Shivu, a naive wastrel from the streets, happens to have a case of love at first sight, when he sees the pretty, aspiring musician Madhu. But, Shivu does not know the language of love and his obsession for her grows as he cannot convey the same to her. What happens next?
Indian films have always glorified stalking, be it masked in the form of candyfloss love like Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge or in the more rustic style like Raanjhanaa. Lakshmii Dinesh, too, tries to prove how the love of the stalker is pure and divine in Half Mentlu, which he claims is based on a real-life story.
Does this film work? That is a complex question, for the film seems to have been made primarily for the Gandhi class mass audience, which is primarily men. The director, like most makers, seems to think the heroine is nothing but a prop to look good, be seen in songs and possess that cold heart, which automatically justifies that men know to love the most.
The film begins with the hero Shivu accidentally meeting the heroine Madhu, when he tries to protect her and her friends from the local oafs who are teasing them. This is when he breaks a photo frame that she is carrying, which leads him to believe he owes her not just that photo and frame, but also his heart and undying love. From then on, he stalks her daily and tries to profess this feeling, which he cannot get it across -- obviously because the film would have ended much before interval. This journey of confused love, that makes him 'half mentlu', is the rest of the film.
The biggest drawback is the hero Sandeepa's dialogue delivery style -- he drones and drawls leaving one irked. Sonu Gowda has not much to do, but she paints a pretty picture. The biggest highlight of the film are Bharath BJ's tunes. These come as much-needed respite between the confused narrative.
The dialogues in the film set a new standard, both when it comes to imagination and comparison. Picture this: a scene has the a woman's love being compared to dosas, because they are white on one side, but are dark on the other, while also adding a man's love is like idlis, white all around and completely pure. In a fight sequence, the villain sports a T-shirt that reads 'GIRLS? Ghost In Real Life'.
Watch this film with your gang of boys if you like sexist dialogues and stories, if you must.