Half Girlfriend Press Conference turns Arjun’s Class!
Will It Give Arjun a News Lease of Life? Many are asking this question as Mohit Suri’s next “Half Girlfriend” is all set to release on 19th May. Half Girlfriend is an Indian English coming of age, young adult romance novel by Indian author Chetan Bhagat. The novel, set in rural Bihar, New Delhi, Patna, and New York, is the story of a Bihari boy in quest of winning over the girl he loves. This is Bhagat’s sixth novel which was released on 1 October 2014. by Rupa Publications. The novel has also been published in Hindi and Gujarati versions as well. A Hindi film adaptation is scheduled to release on 19 May 2017.
Dedicated to “non English-types”, as Chetan Bhagat wrote, the book divulges the sentiments and linguistic struggles of a backward rural Bhojpuri-laced Hindi-speaking boy from Bihar as he enrolls himself at the prestigious English-medium St. Stephen’s College, New Delhi, and falls in love with a “high class English-speaking rich Delhi girl” schooled at Modern School, New Delhi. The girl does not admit the relationship but agrees to be his “half girlfriend”. Chetan Bhagat commented, “Half-Girlfriend, to me, is a unique Indian phenomenon, where boys and girls are not clear about their relationship status with each other. A boy may think he is more than friends with the girl, but the girl is still not his girlfriend. Hence, I thought we needed a term like ‘Half girlfriend’. Because, in India, that is what most men get.
The film rights to the novel were sold before it was published. A Bollywood film adaptation will be directed by Mohit Suri and produced by Ekta Kapoor and Bhagat. It will star Arjun Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor. It is the first film Bhagat will produce.
Initially the upcoming film based on the novel starred Kriti Sanon who inagurated the book, but was replaced by Shraddha Kapoor. The film is set to be released on 19th May 2017.
Royal Family Implicated Bhagat:
In 2014, the book came under sharp attack by a Royal family of Bihar for mensioning their name. Irked over their reference in his latest novel, the erstwhile royal family of Dumraon had sent a legal notice to author Chetan Bhagat and the publisher, demanding unconditional public apology and recall of all copies of the book that are yet to be circulated.
The notice had been sent by Supreme Court lawyer Gaurav Ghosh on behalf of ‘Maharaja’ Bahadur Kamal Singh, the erstwhile ruler of the princely state of Dumraon in Bihar’s Buxar district, and the heir ‘Yuvraj’ Chandra Vijay Singh.
The notice demanded “unconditional public apology” from Bhagat and publisher Rupa Publications and “recall of all copies of the book that are yet to be circulated” failing which damages and criminal proceedings will be sought against them.
It also seeks expunging the words “Royal Family of Dumraon” and any other words that refer to the erstwhile rulers from all copies of ‘Half Girlfriend’ that may be published in future.
The notice said ‘Half Girlfriend’ contains express and implied references to the former royal family, which are false and derogatory in nature. It imputes conduct to the family, disparaging them as well as exposing them to contempt and ridicule.
It also quotes a paragraph from the book and alleges that the book has portrayed the erstwhile royal family members as ‘gamblers and alcoholics’, and points out that no other royal family of Dumraon existed in India.
The family initiated legal action after protests rocked Dumraon two weeks ago and the residents of the place burnt effigies of Bhagat as well as copies of the book and demanded action against him for giving the place a bad name.
Bhagat Forced to Change:
In May, 2015, Bhagat informed Delhi High Court that he will change the objectionable words allegedly used in his bestselling novel ‘Half Girlfriend’ which had portrayed a royal family from Bihar as alcoholics and gamblers.
A bench of Justice Jayant Nath was informed through the author’s lawyer that Bhagat will change the words from his book and he has already changed the setting of the book from princely state of Dumraon, which exists, to a fictional place called Simraon, in the Hindi version. And the controversy was put to rest.
Sushant Walked Out of the Project:
Arjun Kapoor, despite failure of after “Ki And Ka”, has managed to get another good project “Half Girlfreind”, thanks to Sushant Singh. Arjun Kapoor had stepped into the shoes of the leading man in Half Girlfriend, after Sushant Singh Rajput walked out of the Mohit Suri directorial. Just few weeks ago, Mohit Suri was gung ho about working with Sushant Singh Rajput but the latter had to quit this film owing to the clash of dates with Dinesh Vijan’s romantic drama. And now, the makers who were on a hunt for the protagonist finally decided to rope in Arjun Kapoor took Bhojpuri lessons for the correct portrayal of the character. Shraddha Kapoor is the leading lady. The film revolves around the love story of Madhav and Riya with linguistic issues as the backdrop.