2 States ~ Review

Alia Bhatt and Arjun Kapoor play two young lovebirds in 2 States. Sonika Sethi provides the low-down on the story, performances, direction and music. Find out if it is one to watch or give a miss.

2 States

2 States is based on the best-selling novel, of the same name, written by Chetan Bhagat. The story focuses on intercommunity marriages in India.

The story is relatively simple; boy loves girl, girl loves boy. Girl’s family has to love the boy. Boy’s family has to love the girl. Girl’s family has to love the boy’s family. Boy’s family has to love the girl’s family. And if things fall into place, the couple gets married.

2 States

The boy is Krish, a Punjabi (played by Arjun Kapoor) and the girl is Ananya, a Tamilian Brahmin. They fall in love in college and after a playful romance that spans through their university course, they are faced with the question of ‘what next?’

Both of them are serious about marriage but being from different cultures, this poses as a massive challenge. The majority of the movie illuminates the journey that Krish and Ananya undergo in converting this love story into marriage.

Many interesting elements which are all entertaining but can stretch long in the second half.
The actors fitted the roles perfectly that you cannot imagine the film with anyone else.
A great effort for a debut director and a novel that has many expectations from its readers.
The 2 ‘states’ are shown beautifully and colourfully with fine details included in songs.
Not chart topping hits but some are melodious and fit in well with the scene.
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A refreshing love story that leaves you smiling and wanting to watch it again. Review Scores by Sonika Sethi.

Initially, Shahrukh Khan was cast for this film but him playing a college student may not have done justice to the film’s script. The film needed a fresh, young pair that would realistically bring the romance of Krish and Ananya alive! This is what Alia Bhatt and Arjun Kapoor do.

Kapoor plays the role very naturally and grasps the sensitivity of his character, particularly in the second half. This role is a far departure from his previous roles as a ‘gunday’ in Gunday (2014) and Ishaqzaade (2012).

Alia Bhatt has shown that she really has it in her to be a convincing actress. She delivers superbly another multidimensional role, post Highway (2014), showing that she can go far beyond the glamour quotient she only possessed in Student of the Year (2012).

The sizzling chemistry between the two lead actors is a key ingredient of the film, particularly since the film swiftly moves forward from the development of the romance into the notion of marriage. Thus, the audience need to be convinced of their chemistry to connect with the characters’ journey towards marriage.

Ronit Roy, Subramaniam, Revathy and Achint Kaur were excellent in their respective roles. Amrita Singh was realistic in her portrayal of a Punjabi mother but if she had brought the extra Punjabi flavour featured in the book then it would have brought more comedy into the film.

Shankar-Eshaan-Loy’s music fitted the scenes well. The best track is the melodious, ‘Mast Magan’. However, the music is not a chart topper and falls short when compared to other incredible love stories by Dharma production, like Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013) and Alia’s previous film, Student of the Year.

Varman stays faithful to the bestseller novel, since he decides to leave many of the dialogues and scenes untouched. Whilst this may be considered as ‘playing it safe’, it is what the audience wants to see because the book is written in a way that is meant for the big screen.

The movie is shot principally in Delhi, Chennai and Ahmedabad. Varman briefly but effectively shows aspects of the three different cities. Varman’s attention to detail is shown in his ability to use the cinematography to convey non-dialogue aspects. Particularly in songs, like ‘Offo’ where the colourful Holi and Navrati were used to display how Krish and Ananya’s relationship had spanned several seasons.

However, more could have been shown for Chennai culture, particularly the Chennai wedding experience, since this would accentuate the contrast between the two cultures. Also, the shots of Krish narrating the story retrospectively seems unnecessary and detracts the audience away from what is happening currently in the film.

At times, the second half seemed to stretch, especially during Krish and Ananya’s disagreement. When it seemed as if Varman realised the long stretch, he compromises on the wedding scene. However, this leaves the audience wondering why the wedding scene is kept brief when this is what the audience waits for and in Bhagat’s novel, are the scenes that bring a lot of light hearted humour; the film misses out on this.

All in all, this movie is a cinematic treat. Those who have read the novel will be happy because the film has, to a great extent, done justice to the beautiful novel. Those that haven’t will be happy to witness a refreshing entertainer! 2 States is a movie that will leave you wanting more and wanting to watch it again!

Sonika is a full-time medical student, Bollywood enthusiast and lover of life. Her passions are dancing, travelling, radio presenting, writing, fashion and socialising! “Life isn’t measured by the number of breaths taken but by moments that take our breath away.”