Saturday, April 26, 2014

2 States review: A love story that ends up with an arrange marriage

India is a great country and it stands on its basic unity despite of many diversities. We learned this from our early school days and many of us believed in it, till it's being ruined badly under some serious circumstance and become only an idea in our daily life, a very indulgent idea that has no connection with our normal daily life. Chetan Bhagat's best-selling novel , '2 States' told the basic flaw of this magnum 'unity', the continuous 'north-south' debate, the social-cultural differences of different states and their obvious effects in our life, in a humorous way. 'The story of the author's marriage' has now presented in the silver screen by debutant director Abhishek Varman.

The love story of Krish Malhotra and Anannya Swaminathan, has moved its readers with deep humor, sometimes with a layer of sultry satire. Elders of our family still believed 'Marriages are made in heaven' and on Earth, it can only being decided perfectly by them. Even in same caste and state, love affairs have not been considered very worthy of marriages, to the entire family, and if the affair occurred from different caste and state, then it's surely being forced to end up with tragedy, till now. The novel itself dealt with the issues through Krish and Anannya's North-South families and with their obvious tantrums to them one after another. The love story between a 'punjabi munda' and a 'madrasan' surely not been very comforting to their respective families. The problems came and gone like waves and the duo tried their best to cope up with that. The normal thing that many of us faced in our own lives, directly or indirectly, the novel offered it with humor. While Bhagat's unmistakable writing engrossed its readers with the obvious stylized narration, the exactly same story-based screenplay made the film not-so-interesting, though there were some moments, some really good punch lines that never failed to create a refreshing relief. But, same and same punches faded the color of humor, mostly.

Basically, the movie followed the novel blindly, and did not take any chance to recreate some moments, which had done earlier with Bhagat's novels. But the casting of the film was perfectly done with immense care and every actor did his/her job very neatly. While, As Krish's punjabi mother, Amrita Singh did exactly what she supposed to do with her over-the-top loud acting this time, Revathi and Shiv Kumar Subramaniam maintained the same pace as Anannya's conservative parents. Revathy opened the door of nostalgia with the scene of Anannya's mother singing. With her, many of us humming the lines from our early days- 'saathiya, yeh tune kya kiya'. The Moment was one of those magic touches, that made the film little different than the original book.

Ronit Roy's Vikram Malhotra was worthy of special mention. After 'Udaan' he did the angry, abusive, melancholic character again; though this time, he has not only acted well, but also made a half-baked, not-so-convincing sub-plot much more realistic with his flawless under-acting. Both he and his reel son Arjun Kapoor made this father-son hate-love relationship real with their looking-so-uncomfortable-with-each-other act.

Arjun Kapoor made Krish Malhotra freshly real from the book pages. His oh-so-sweet-but-little-stiff act made him more lovable and natural. His effortless dialogue delivery and a little-confused look made Krish perfect. When he confessed his love for Anannya or trying desperately to convince her parents giving four rings to each of them (along with their daughter), Arjun did complete justice to his character. His helpless situation in the psychiatrist's chamber or in the car between his mom and Anannya, Arjun never failed to draw the viewer's attention and love.

But it is Alia Bhatt, who made the screen sizzle with her each and every presence. Veteran director Mahesh Bhatt's younger daughter has proved herself again as an enormous upcoming actor with her smart-yet-innocent Anannya Swaminathan. Camera used her tremendous screen presence again and again in each and every frame. Whenever she came on screen, while her first kiss to Krish, or helpless attempt to move on without him, she simply did act and conquered the celluloid with her electrifying presence, along with her proper make-up and beautiful dressing style, though in that case, some of the credits had to go with designer Manish Malhotra, who made Alia's Anannya beautiful even in a simple-yet-so-classy churidaar-kurta. We could do nothing but watch and praise her and fall in love with her deep dimples, with her unmistakable innocence and with her power-packed acting. Beyond script, she and Arjun's fresh chemistry made Anannya and Krish more and more real. But still the movie lacked an original script, which can be sketched little differently from book. Even Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy's music couldn't make much impact to the treatment of the story-telling, though 'Locha-e-ulfat' and 'off ho' made the happy mood of the film, while 'Mast magan' did the soul-job for it.

Bollywood is never tired of making love stories. It had been made in past and would be made in future. Love stories are the tale of human's eternal emotion and simple love-stories need a strong plot, perfect screenplay and fresh treatment to deliver a new tale.

Abhishek Varman's 'Two States' offered a apparently fresh treatment , a more mature first half; but a dragging second half and lack of a strong screenplay ,it could not make the proper impact. But, despite of all odds, this film delivered a fresh new couple as Anannya and Krish, who made the film really watch-worthy.

We all love to see this sweet-and-sour Alia-Arjun Jodi more and more out of the 'states' too. My rating 6.5 out of ten.

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