Arjun Kapoor in Half Girlfriend is not alone: Bollywood has a history of terrible accents
It’s a carefully cut trailer of Half Girlfriend which tries its best to hide Arjun Kapoor’s accent. In fact, it looks like an extension of director Mohit Suri’s another film Ek Villain, thanks to a similar background score and editing aesthetics.Updated: Jun 26, 2017 18:19 IST
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The trailer of Half Girlfriend is out now. It has Arjun Kapoor playing Madhav Jha, a clueless, head-over-heels in love fellow. Also, he is a Bihari who struggles with English and English-speaking crowd of Delhi.
Since it’s a film based on Chetan Bhagat’s bestseller of the same name, somebody had to play a high-class, stylish woman. In this case, Shraddha Kapoor, who plays Riya Somani, a rich Delhi girl.
So, Mr Jha, who as per the book hails from a royal family in Bihar and knows a thing or two about basketball, wants to study in Delhi University’s St. Stephens college.
This is where the trailer and Jha’s ordeals start. His English isn’t fluent, but that’s the least of worries. He will anyway get admission despite not looking like a college student.
His real problem is accent, which is so forced that you refuse to take it seriously. He begins with words like ‘saanjh’ (evening), uttar (answer) and goes on to deliver dialogues that will anyway fit into a typical Bollywood love story.
It’s a carefully cut trailer which tries its best to hide Kapoor’s accent. In fact, it looks like an extension of director Mohit Suri’s another film Ek Villain, thanks to a similar background score and editing aesthetics.
We don’t get to hear much of Kapoor’s accent as other lines are regular and so run-of-mill. But whatever we see is enough to realise his forced, put-on accent.
Kapoor isn’t the only one in an industry notorious for fake accents. Be it Salman Khan in Sultan or Akshay Kumar in Rustom, our stars mostly remain themselves.
Who cares if the lead’s friend speaks a different dialect than him! Everything is fair in love, war and Bollywood. Recently released Badrinath Ki Dulhania saw Varun Dhawan huffing and puffing.
Even a director like Prakash Jha who set a benchmark for Bihari accent in films like Gangaajal and Apaharan, faltered in Aarakshan and Jai Gangaajal.
And it’s been a while since Shool (1999) released. And it had a Bihari actor in the lead.
On second thoughts, it’s about hard work and enthusiasm to play a character belonging to a certain social structure. Everyone got it right in Gangs Of Wasseypur and Alia Bhatt was phenomenal as a Bihari migrant in Udta Punjab.
The interest or the lack of it towards shaping up a character with the help of the language it uses is confined to only a few directors. Vishal Bhardwaj, Anurag Kashyap are among them.
The other directors probably don’t find it important enough. But the formula may not work everytime, especially if your lead is expected to speak in a certain way.
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First Published: Apr 10, 2017 16:42 IST