Chetan Bhagat’s bestselling novel ‘2 States: The Story of my marriage’ was a fluid read for most viewers and almost everyone felt that like his previous books this one would also be adapted into a film. And so after numerous directing and casting changes (Shah Rukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Ranbir Kapoor were all attached at one point of time) 2 States: The film has finally arrived to hit the big screen. Is it as good as 3 Idiots and Kai Po Che or is it as drab and awful as Hello (all three films being Chetan Bhagat book adaptations).
Story: If you haven’t read 2 States, here’s the story for you. Krish Malhotra (Arjun Kapoor) has had a silent rift with his dad throughout his life and he tries to escape the uneasiness in their relationship by studying hard and getting into IIM Ahmedabad. There he meets Ananya Swaminathan (Alia Bhatt) and after a couple of dates they fall in love. The problem arises when they decide to get married WITH their parents’ approval. But the problem becomes a struggle when their families disapprove of the opposite family because Krish is a Punjabi North Indian and Ananya is a Tamil Brahmin! According to these two orthodox families, the North and South can never collide. Does it eventually work out?
In his first film as director, Abhishek Varman doesn’t mess up the film version of Chetan Bhagat’s most liked novel. He stays true to the book for the most part and doesn’t deviate from the proceedings. He has borrowed entire dialogues and scenes piece by piece from the novel, which is something that works for the film big time.
Also, when dealing with cross-cultural love, it can easily turn out to be biased and one-sided. Thankfully, 2 States manages to respect both the communities represented without ever losing its humour quotient. It is a major accomplishment for Varman that he keeps the film lighthearted except for the few dramatic scenes. 2 States is a solid debut for the director.
2 States Movie Review
2 States’ technical department is filled with top talent. Binod Pradhan who first made a mark with the cult Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron does the camera work for 2 States and brings the multi dimensional worlds of IIM-A, Delhi and Chennai together seemlessly. Namrata Rao has not wielded her editing scissors more than necessary but still makes a mark. Shankar-Ehsan-Loy make a return to form of sorts with 2 States. Their tunes have started to sound fresh once again with songs like Offo, and Iski Uski managing to sound pleasant.
If there is one department in which 2 States falters it has to be in the casting of the two leads, especially Arjun Kapoor as Krish. Arjun looks miscast in his role and he seems uncomfortable and uneasy doing the role of the silent rebel nerd Krish. Alia Bhatt is actually good as the feisty Ananya but that biggest drawback for her is that her chemistry with Arjun is severely lacking. A smidget of kissing and intimate scenes don’t make up for lost chemistry. Amrita Singh is quite funny as Arjun’s mother. Ronit Roy is terrific as the strict, distant father. Revathi shines as Ananya’s mother and Shiv Subramaiam also does a good job as Ananya’s father.
2 States is a faithful remake of Chetan Bhagat’s novel and makes for a light, breezy viewing with very few lagging moments in it. If you are in the mood for some solid entertainment, 2 States is the best offering for you this week. Abhishek Varman shows how a rom-com can be done right without ever trying to be attention-seekingly different. 2 States will offend very few and please many.
Box Office: The book’s brand recall and the fairly popular publicity campaign has ensured that 2 States has taken a outstanding start at multiplexes in cities. The film has also benefitted from the Good Friday holiday. In the long run, it should be able find appreciation amongst the paying public.
- Abhishek Varman’s faithful adaptation and non-offensive handling of things
- Binod Pradhan’s cinematography works
- Namrata Rao’s editing shines
- Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy are back in form with 2 States
- The supporting cast led by Ronit Roy are perfectly cast
- Alia Bhatt as Ananya is very good
- The dramatic scenes overstay their welcome at times
- The IIM-A campus feels unreal as it has been transformed into a typical Dharma campus ala KKHH and SOTY