2 States – Review by Mansha Rastogi

After enough hoopla about the chemistry of Arjun and Alia in the film, their sizzling intimate scenes what with all the excessive kissing in the promos, their alleged ongoing off screen romance, 2 States, the official adaptation of Chetan Bhagat’s best seller by the same name finally makes it to silver screen. But should it receive a thunderous response as did the book? We tell you.

Krish (Arjun Kapoor) is an average looking Punjabi boy from Delhi studying in IIM Ahmedabad who chances upon the most good looking girl in the institute Ananya (Alia Bhatt) a Tamil-Brahmin. Cupid strikes almost instantly but he holds his horses for she has been the center of attraction of every boy in the institute and he doesn’t want to follow the herd. However, after a prolonged friendship he finally opens up only to be reciprocated favourably. Thus starts their lust turns love story and two are thrown into the whirlwind of North meets South when the two distinct families collide. Whether the societal and cultural differences get in the way or their love conquers all is what follows through the rest of the plot.

This isn’t the first time that a book is being adapted into a film. Filmmakers like Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Vishal Bhardwaj have done it time and again and very successfully. Book-adaptation too is an art if you come to think of it. One has to aesthetically bring to life the world and characters imagined by the readers and also add his/her creative input to take the book to another level as a film.

Director Abhishek Varman brings absolutely nothing new to the table. The film appears a point by point reenactment of the entire book with only an exception – all humorous bits either get excluded or dumbed down. The film is highly predictable and there’s absolutely no fun in watching a dragged 149 minute long story which has nothing refreshing to offer.

There still are portions which work for the film, despite being few and far in between. The entry sequence of Amrita Singh followed by the humour that comes out of the meeting of parents from both sides is entertaining.

Alia Bhatt is a natural as a modern day, well educated Tamilian despite being all of 21 and only 2 films old and playing such a character for the first time. Not only does she appear extremely beautiful but also plays her part well.

Arjun Kapoor switches from the evil streak that he has been portraying in all his previous films to play a reserved boy-next-door in this film. However, he completely fails to pull off the film on his shoulders. He just doesn’t emote throughout the film not when he sweeps Ananya off her feet and neither when he becomes the punching bag of both families and Ananya too.

Acting by the side characters like Ronit Roy-Amrita Singh and Revathi-Shivkumar Subramanium is much more interesting. Amrita as the loud mouthed Punjabi mother while Revathi as the classical singing student and typical Tam-Bram mother are brilliant in their bits.

There’s hardly much to highlight in the cinematography as well as music. They are average at best.

To sum it up, 2 States is a wasted opportunity to encash the popularity of a book. Despite the cast, the budgets and brand in place, the film fails to make a mark purely due to faulty execution. Not a funny or entertaining rom-com this one.

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