Arjun Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor in a still from the film; (inset) author Chetan Bhagat; director Mohit Suri
Novelist, who had made himself a character in his bestseller Half Girlfriend, won't feature in film version, reveals director Mohit Suri
Letty Mariam Abraham (MID-DAY; March 17, 2017)

When attempting the cinematic version of a bestselling book, filmmakers often take creative liberties, weaving in new elements or even changing the climax. For his next directorial venture, Half Girlfriend, Mohit Suri has 'eliminated' novelist Chetan Bhagat, who was a key character in the 2014 eponymous novel.

"Chetan asked me to make the movie, maybe because he thought I was the right person to convert the book to a film. (However) I have edited the narrator [Chetan] from my story. So, basically, I have cut Chetan's role from the film," says Mohit, who will make his television debut as a judge on the upcoming season of dance reality show, Nach Baliye. He, however, admits the author was supportive enough to give him a free hand with scripting and direction.

Discussing further changes that he has made to the film version starring Shraddha Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor, the director adds, "The book was written in English, but the hero cannot converse in that language, so that has been changed. There was also some sexual abuse backstory to Shraddha's character that I have tweaked."

What is her story then? "She has a dark past. But the story will concentrate more on the love [romantic equation with Arjun's character]," adds Mohit.