bar in New York.