Rating: 3/5 Stars (Three stars)
Star cast: Arjun Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Amrita Singh, Revathy, Ronit Roy, Shiv Subrahmanyam
Director: Abhishek Varman
What’s Good: Alia-Arjun’s real and stirring chemistry and the pleasing premise of Bhagat’s story.
What’s Bad: The pace of the film is convenient and the hold is scattered.
Loo break: Nearly None.
Watch or Not?: 2 States is a feel good, romantic comedy which scores for being earthly and grounded. It is never too candyfloss but even with a known, loved and inevitable climax, Abhishek Varman spins an engaging story. Alia and Arjun’s unfeigned and spunky chemistry is winsome but mostly the film is watchable because of its ability to portray known dynamics of culture divide without many glitches. It is easy, breezy and good fun!
Krish Malhotra (Arjun Kapoor) narrates the story of how he fell in love with Ananya Swaminathan (Alia Bhatt). The first day of IIM-A and Krish lost his heart to the woman who cannot stand bad sambhar. Through friendship and more, the two fall in love with each other and decide to settle down. There begins the problem. Krish’s Punjabi mother won’t accept the Tamilian Ananya and vice versa. With that begins the journey of Krish and Ananya’s endeavour to get their parents smiling on their wedding day. Tough job ay? The movie has in store every hurdle they come across and how they eventually get married.
2 States Review: Script Analysis
For script, Bhagat’s engrossing book supplies a story that audiences have read on the loop. Obviously the intelligentsia finds a certain degree of insatiable pleasure in bashing the young writer who reinstigated the reading habit among Indians. The book is massively loved and and to make the same story interesting all over again, the film must offer something refreshing. Does the film manage that? Well, the answer is dubious.
While the leading pair’s decadent chemistry is a breather, the story’s magic dissipates in part. The narrative is scattered and I wouldn’t have been this critical of the film, had I not loved the book. The problem with the narrative is there is no new rendering of the story. It is a mere enactment of the sequence of events. The script doesn’t add anything new in its folds except the caliber of its cast, which has been perfectly handpicked to their credit.
The ethos of the middle class children and there tendency to play appeaser to their parents more than rebellious is wonderfully written by Bhagat. The film reflects the same. The north-south cultural clash could have been garnished more satisfactorily. But in the face-off scenes between Revathy and Amrita Singh are fantastic. The little nuances are enjoyable and done to perfection. In the scene which shows Arjun’s first tryst with a typical silent Tamilian household that reminds him of a funeral situation in a Punjabi household is crackling. Also when Amrita and Revathy clash on their Tamil and Punjabi sensibilities is entirely entrapping.
The love story between Arjun and Alia is thankfully kept simple, which is exactly what Makes it beautiful. It is not mundane but comes without any outrageous Bollywood airs. Krish and Ananya are young, rational minded people who are rightly rooted in tradition and sensitive to.their parents’ needs as much as their own. Though the hold loosens, the plot gets dull but their relatable and easy chemistry offers something to look out for all through the film.
2 States Review: Star Performances
Arjun Kapoor breaks his own typecast and performs.strongly in a film.quite unlike him. He is stronger than his onscreen better half, both in terms of mettle and potential. I like the bit that the actor despite not living up to Bollywood’s demands of typical Raj-ish romantic heroes, appeals so extensively. He is very boy next door and immensely lovable. Thank God the brooding angry mould is finally cast away and Kapoor proves to be quite a sunshine when the script demands for it.
Alia Bhatt is a stunner and that quite works in her favor. Even when she misses a few hues in her character or fumbles at places, she is looking so.beautiful that you can’t take your eyes off. Her chemistry with Arjun is full of vigor and the gusto in it is hard to miss. She isn’t the perfect Ananya but somehow pulls through the role with gravitas and confidence.
Amrita Singh as the khatarnak Punjabi saas is fabulous. But Revathy’s character doesn’t get elucidated adequately. The magnitude of her problem with a Punjabi son in law doesn’t come off well. Intact Shiv Subramaniyam too suffers the same fate in the film.
2 States Review: Direction, Editing and Screenplay
Frankly there was nothing wrong with the film. Abhishek Varman did manage to retain the intrinsic soul of the novel. I would not call this a scene by scene copy but the débutant director did not feel the need to tamper at all with the original matter. This problem had perturbed me since the release of its first trailer. The ideal thing to do in a book adaptation is to infuse some newness in the plot which Varman doesn’t try a hand at. He remains loyal to the original and that is his main problem. The film fails to soar beyond the contours of the book and sadly even falls short of creating the magic of Bhagat’s book. Coming from someone who has read the book continuously, many times over, the book was far above the film in terms of its gleeful moments and the humor.
Seasoning the weaknesses with glossy songs and humor, the film will appeal less to the fans of the book. For those who are in love with the original will find the direction half baked and below the mark. Though a good effort from Varman, the guy has a long way to go in learning the art of film-making and tackling stories lucidly.
The film’s editing could have been tighter and the pacing done consistently. It droops in parts and rushes through in others. Shankar,Ehsaan & Loy’s music deserves some brownie points as tracks like Offo and Lochae Ulfat will blow your mind.
2 States Review: The Last Word
2 states is barely unwatchable but misses the magic of Chetan Bhagat’s novel. As a stand alone, it is endearingly done with Alia and Arjun’s scorching chemistry coming off as adorable. Despite a half baked soul, this movie is worth the price of your popcorn. I am going with a generous 3/5. The Bhagat fan in me is disappointed but the cinegoer isn’t.
2 States Trailer
2 States releases on 18th April, 2014.
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