Movie Review: 2 States
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It features two youngsters who are freethinking, unencumbered by tradition and apparently able to take their own decisions. But they are respectful enough not to implement those decisions without their familiesâ approval.
This is where the new India stands – parents who give children freedom and education, but exert their authority when it comes to crucial decisions.
But â2 Statesâ doesnât know where to stop. It takes a good idea and stretches it to a point where it becomes tedious and uninteresting.
Krish (Arjun Kapoor) and Ananya (Alia Bhatt) and conflicts over their diverse backgrounds are good fodder for a romantic comedy, but when the same stereotypes play out over and over again, it begins to jar.
The love story between the two characters unfolds rather predictably, helped only by Bhattâs screen presence, and when the plot moves to the inevitable north-south divide, director Varman uses old, stale stereotypes about Punjabis and Tamilians that may not hold water any more in todayâs India.
For example, when Ananyaâs mother tells Krish that her daughter cannot marry him because their cultures and values are very different, it doesnât ring true, because just ten minutes earlier, the same woman sang a Bollywood number at what is supposed to be a classical music concert.
Amrita Singhâs overbearing Punjabi mother act is more convincing, as is Rohit Roy as Krishâs troubled father, but the repeated emphasis on how loud Punjabis are or how cultured Tamilians are is forced and unconvincing.
Still, there are some bright spots in â2 Statesâ and the chemistry between the two leads is one. Kapoor struggles at the beginning, but his character grows on you. There are some laughs to be had in spite of the tried and tested jokes, and Bhattâs acting is effortless – sheâs a pleasure to watch on screen.
â2 Statesâ ends up being a rather dull and outdated commentary on the misconceptions Indians have about each other, and there are times when you wish Ananya would just agree, when Krish tells her — many times in the film — that they should just run away.
(Follow Shilpa on Twitter atÂ @shilpajay. This article is website-exclusive and cannot be reproduced without permission)