Saturday, 19 April 2014

2 States : Movie Review


2 States is a feel good film which corroborates that if content from best selling book is meticulously woven into a good script n screenplay, you don't need big stars or stellar sets to make a good entertaining movie. 2 States is a romantic comedy which scores for being earthly and grounded. 2 States takes the North-South divide extremely seriously and since, according to the film, South Indians are from Venus and North Indians are from Planet Red Bull, I should probably disclose here that my loyalties lie on the Northern side since perspectives are bound to differ based on culture and geography.  2 States' romantic angle is a little difficult to connect given the way it is moved along in such a hurry in order to incorporate everything, but the family side of the bargain is truly touching. If you're as desi as I am and get senti about Maa & Paa, there's no way you won't run home after watching this film and give your folks a big hug. The best thing about Two States is that it is fresh -- in the casting,  the approach, and the language. It's the kind of romcom that makes you go 'hmmm' rather than 'awwww.' The language spoken by all the characters is no different from one used by everyday people, and it's not like actors saying lines. From the make-out scenes to the fights between the couple, it's all very life-like and non-filmi. 

STORY & SCREENPLAY                  ::                  The credit for the story of the movie obviously belongs to Chetan Bhagat courtsey his book " 2 States " but the screenplay adaption has been done by Abhishek Varman who has done a wonderful job as he has spun an interesting tale.The love story between Arjun and Alia is thankfully kept simple, which is exactly what Makes it beautiful. It is not mundane but comes without any outrageous Bollywood airs. The film opens with Krish Malhotra (Arjun Kapoor) settled on the sofa of a psychiatrist's office as he narrates the story of his life. What follows is the usual boy-meets-girl story. They fall in love.Their parents don't. 2 States chronicles Ananya Swaminathan and Krish Malhotra's trials as they try to make their parents see that their love for each other is above the petty lines of region and language, but their effort of bringing their families together threatens to tear them apart. In the beginning the relationship is all biology but something about spending time with Ananya sees Krish growing up. Ananya, for her part, seems to be completely sorted with hardly any internal conflicts and very little back story. Krish's relationship with his family, particularly his mother, is better explored than his relationship with Ananya, which results in 2 States being more of a deep and meaningful family drama than a romance. The film is really cheesy but I won't hold that against it. Stereotypes are never lacking and even though, as a North Indian, I understand what the film is trying to say about different points of view of looking at the same thing, I also find the extent that they take it to a little offensive.
 
STARCAST                           ::                                 I would like to commend, Nandini Shrikent who is the casting director of this movie for choosing the appropriate Star cast as almost all the actors have given a wonderful non-filmy kindda performance as per their characters. Arjun Kapoor breaks his own typecast and performs strongly in this romcom film quite unlike him. He looks every inch the very boy next door and immensely lovable. Thank God the brooding angry mould is finally cast away and Kapoor proves to be quite a sunshine when the script demands for it. Alia Bhatt is a stunner and that quite works in her favor & she is looking so beautiful in this flick that you can’t take your eyes off her even when she fumbles in a scene or two.She looks the perfect Ananya and pulls through the role with gravitas and confidence. Ronit Roy as Arjun's Dad has given an impeccable performance with his calm and understated portrayal of a disgraced army man, whose abusive behaviour has destroyed his chance of a relationship with his only child. Amrita Singh is charm personified as the overbearing Punjabi mother, who manages to rise above the caricature images of earlier on screen Punjabi mothers and brings her own stamp of joviality and grace to her brash Kavita. This gifted actress needs more film outings to do her justice. Similar can be said about Achint Kaur, another gifted actress who will charm you with her portrayal of Arjun's Maasi especially with her right refugee Punjabi dialect. She has proved her versatility by playing this role to perfection. Revathy and Shiv Kumar Subramaniam as Ananya’s parents bring their own dignity to their roles but unfortunately their characters don’t get elucidated adequately as they play conservative Tamilian Folks.


TECHNICAL FINESSE                ::                          The soundtrack of the movie has been composed by the talented trio of Shankar, Ehsaan & Loy which is pleasing to ears and in sync with the movie. The background music has been composed by Parik & Tubby who have done their job to perfection. The cinematographer of the movie is Binod Pradhan whose lens has captured some lovely, unfussy images unto the screen. The cinematography is plush and passionate & makes the visuals an occasion for optical enchantment. The movie has been edited by Namrata Rao, who although has done a good job but i feel it could have been better. The run-time of the movie is 149 minutes which is slightly long and better editing could have made up for it. Debutant director Abhishek Varman knows his job well and knows how to tell a story embedding individual scenes with a distinctive personality without straining for effect. It is never easy for a director to spin a narrative which has a clear ending from its first frame. To draw the audience in, he must create a film that is crisp and engaging, peppered with just the right amount of Bollywood kitsch that will entertain for nearly three hours which Varman has not only done well but also scored Brownie points for the same. 

 WOW MOMENTS      ::                                 The face-off scenes between Revathy and Amrita Singh are fantastic. The little nuances are enjoyable and done to perfection. In the scene which shows Arjun’s first tryst with a typical silent Tamilian household that reminds him of a funeral situation in a Punjabi household is crackling. Also when Amrita and Revathy clash on their Tamil and Punjabi sensibilities is entirely entrapping



CONCLUSION                   ::                         Nevertheless, there's nothing that should keep you from watching 2 States. The ethos of the middle class children and there tendency to play appeaser to their parents more than rebellious has been wonderfully portrayed on screen through this flick.

ROHIT SHARMA.
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