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2 States – Movie Review
A best-selling novel would in almost all cases be an ideal base for a movie. The director has the opportunity to bring the drama to life and give a face to the characters we connected with. Abhishek Varman’s 2 States depicts Chetan Bhagat’s novel of the same title. While it may not be a perfect attempt, its down-to-earth and unpretentious feel makes it well worth a watch.
Krish (Arjun Kapoor) and Ananya (Alia Bhatt) are passionately in love. Beer and chicken loving Krish is a Punjabi boy with just the right amount of good looks and social awkwardness to make him adorable whilst bold, beautiful and brainy Ananya is the most untypical Tamil one has met. The pair effortlessly transition from their first meeting to Krish getting down on one knee. There is no unnecessary melodrama, no silly misunderstandings and plenty of fun times. After all, when two level-headed people have amazing compatibility, what could possibly come in between? Oh yes, parents.
Clash of cultures is definitely not a novelty. The story of a girl and boy wanting to win over their parents, too, has been the backbone of countless Bollywood dramas. However, Two States does not feel repetitive because it is a completely modern day take on the age old issue of cross-cultural marriages. Krish and Ananya’s effort to gain their parents’ consent is a journey across cities and communities, engaging at times but faltering your interest at others. There are some humourously witty and endearing moments but the pace is generally too slow. Creatively developing aspects of the novel into a more film appropriate narrative or even including more scenes from it would have gone a long way. Having said that, Varman captures certain details perfectly – the different shades of each character’s personality, the parents’ sentiments, the sheer diversity between the two cultures (Krish’s comparision of a Punjabi house to a Tamil’s is hilarious) and Krish and Ananya’s chemistry (the shyness and yearning when they see each other after a few months at Ananya’s place) – all leave behind an impression.
Alia Bhatt stands out not only because she looks radiant but her impressive portrayal of Ananya. Arjun Kapoor is very likable despite his character not having room more than a few facial expressions. Amrita Singh and Ronit Roy are flawless as Krish’s parents though given the complexity of his character, witnessing the development in Ronit’s character and the reasons behind his change of heart would have been interesting. Shiv Kumar Subramanium and Revathy essay the roles of Ananya’s parents with ease.
The soundtrack is brilliant with upbeat and fresh lyrics, enhancing the film’s youth appeal. Given the rich cultures, the scenes are enriched with colours and aesthetic details. The dialogues are apt for the characters and there are some clear winners.
On the whole, Two States is a movie that you can take your parents along to or enjoy with a group of friends. It may have skipped various incidents from the novel and dips in pace occasionally but it does a commendable job in showing how a modern day couple from two states convince their parents to meet halfway.