'Half- thoughts' on Chetan Bhagat's Half Girl Friend

(This is not a full fledged review of Half-girlfriend.If you want a detailed review of the same,please read it here and here)

                          I was just about 18 when I read Chetan Bhagat's first work as a writer,'Five Point Someone'.Though it was not a great literary piece of work by any stretch of imagination,I loved it for it's genuinely funny/likeable characters and it's inherent honesty.A decade and half a dozen (rather disappointing) books later (not before finishing Bhagat's latest, a couple of hours back),I can only say that it's high time that the 'Sallu bhai of Indian mass market paperback' segment stopped rehashing old Bollywood scripts and passing it off as his 'brand new novel'.

                I have nothing against books written in simple,conversational English with mundane plots as long as they are humorous or atleast manage to entertain me.Half-Girlfriend is not only a rehash of rehashes (of atleast a dozen Indian movies and even CB's own previous works) but is also a largely boring work with plastic and fake characters and situations.There is nothing original or remotely humorous about the book and even the issues addressed topically in the book (the rich-poor divide,corruption among netas,sexual abuse....) have been discussed in a much better and more efficient manner by many others before.As Pulkit rightly says,'HG' reads more like a third rate screenplay with the first Act set in Delhi(the 'half-girl friend' bullshit) and the subsequent ones in Bihar (the speech,the English classes,Bill Gates Foundation grant)  and Newyork(the search for the lost love).Though the Delhi portion was a total let down,I really thought that the things were going to brighten up once the action shifted to Bihar (to be honest,the Bihar sequences were the best thing about about the book).With an uninspiring third act and an unpredictable and cliched climax set in New York,Half Girl Friend ended up as yet another boring saga of puppy love and it's aftermath!

I think these movies and books were Bhagat's references while penning down this tale.

The First Act-Vinnai Thaandi Varuvayaa(Tamil),Bhagat's earlier novels (Two States,Five Point..)
The Second Act- Swades,Vinnai Thaandi Varuvayaa(Tamil- Madhav's depression phase) ,Raja-Rani(Tamil-Telugu/ Jai-Nayantara Cancer Track),
The Third Act-Queen, JabWe Met,First Love (Thai,the climax sequences) 

So,the million dollar question is- Well,is the book a good enough material for a 'Super-hit' Bollywood romantic Comedy? 
                                  To an extend,Yes (considering that a romantic comedy doesn't actually need a brilliant plot for it to succeed and provided someone genuinely talented writes a really humorous and imaginative screenplay for it)



  1. now thats why I like your reviews !you have done more home work on sources than CB perhaps :)


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