Monday, April 21, 2014

2 States

Cast: Arjun Kapoor (Krish Malhotra), Alia Bhatt (Ananya Swaminathan), Ronit Roy (Vikram Malhotra), Amrita Singh (Kavita Malhotra), Shiv Kumar Subramaniam (Shiv Swaminathan), Revathy (Radha Swaminathan), Sharang Natarajan (Manjuntah Swaminathan), Ankit Chitral, Achint Kaur
Genre: Romance, Comedy, Drama
Direction: Abhishek Varman
Production: Karan Johar, Sajid Nadiadwala
Studio: Dharma Productions, Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment
Distribution: UTV Motion Pictures
Written by: Chetan Bhagat (His novel ‘2 States: The Story of My Marriage’)
Cinematographer: Binod Pradhan
Editor: Namrata Rao
Music: Shankar Ehsaan Loy
Lyricist: Amitabh Bhattacharya
Release Date: 18th April, 2014
Language: Hindi
Duration: 2 hours 29 minutes

The Plot:
2 States, a cross-cultural love story based on Chetan Bhagat’s semi-autobiographical novel ‘2 States: The Story of My Marriage’ (a bestseller), is light-hearted, maintains the core of the book, and presented in a very simple yet engaging manner. The movie begins with Krish Malhotra’s (Arjun Kapoor) session with a psychiatrist where he expresses his depression, suicidal tendencies. The movie unfolds further with the IIM–Ahmedabad campus rendezvous of Krish, the Punjabi boy with Tamil Brahmin Ananya Swaminathan (Alia Bhatt) at mess. Instant connect between the two is shown. Ananya keeps on counting the score of IITians who proposed her. Krish does not obviously want to be one amongst them. Their campus life, evolution of their relationship from being ‘just friends’ to the love-birds (physically and mentally), combined studies, and off-campus eateries’ hang-outs are all portrayed beautifully through songs – Offo and Locha-E-Ulfat. Krish and Ananya look good together with Krish being the quiet, reserved, yet assertive one and Ananya being the self-assured, expressive one. After two-years of courtship, both Krish and Ananya commit to each other. But then begins the real challenge of convincing their respective families. A typical face-off i.e. North Vs. South in between Ananya’s parents (Shiv and Radha Swaminathan essayed by Shiv Kumar Subramaniam and Revathy) and Krish’ mother Kavita Malhotra (Amrita Singh) during the convocation is portrayed realistically. Krish and Ananya chose the tough path to convince one another’s parents rather than just eloping. We can see the efforts taken by both of them to win parents’ approval for their marriage.

The plot projects the culture-clash, the discomfort and the pressures due to diverse culture, playful digs at one another’s culture, turbulent relationship between Krish and his alcoholic / abusive father Vikram Malhotra (Ronit Roy), impact of parents’ clash on krish’ character, northern culture of dowry being a very regular thing, Krish’ bonding with mother, Ananya requesting his father to be nice to krish, Krish’ mother being possessive of him, perceptual differences etc. without any melodrama.

Does Krish and Ananya succeed in convincing their parents that they truly love each other in spite of the culture, community, religion, language differences ? If yes, how ? And, if yes, how long the efforts continue ? Do their love survive the conflicts in between their families? Does actually some love is left between them in midst of uncertainties and family conflicts?
Official Trailer:
Director and Story Writer:
Director Abhishek Varman has done justice to Chetan’s book. Definitely the book is a delight to read, but the movie also showcases various aspects beautifully.   

Cast and their Performance:
Arjun as Krish is very good. It is great to see the way he handles his relationship with his mother. Even he projects his emotional vulnerability well as far as his relationship with father is concerned. I adored those moments when his eyes spoke his love towards Ananya.

Alia as Ananya has definitely given a very cute and wonderful performance. Though she doesn’t look much of a south-indian, but she has carried the character on her shoulders very well. She looks pretty, charming and sweet.

Amrita as Krish’ mother Kavita is so effortless and natural. Ronit as Krish’ father Vikram although has less frames, still, he is very very good. He brings lot of depth to the character.

Shiv and Revathy as Ananya’s parents are very good. Sharang Natarajan as Ananya’s brother Manjuntah Swaminathan is also noticeable.

Achint Kaur as Amrita’s sister also gives a good performance.

Music is composed by Shankar, Ahsaan, Loy. Lyrics are penned by Amitabh Bhattacharya.

Mast Magan (Arijit Singh, Chinmayi Sripada) is very good. Offo (Aditi Singh Sharma, Amitabh Bhattacharya) and Locha-E-Ulfat (Benny Dayal) are full of energy. Iski Uski (Akriti Kakkar, Shahid Mallaya, Shankar Mahadevan), Chaandaniya (K Mohan, Yashita Sharma) and Hullaa Re (Shankar Mahadevan, Siddharth Mahadevan, Rasika Shekhar) are also good.

Binod Pradhan has covered Delhi, IIM-A campus, Chennai, Mumbai all very nicely.

Moments to watch out for:
Krish while trying to ask for Ananya’s hands with her parents proposes to the complete family: I want to marry all of you. He has actually brought rings for all of them. Krish hugging his father towards the end of the movie.

Thumbs up:      
Watch this movie, probably most of us would be able to relate with this simple movie. And for all those people who did inter-caste or cross-culture marriage are definitely going to relate with the story.

Thumbs down:
As such no thumbs down moments. The movie has its own natural flow. Probably the dialogue by Krish (to express that it was natural to feel towards Ananya) was not required: “Punjabi hoon. Khoon garam hota hai humara.”

'2 States' indeed reduces the gap between the two states. Enjoy this…

Rating: 3.5 / 5 (Good +)