Here's another movie where ½ the viewers love it and ½ hate it. Both groups accurately describe how they felt about the movie. So I'll try to help the reader determine which ½ they should be guided by. Those who hated it seemed to have been expecting a fast moving and very different type of movie and, hence, they were disappointed when their expectations were not met and they vented their frustration in their review.
I thought the movie was quite good, albeit not one of the best of all time. I'll address two of the most common complaints from the haters. First, they call it "slow". It indeed is NOT a fast paced action thriller. However, for me, it didn't drag, it was just a normal pace and moved right along such as for "a slice of life" type film. Also, it was NOT an "all talk" movie by any means.
Second, they thought the story line was a cliché. Yes, it is a romantic movie about a poor boy who falls for a rich girl - sometimes it's a poor girl who falls for a rich boy - and about the troubles associated with coming from two different classes and especially the problem that the poor one has fitting in with the rich set. This indeed is a very common theme.
However, I do strongly disagree with some other criticisms. I think that because the haters found themselves watching the wrong movie genre, they took out their frustrations by criticizing everything including both leads and the director. I have no acting talent, but based on decades of experience, my impression of acting talent has in the past always been on target even when viewing movies from the 1930s & 40s. For those movies, I had not had expectations or knowledge of their reputation, with a few exceptions, but my impression always matched the critics even for the most unexpected. Later, in the mid-60s, I saw Sophia Loren's first performance when she was very young in "Two Women" and came out raving about her star power. Similarly, after I saw Natalie Portman in "Beautiful Girls" (she had a relatively minor role and was just 14 when filming), I raved to my stage actor son that I just seen a girl who was destined to be one of the top actresses of her generation. To date, I've had no missteps.
Anyway, I thought Arjun Kapoor was extremely expressive and exactly what the role called for and he really carried the movie. There are many styles of acting. If one chooses the "expressive" style, one can be accused of overacting or being hammy, but if one does it right, like Arjun did, it can be the most effective style for having IMPACT and conveying strong emotions - Arjun's choice and execution reminded me of others whose expressive style won them Oscars! In contrast, Shraddha Kapoor was more restrained as she played a woman with a mystery which the story required be kept mostly under wraps - again, her performance was right on target with the storyline. Finally, I was most impressed by the director, especially for the last half of the movie where his innovative handling of some innovative aspects of this tried and true storyline echoed the creative genius of D. W. Griffith. The movie was not fast paced, but it had depth. Also, I see that of the "1/2 that loved it", most echoed my sentiments although they were less verbose.