Half Girlfriend – Book Vs Movie Review



As we know, almost all Chetan Bhagat books are now movies. So I decided to do a book vs movie review for the first time.

Alert : This post may have some spoilers.

Story outline

Madhav Jha is a Bihari boy who has problem in speaking English. He gets admission in St.Stephen’s college at Delhi through sports quota. Riya Somani also gets admission in same college. She is from Delhi and speaks good English. Both Madhav and Riya play basket  ball. Madhav falls in love with Riya at first sight. When Riya gets to know about Madhav’s feelings for her, she says she can only be his half girlfriend. Destiny gives them another chance but Riya moves away leaving a letter for Madhav. What did she mention in her letter? Did she love him? Will she become his full girlfriend?

Book Vs Movie

  • In the book, Madhav comes to Chetan Bhagat with Riya’s personal diary (which he calls journals) and says he do not need them, Chetan Bhagat can use them or throw away ?. Madhav believes that Riya is dead. Whereas in the movie, there is no Chetan Bhagat and no such journal? .


  • Now Chetan Bhagat after reading the journal discovers that Riya is alive and informs Madhav. But in the movie, Madhav assumes her to be alive and moves to New York in her search. (Because there is no Chetan Bhagat to tell him ?)


  • In the movie, Riya’s family problems are shown as her parents’ frequent fights and that is why she is a quiet girl and feels lonely in life. But in the book it is something else. She was sexually abused by her father when she was a child and that is what made her silent.


  • Since the book speaks about a sexual abuse during childhood, it makes sense why she felt uncomfortable when Madhav tried to get closer. But in the movie, she herself kisses him on one hand and on the other hand she says ” I can be your half girl friend ” which is really stupid. And no one asks her what did she mean by half girl friend.

Many more things goes on the list. To an extent it is understood that for a two and half hours movie, certain things need to be cut down. But to be frank, for me this movie was nothing more than a collection of songs. I truly regret watching the movie. It looked like a half-baked cake.

Book was really good and I rated it 4/5 whereas the movie simply destroyed the charm of the book.

some thoughts

We Indians are very rich with around 122 major languages and 1599 other languages (Wikipedia). But still people have an obsession with English language. English should be considered as just another language. Knowing any language is a great thing. But feeling low because of not knowing or being uncomfortable with some language should no more make any sense. That thought need to be changed. We need proud Madhavs ?.






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24 Replies to “Half Girlfriend – Book Vs Movie Review”

  1. I didn’t read the book and neither watched the movie!! I don’t know till now have liked only 5 points someone that was great write up of the author till date. 3 mistakes of my life , one night at call centre and 2 states!! Are few have read of Chetan Bhagat and have felt justice given to novel is often limited in movies !!

    1. Never compare the two and see them as separate entities then you might be able to enjoy both. I have read all and watched all movies too but to be true I don’t like those who sit beside me in theatres and say book me to aesa tha. I feel like saying book hi padlo fir why spoiling it for others also. Don’t compare.

      1. I agree…but when you’ve read the book, you can’t help but compare the two…making changes in the storyline is not the problem, but the director should be able to pull it off well. I think even Two States was a bit different from the book, but it was direction that made it worth the watch.

        1. To some extent I agree but it’s not exact translation, moreover unlike book, they have to consider attracting the masses by making some changes if needed. Like showing sexual abuse by father in half girlfriend might not have gone well with the sentiments of people at large. And to some extent I agree, out of the book, few sequences are very strong and you want them in the movie but that might not happen, leaving you disappointed for instance, in two states I was waiting for Mickey Mouse shorts beneath the translucent white dhoti at the time of wedding in end but that didn’t happen.

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