It’s been a while since I watched a feel-good rom-com. The last good Hindi film which I watched this year was Queen. 2013 was disappointing in terms of romantic love stories. Yes, there was YJHD and Lootera but they were not above imperfections. Something was missing in those stories. Apart from Barfi! which released in 2012, none of the romantic films touched me in the recent past.
So honestly, I didn’t really expect much out of Karan Johar’s 2 States. Based on Chetan Bhagat’s popular romantic novel with the same title, 2 States is directed by Abhishek Varman. I was not completely impressed with the trailer and the only reason I decided to watch the film was because there were no other good films releasing this month … [and since I am a Hindi film buff, I’ll go mad if I do not see at least ONE Bollywood flick every month!]
But hey, I was pleasantly surprised!
2 States does have its flaws but overall, it is sweet, adorable and hopelessly romantic. The running theme of 2 States is undoubtedly love and acceptance. I am not going to waste time telling you the plot of the film, so here are simply
5 Reasons Why I Liked 2 States.
1) The Story
The story is of a contemporary young Indian couple. Yes, it’s the same old boy meets girl, falls in love, families oppose and how they overcome it. But the execution is commendable. It is kept light, relatable and easy on the eyes. The film is a cinematic treat. The love story was well-developed in the first half and we almost started rooting that they have a “happily ever after” ending. In the second half, I liked how Abhishek Varman explored relationships between families – the difference between Ananya’s relationship with her family and Krish’s relationship with his family. Krish’s bonding with his mother is beautifully translated on screen. Towards the end, the father-son relationship is also pretty moving. The whole process of “winning the in-laws” is funny and void of melodrama.
2) College Life
After a long time, college life in India is portrayed as closely possible to how it is in real life. With films like Student of the Year and Yaariyan in the recent past totally exaggerating how colleges in India look and how students dress and behave, I was expecting similar disastrous impressions of college life in 2 States. BUT thankfully in this film – students LOOKED like students, students did NOT own Ferraris, there were NO stereotypically gay or sexy teachers, NO girls roaming around in bikini and there were no life-and-death marathons. The college life depicted in the prestigious IIM-A stayed true to how the college life is in reality. There is a scene where Ananya asks Krish “what are your parents expecting after graduation?” – these are the kind of conversations that students have. The placement day brought me so much of nostalgia. Even though in a very small portion, I felt Varman did capture the culture and essence of college life in India – kudos!
3) Cultural Twist
2 States is narrated in a humorous tone, often taking digs at both Tamil and Punjabi cultures. One of my favourite scenes in the movie was when Krish visits Ananya’s house in Chennai and a banana leaf was laid in front of them, to be served food on and for a moment, he was wondering what to do with it till Ananya said that was the plate. This gives a clear illustration of cultural shock and differences. Despite the stereotypes, I loved Krish and Ananya’s attempts to open up the closed mindset their parents. The film is about winning people over and overcoming prejudices. Yet when a family does oppose a marriage, more than individual reservations, the core issue is often the question of what ‘society’, or the extended family of relatives will say. Like I mentioned earlier, the larger theme of the film is about acceptance and that was fairly shown with the movie ending with Ananya giving birth to twin babies, a mix of both cultures. The key to a happy and content life is to take the positives from each other’s culture and work on investing in the relationship.
4) Clothes That Alia Wore
Alia portrayed the role of a south Indian girl with finesse and that showed in the amazing clothes she wore, designed and styled by Manish Malhotra. This simple yet modern girl dresses up for the college like any other college going girl does. Sporting chic ‘kurtis’, cute panel printed suits and long cotton skirts with oxidised accessories and sexy tees were a part of Ananya’s wardrobe in college. And every college going girl would associate herself with Ananya’s style and character. Alia’s makeup was kept simple with light shades of glossy lipstick and eyes beautifully lined with dark kohled Maybelline Colossal Kajal. As she bags a job as a brand manager in Sunsilk, there is a change in the way she dresses up as well. She starts wearing a lot of sarees and south silk churidaars. The look is ethnic, yet very chic. Towards the second half, the colour palette remains chirpy. A lot of bright shades of red, blue and green have been used for her outfits. Her kanjeevaram-inspired neon sarees with traditional gold borders were dazzling and is surely going to set a fashion trend in the months to come.
Okay, I simple loved Amrita Singh as the loud, hilarious yet hopelessly loving Punjabi mom! Each time she comes on screen, she absolutely captivates the audience! Even though her character “Kavita” is one of the root causes as to why Krish and Ananya break up, one does not feel any anger against her. She just says what she feels and her portrayal is very real. Revathy, as Alia’s mother has a very diginified screen presence and performs exceedingly well. She even sings a song from one of her old Hindi films! Ronit Roy, as usual, plays his role with utmost conviction. He is flawless! Shiv Kumar Subramaniam who plays Alia’s father is stern, funny and malleable at the same time. Arjun and Alia have sizzling chemistry. Arjun Kapoor plays a goofy lover boy and it’s a nice change to see from all his villainous roles thus far! Arjun does grow on you and he makes Krish lovable. Coming to Alia Bhatt, she did a fantastic job as Ananya. There is good balance of fashionable yet coyness in her body language. This girl is promising and this is possibly her best performance till date.
Tell me guys, have you seen 2 States? Share below what you liked or did not like about the film. For those who have yet to watch it, I think you should book your tickets asap! Before I sign off, I also want to tell you guys that I am hosting this weekly Bollywood reviews with Clapsnslaps, India’s only review portal where you are the critic. And this is a sneak peek of what the public said when I asked them about 2 States.