Yahoo Movies Review: 2 States

Rummana Ahmed

Cast: Arjun Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Amrita Singh, Ronit Roy, Revathi

Direction: Abhishek Varman

Rating: ***

Anyone who has tried to convince conservative parents to bless their inter-caste/inter-state/inter-religion union will definitely relate to these young lovers. The story is heart-warming but it takes too long to get to the point and provide a resolution.

Krish Malhotra (Arjun Kapoor) and Ananya Swaminathan (Alia Bhatt) fall in love during their two-year program at India’s premium B-school. However, when they want to tie the knot, they realize that the North-South divide is far too vast for their parents. Their problems are genuine and they try very real methods to convince both the families. But since there is neither high drama nor roll-on-the-floor comedy, the sequences seem to stretch on forever.

Arjun and Alia both infuse fresh energy into their parts and try their level best to rise above the weak script. This is Arjun’s first real romantic role and somehow, the constant confused expression seems to work here. It feels as if he is constantly negotiating with his emotions, trying to balance the need to appease his mother and at the same time stand-up for the girl, he really loves.

However, it’s Amrita Singh, the feisty Punjabi mother who steals the show. Her portrayal is perfectly pitched. She seems so competent when she uses her troubled marriage to emotionally blackmail her son. Much like most Indian parents who always manage to find a raw nerve when you are desperately looking for a rational reaction from them. Doting, dominating and demanding, Amrita seems to essay all these parts with commendable ease.

Also, Revathi (as Ananya’s mother) singing the “Saathiya Tune Kya Kiya” number in the film is a nice touch.

Ronit Roy as Krish’s overbearing father is spot on. In fact, in this love story, it is the father-son relationship and their unresolved issues that strike a chord. The most dysfunctional relationship in this story provides the much needed emotional connect.

The slick production quality and the warm colours have a visual appeal but I guess that is a given when Karan Johar is one of the producers of the film. Shankar-Ehsan-Loy belt out quite a few hummable numbers, the best among them is the “Mast Magan” track which continues to play in a loop in your mind much after you have left the theatre.

While the performances tug at your heartstrings, it’s the labored pace that tests your patience. You enjoy it for the most part but the journey still tires you out.

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