With Hindi cinema moving more and more to urban love stories of the multiplex variety, the older generation of actors are sure getting great opportunities. Take 2 States for example. The film has two very well-penned roles for Revathi and Amrita Singh. The two veterans, who in their heydays must have played the typical running-around-the-trees roles in many of their movies, sink their teeth into their characters, and the fact that they are enjoying their characters shows in their performances.
The entire movie is absolutely worth just the one moment when Revathi gets to sing her hit number Saathiya, yeh tu ne kyaa kiya in one of the scenes. It is such a joy to see the saree-clad Revathi now and recall the baggie T-shirt- and skirt-clad Revathi who pranced around to this song in the movie Love in 1991.
But we've gushed enough - let's get to 2 States.
If you've read the book, you pretty much know how 2 States is going to play out, so allow us to warn you upfront. If you are easily upset by regional stereotypes or think that the whole Punjabi-Madrasi thing is overdone in the book, please stay away. If you do not heed to our warning, you might just walk out of the theatre and head for the nearest available lawyer to file a suit against the director-producer.
2 States tells the story of Krish Malhotra (Arjun Kapoor), a Punjabi munda, and Ananya Swaminathan (Alia Bhatt), a Tamil ponnu. The duo meet in IIMA and quickly begin a very physical relationship with each other that lasts through their 2 years of college.
Krish's and Ananya's parents (Ronit Roy, Amrita Singh; and Shiv Subramaniyam, Revathi) meet each other during the couple's convocation and hate each other on first sight. After this disastrous first meeting, Krish travels to Chennai and makes Ananya's parents fall in love with him, and Ananya travels to Delhi and does the same with Krish's mom. However, when the parents come face to face again, all hell breaks loose, a break-up happens, and Krish finds himself on a psychiatrist's couch asking for advise on the best way to commit suicide. How the great divide between North and South is bridged for the couple to unite forms the plot of 2 States.
Abhishek Varman, the director of the movie, portrays the stereotypes expected from both the states, but also takes care not to go overboard. The film also showcases the relationships between the kids and their parents very well. The insecurities, the hesitation, the hurt that their kids think they can choose their own life partners, the attempts at coming around, and finally the acceptance when they realise that the chosen one can keep their kids happy - all these are shown wonderfully well.
Yes, the path to convincing both families appears a bit too easy, but with scenes like the one where Krish proposes to Ananya's entire family thrown in, you hardly have reason to complain. The one thing that we think could've been done better is the initial love story that is more physical than anything else.
Arjun Kapoor and Alia Bhatt do a wonderful job of portraying the couple torn between their parents and their love story. Bhatt looks positively radiant in her Tamilian avatar and is surely fairer than 99% of the true Tamilians (this is us exercising stereotypes, excuse us!). The parents, like we've mentioned three thousand times so far, are very convincingly portrayed, and add plenty of weight to the movie.
The music for the songs is flashy but the operatic background score is very well utilized throughout the movie. The film is just a tad long - trimming around 10 minutes would have made it outstanding, but we're hardly complaining. The production and technical values are all fine.
If you've just finished your exams and are heading out for that long-awaited date, 2 States is just the movie for you. The way life in and after the IIMs is portrayed in the movie might just inspire you to begin preparing for CAT pretty soon!