EXCLUSIVE: Half Girlfriend's Arjun Kapoor: I can tell who is being honest with their reviews and who is biased

Arjun Kapoor and Mohit Suri spoke to Pinkvilla about the success of Half Girlfriend.

Updated on May 25, 2017  |  02:35 AM IST |  410.4K

Arjun Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor starrer Half Girlfriend has performed well at the box office as it went on to mint over INR 37.15 crore in four days of its release. Directed by Mohit Suri, the film has Arjun Kapoor portraying the role of a national-level basketball player, Madhav Jha. The movie also stars Shraddha Kapoor in the lead role who is seen playing Arjun's romantic interest. 

We caught up with both Arjun and Mohit to talk about the success of their film and importance of a film review to them. 

Here's an excerpt from the interview: 

1. How does it feel knowing that film has finally passed the weekend test despite such huge competition at the box office?

Mohit Suri: Relieved! I honestly feel there is no better word to use but relief. Actually, when you have a mammoth like Baahubali in the theatres and have another film, along with IPL going on, to stand up amidst this despite being not a big budget film, has made me feel good. The only word I can use is relieved. 



Arjun Kapoor: I am happy! When you make a film you want people to come to the theatres and watch it, not just on the morning of the Friday but you want them to keep coming. Three days have gone from strength to strength, the audience has come to the theatres to see me as an actor and that is the nicest feeling in the world because that is the toughest part is to bring people to the theatres. 

2. Did you feel nervous about the film's release given that Baahubali 2 took the industry by storm literally and movies haven't been able to sustain in front of it?

Arjun: Of course. You want your film to get a chance. We are always wondering that with so many obstacles, will we get the correct numbers, screens etc and be able to attract people. My nervousness was about having enough shows for people to come. I had this belief in the film that if people come and watch it, they will like it. So, yes the nervousness was there that we should get the correct positioning of the film but Friday kind of settled that. I mean to do 10 crores plus with so many obstacles is impossible, to be honest. It's a rarity and I think it's a mammoth achievement.

3. Mohit and Arjun - you have collaborated with each other for the first in this movie. How was the experience?

Mohit: He has a good sense of a filmmaker. Like it was really great for him to point out that Vikrant Massey is actually the voice of the audience and that's why you have created the character. This comes from a very mature level of writing and understanding. It was only after he pointed out that I accentuated his role in the movie because he had to be the voice of reason. Somewhere maybe coming from the family of a filmmaker, he had genetically inherited that but most people actually don't get that. 

Arjun: I had asked him in the past also to cast me; had asked him to audition and take me in his film but unfortunately at that time he was doing Crook and he said that he is not looking for a young actor but will think about it and then rest is history. I became an actor and this was long overdue and I am very very happy I worked with him and I realised why people want to work with him and why his films resonate with the audience. He literally lives and breathes the character. With Mohit, he is a leader but he takes everyone along. He doesn't have an ego while making films. 


4. People have been very critical about the Bihari lingo you spoke in the movie Was there any apprehension as to how will people react?

Arjun: I never think negatively when it comes to taking a role because if you think negative at the get go, it will show in your performance. I was very excited about taking up something which was such a huge challenge and I believed that if you do it with sincerity and hard work, it will be fine. I have met people from that part of the country who have come out and told me that they are proud of the way I have interpreted Madhav Jha, so, that for me is an achievement. The hesitation is bound to be there when people see and talk about seeing the trailer and feel that it will be caricaturish which it is not. We have intentionally shied away from that. Bouquets and brickbats are anyway part of this profession. But if in general that part of the country is reacting so well to it, if you look at the collections in Bihar that means that they have agreed that the interpretation is right, so that for me is the highest ISI mark I need as an actor that I have done it well. 

5. How did you bring Arjun onboard for this project? What about him made you feel he would be perfect for the character?

Mohit: Looks, the accent can be brought in but there are certain emotional impulses which you look in an actor which can connect with the character. A character is where your arch is, it is about your journey too and somewhere I saw this in his real life, in his relationship with his mother, how she brought him up, how she as a woman of a substance in this industry which is predominantly male dominated and made a name for herself. His relationship with his sister and how he respects women in his life. From outside it can all look like he is producer son but he did not get launch by his own father. All these things that were required for Madhav Jha's character.These emotional pulses are not purchasable, you can teach other emotions but these kinds of life experience you can't add.


6. Critics haven't been very kind with their reviews for Half Girlfriend. However, despite that, the film had performed well at the box office. Do you have anything to say to the critics? 

Mohit: I have two ways to look at it, One is that I am just glad that I got reviewed this time. I have had some of my most successful films like Aashiqui which were not even reviewed by people. I remember me and Vishesh Bhatt once had gone begging to a reviewer to say please come and review my film. Honestly, each has their own opinion. Maybe they expect a lot out of me. I did not know I have reached this level that they probably expect more from me. I regard their opinion as theirs but that doesn't really change the way I look at films. I, of course, considers some of the genuine reviews and introspect where I can improve but that's the maximum I can do. 

Arjun: My most successful films have garnered mixed reviews, whether it's 2 States, Ishaqzaade or Ki & Kaa, so I am immune to it now. I feel that we make a film for the audience and whatever they give you back is actually, fundamentally what you learn from and work towards. I respect the fact if someone has a genuine opinion, a genuine critical analysis which I can learn out of. I am always ready but you can always tell when there is a personal opinion that is manifested through different reasons and you can always tell if it is a critical analysis of how you can improve. Reviews have never bothered me because, since my first film I have seen it that nature doesn't eventually contribute to the final box office, it might create a discussion but I think the audience is far more intelligent than we give them credit for and they go to the theatre and decide. 

6. So, do you think sometimes personal opinions manifest into negative reviews? 

Arjun: I would like to be an optimist and believe that it doesn't happen but then I feel that would be naive on my part to feel that way because the truth is it happens and you can't help it. You cannot go and influence an X number of people to look at you for what you are rather than what the baggage around you is but it's okay because the audience isn't looking at the things that way. No one in this profession can survive without success at the box office. 


7. Do you feel that you don't get the due credit as an actor to your skills as an actor is perhaps underestimated?

Arjun: The audience gives it to me. Who does an actor work for? If I start working for individuals then I would be dishonest to my craft because we are making films for whom? The most democratic way of knowing if you are successful or not is the box office and I always rely on the box office for telling me the bigger criticism. I can tell who is being honest and who is biased, I can gaze that so I don't let it be a bigger factor. I have survived through it all and will continue surviving as long as the people like me. 

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About The Author
Bhavna Agarwal
Bhavna Agarwal

Bhavna Agarwal, an entertainment writer and a host, has always been passionate about “filmein aur filmy duniya”.



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