2 States

Cast: Arjun Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Amrita Singh, Revathi, Ronit Roy Direction: Abhishek Varman Genre: Romance Duration: 2 hours 29 minutes

STORY: Punjabi boy and Tamilian girl discover love on their college campus. However, their diverse cultures make its culmination a challenge. REVIEW: For an audience that has been around from the ’80s, debutant Abhishek Varman’s ‘2 States’ may seem like they are revisiting K Balachander’s mega hit ‘Ek Duuje Ke Liye’ (1981), where the Tamil boy had to cross endless hurdles to patao the Punjabi girl.

However, that movie had too much angst and a tragic end. 2 States is a happy film (with measured anguish). Romance in cross-cultural or even cross-border situations isn’t new to Bollywood. What makes 2 States work is the simple narrative told humorously. Adapted as it is, from one of author Chetan Bhagat’s best-selling works, the film, just like the book before it, is lighthearted. Chetan’s funny one-liners and life-view are studiously borrowed by the director for his screen outing. And though there is a sense of deja-vu, for those who have read the book, the movie still manages to charm and surprise.

Krish Malhotra (Arjun) and Ananya Swaminathan(Alia) meet on the IIM Ahmedabad campus. Sparks fly between economic coaching and food poaching. Their tender love, compulsive copulation and kissing chemistry (adeptly portrayed by the young screen lovers) make this couple reason that they could spend a lifetime together. But in India, where tradition and parents are nurtured, couples have to literally marry each other’s families.

Incidentally, for those in an inter-caste marriage, this movie could resonate like your own tale. The playful digs at each other’s cultures, the self-deprecating remarks about one’s family and community are all laugh-out-loud moments. Amrita-Ronit, Revathi-Shiv Subramaniam infuse life into their roles of the Punjabi and Tamil parents. The spitfire Alia and a sober Arjun are also lovable. If you are in a mood for a Bollywood family saga with measured melodrama and the right amount of naach-gaana, visit 2 States.

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Volume 10 Issue 41 | New York | Oct 21

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