<Review by: Meera Joshi>
Director: Abhishek Varman. Starring Arjun Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Revathy, Amrita Singh, Ronit Roy, Shiv Subrahmanyam. Music: Shankar, Ehsaan, Loy
Go watch the film for Alia Bhatt. She’s good. Three films old Alia has matured as a performer with each consecutive film (Student of the Year, Highway).
2 States, based on Chetan Bhagat’s book of the same name, deals with two IIM students, who meet, get into a relationship, fall in love and want to get married. So far so good. The ‘but’ comes in when they want to tie the knot with the approval of their respective parents. The one big hurdle? The great North-South divide. Krish (Arjun Kapoor) is Punjabi and Ananya (Alia Bhatt) a Tamil Brahmin. While Ananya helps Krish get into her parents’ good books, she comes up against a wall when she tries to please Krish’s mother Kavita (Amrita Singh). Though Kavita is totally against the match through the film, her volte-face at the end is a mite unconvincing. Of course, the film has a happy ending.
There are several heart-warming moments in the film. The best of them being when Vikram Malhotra (Ronit Roy) enters the wedding mandap and the father-son duo that had a hate-hate-where-did-we-go-
The last scene is confusing. Understood that Krish at a point couldn’t handle the trauma in his personal life and needed psychiatric help. The story starts off in flashback. We return to the point where he had stated he wanted to commit suicide. Then normalcy prevails yet at the end he’s again in the psychiatrist’s clinic. Did the arrival of the twins make him suicidal again?
Amrita and Revathy essay their roles with ease. However, this film must have been a tough call for Arjun Kapoor who had till now tried out action-based films (Ishaqzaade, Aurangzeb and Gunday). In several places, his dialogue and expression don’t match. Even his smiles are slow in coming. He needs to set his emotions free. Like he does in the scenes where his parents have a spat and he slaps his father or when his mother misbehaves with Ananya’s parents and his expression says he’d like to disown her.
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s music is catchy while you listen to the songs but you won’t come out humming any of the ditties. Loved the way the passing of time is shown in the song, Offo. Krish and Ananya first play garba, celebrate Christmas and then play Holi. But the film drags in parts and crisper scenes would have helped.
Two lines of Hussain Dalal’s dialogue were uncalled for. The one about South Indian actresses marrying Punjabi men and when Kavita asks a rickshawala in Ahmedabad, “Meethe mein kya khaate ho? Apni dal?” We are not amused.
That apart, director Abhishek Varman’s debut directorial venture is worth a one time watch.
<Meera Joshi is a carefree freelancer who recently rounded off her 35-year career in journalism as Managing Editor of Filmfare Magazine. She’s interviewed all the big stars including Amitabh Bachchan and we’re privileged to have her writing for Minority-Review>