i had read the book 2 States way back when it was released. i thought it was by far the best book that Chetan Bhagat had come up with. His previous books were too juvenile for my taste. And as much as i can remember, the book was more interesting than the film. The depiction of North - South cultural divide was more fun to read in the book. Since it was the writer’s own experiences, his writing was so much better.
i did not expect much from the film and true enough it did turn out to be mediocre. The scenes which are supposed to reinforce cultural differences fell flat. i kept waiting for a dramatic turning point which would define the crux of the film and make that connect with the audience. But the only thing that came was the end of the movie and a sigh of relief from deep within me. The film lacks any one thing that might serve as a redeeming feature - romance, performances, cultural differences, comedy. None! The songs seem more like an intrusion in a film where i am waiting for such clutter to clear and a real conflict to emerge.
In terms of acting, Alia Bhatt came as surprise to me. Guess i was too influenced by all the twitter jokes on her dense intelligence and did not expect her to be any good. Plus, to be honest, i am a little prejudiced since she is a Director’s daughter and hence her take off through a Karan Johar film. But she does pull off the role well even though she doesn’t look remotely South Indian - but then not all south indians have stereotypical looks. She dressed well through the film, though a little overdressed for her in-the-office scenes in the second half. Surprisingly, i found Arjun Kapoor more disappointing. He seems to have one static expression on his face which lasts almost the entire film. i expect a lot more acting talent from the nephew of Anil Kapoor. He was so much better in Ishqzaade.
The only really great scenes are with Amrita Singh and Ronit Roy in it. Seasoned actors completely in the skin of their characters. You really feel the tension between the couple in those scenes, like they really have a history between them. Amrita is so credible when she tries hard to act the snooty punjabi mother-in-law, the only role in her life that gives her an an upper hand as opposed to being a suppressed wife all her life.
Since at no point does my heart go out to the characters and their predicament, nope, not even when they separate and she refuses to talk to him, i wouldn’t say I came out of the theater feeling exhilarated about love winning the battle after all. You can watch it once, when it comes on TV. But you did not miss much if you did not watch even this one.
You can read my last Filmsy film post here