Girlfriend Chor Review – Travails of a boy who’s perennially friend-zoned

Girlfriend Chor Review – Travails of a boy who’s perennially friend-zoned
MX Player
Movie Rated

Format: Mini Series
Platform: MX Player
Movie Rated: 16+
Genre: Romance, Comedy, Drama

All teenage romances needn’t end up in full-fledged relationships that last a lifetime; irrespective of how the equation ends/develops, there’s an innocence about the phase that one can’t dismiss. Who takes the first step in the relationship? How to express interest without sounding too desperate? How much is too much while flirting? It’s the first venture of Dice Creators Network - they dwell upon the tale of a ‘nice’ guy who’s unlucky with love with Girlfriend Chor.

The title is an interesting reference to its protagonist (Aakash) tired of being friend-zoned by his romantic interest Neha. His classmate Ritu too is in similar space with Vishal, the man that Neha is currently dating. What if Ritu and Aakash get together to create a rift between Neha and Vishal? The premise is childish on a certain level, but Girlfriend Chor makes up for the awkwardness with its slice-of-life humour. There are some genuinely warm moments and a fair share of them that are awkward too.

The premise hinges on Mohan and Sunaina’s ploy (Aakash’s parents) to help their son unite with the girl of his choice. They find newer, weirder ways by the day to separate Neha from her current partner. While it’s okay for parents to openly discuss their son’s love life, it’s surprising that they (the parents in this show) could be so silly and myopic about love. It’s the son who seems more mature than his parents. Aakash clearly understands consent, knows how to treat women and strike a conversation without crossing the line. The father claims that this decency is his main issue! (??)

The show is at its best when Aakash and Ritu forge a bond of their own – their discussions about being one-sided lovers are treated with an innocence that the show needed more of. The lightness with which the narrative talks about their insecurities – about their partners making love, sharing intimate posts on social media, the mistakes they’ve made in the past – is the show’s strength. Could the broker’s sexual innuendos in the sequence where they go on a room-hunting spree have been avoided?

The joke about the entire family of Aakash being ‘girlfriend chors’ (including his brother and father who are/have been in love with a girl who is already committed) adds more intrigue to the plot. The reference to Vishal changing his girlfriend every time a sequel to Golmaal hits theatres and the parallel with the 70s generation having only one Golmaal to savour is a smart way to interpret generational changes. Yet the logic about ‘children bearing the brunt for the sins of their parents’ is too far-fetched to work for a simple story like this.

The tension between the parents Mohan and Sunaina as they meet the latter’s ex Suhas is certainly the subplot that the story should have given more space to. Their conversation lasts only a few minutes and the atmosphere seems set for an explosion but the director doesn’t know to capitalise on the nascence in the sequence efficiently enough.  The open-ending remains a pleasant surprise. All through the narrative, as you expect the obvious to happen between Aakash and Ritu, the director pulls off a timely twist.

The performances are generally promising. Mayur More continues his fine form after Kota Factory in the shoes of a lover who just doesn’t dare to express his love. He represents the awkwardness, innocence of the age with a poignant performance that does justice to the role. Diksha Juneja slips into the skin of a free-spirited (yet occasionally heartbroken) girl with a certain charm. Shishir Sharma and Sonali Sachdev make for a good on-screen couple, but this is not the material that does justice to their talent. But they’re terrific in the sequence where they meet Ashish Vidyarthi (who is superb in a special appearance). Kushagre Dua as the women-charmer, Himani Sharma (in the role of Neha) and Harsh Joshi (as Aakash’s brother) are passable.

Girlfriend Chor is okay for a light-hearted watch, however, don’t expect it to win your hearts.

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