I read Chetan Bhagat’s latest offering, “Half Girlfriend” and I was really upset as to how indifferent India’s hottest selling author had become. It is almost as if CB had written the novel without effort. It is just a lackadaisical attempt on the part of CB to churn out a few pages of writing and hope that publicity, a catchy title and his mega fame would sell the book.
The hero is from the village with a complex that his English is not good. But he has raging hormones. Through out the story/film he can think of nothing but kissing the heroine. He even has a bunch of half-baked cronies who goad him on.
The heroine is beautiful, plays basketball. (Chance to wear short clothes). She leads the hero on and even goes to his hostel room and lies on his bed. But when it comes to some action, she cries foul and bolts, right into the arms of a rich arrogant wolf.
But our hero’s mom is a Nirupa Roy character – the good mother who runs a non-profit school for the backward. The villain’s mom is flashy and cruel. The other characters in the novel are also archetypes who fill in pre ordained slots.
Half Girlfriend is just a rehash of all the old movies from the 50s and 60s. A Sunil Dutt and Waheeda Rehman would do justice to a film/story like this.
The story is decades old. (Spoiler Alert): Poor boy meets rich girl. Instant attraction. Love blossoms. A misunderstanding. They separate. Girl marries villain. Boy chucks up good job to work in his mother’s village school. Few years later boy meets girl again who is divorced and so way is clear for the boy to take off from where he left. Just when they are romancing in the village, our typical Indian mother does not want her son to marry a divorcee (OMG) and so the girl flees after feigning that she is dying of cancer. A few years later her diary turns up. Our hero dumps it in….Chetan Bhagat’s room, (Chance for CB to do a cameo in the film) CB discovers that our heroine may be alive. So a chase across continents begins and in a filmy coincidence the two lovers unite.
I forgot, Bill Gates makes an appearance in this novel, which is the only concession to modernity
I wonder if Chetan Bhagat really wrote this novel or he had some kind of an app in which he fed a few details and it did the rest.
I cannot comment on the language of the novel as CB delights in using simple English. But saying, the hero took the ‘yellow’ taxi too often or the American girl friends spoke American English or describing the heroine as having long hands, long legs and long fingers is taking simplicity too far.
I just saw that my 16-year-old niece has bought this novel and has updated her status on Facebook as “Can’t wait to read this book.” And her friends have commented, “Me too” or “Me next.”
With fans like these, CB can afford to rest on his laurels….. for sometime.