by Aparna Mudi
`2 States` is the perfect example of how a story in the hands of the right director can be entertaining and can fail miserably if not. The director, Abhishek Varman had a very predictable plot to work with. Perhaps a tad too predictable.
The adaptations that screenplay writers Abhijat Joshi and Abhishek Kapoor`s team made to `3 Idiots` and `Kai Po Che` respectively, while not changing the premise too much, gave the audience a fresher story. Varman makes the mistake of not refreshing the material from which he adopted his début venture.
Boy meets girl, falls in love, want to marry, parents disagree, boy and girl separate, enter unexpected help, boy and girl together again. If we have seen it once, we have seen it again and again and again; and `2 States` is no different.
Krish Malhotra, played by Arjun Kapoor and Ananya Swaminathan, played by Alia Bhatt meet and fall in love on the IIM Ahmedabad campus. They go on to prove that they have a mature perspective on marriage and decide to please the parents and seek their blessing. The rest of the movie revolves around them trying various ways of getting the nod from the elders.
The stars and the supporting cast has carried out their roles very well. Amrita Singh is perfect as the loud, crass Punjabi mother seeking the perfect kudi for her son. Revathy too has played the Tamilian conservative quiet mother to Ananya to perfection. Ronit Roy has possibly played the part of the father who needs anger management classes too many times, this time too Ronit shines in his small appearances. Arjun tried to break out of the mould of angry young man to play a love struck puppy, not to perfection but he manages to look charming enough. Alia has talent that peeks through at times, but her characters does not have enough layers to really make a strong impact.
It would have been nice to have a little more romance, as the much advertised chemistry does exist. The two have an upbeat beginning to their relationship, but the story quickly shifts to the parents. There is just not enough time for the viewers to be convinced of their love. There are the frills of their relationship without being dumped in to saccharine sweetness that Karan Johar brand of films often are.
The expectations of some laugh out loud moments rise with the entry of the parents. Instead, the rest of the narrative depends on the clichés of North and South India. The Punjabi mother is too strung up, and the Tamil – `Madrasi` parents are too judgemental, relatives are meddlesome. `2 States` carries on with the divide with no real issues for too long, more than half the movie. And it can get tiring.
Alia looks beautiful in both the western outfits and the South Indian traditional sarees. Kudos to Manish Malhotra for a fantastic wardrobe for junior Bhatt. Another mention must be given to cinematographer, Bonid Pradhan, especially for the wedding scene at the end. It was romantic and mesmerising the way that scene was shot.
The music in the movie is refreshing. `Offo` is truly sprightly and `Chandaniya` is beautifully rendered by K. Mohan (from the band Agnee) and Yashita Sharma. The trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy recreate the youthful spring with the soundtrack of the film as they have with their previous ventures.
Watch the movie for a lack of any other show to go to with your loved one. Despite the attempts of a modern love story, this 2 and a half hour movie can get to your nerves if you are expecting anything different.