It’s tough to compartmentalize Chetan Bhagat’s work as literature but it definitely serves as a decent foundation to build a Bollywood movie around it. While Hello (One night at the Call Center) didn’t get any appreciation of the crowd or critics, Kai Po Che (Three Mistakes of My Life) by Abhishek Chaubey was a much better attempt in terms of bringing the story to the screen aided by a talented cast and the visual charm. 2 States tries the same formula with its charming lead and talented supporting actors.
The family drama genre of films has not been exploited successfully off late and the days of Barjatya, Johar and Chopra family sagas are long gone. The family cinema genre has evolved over the time and it’s no more the soppy drain of gyaan, the right and the wrong. 2 States is a product of that evolution on screen. The family drama portion is intense enough in parts to overpower the simplistic love story of Krish and Ananya which is cleverly rushed through in the first half with some singing and dancing. The pace of the film suffers majorly after the end of their college lives and continues to bother you as a member of the audience till the last quarter of the film that’s when it’s sparked back to life by the presence of Ronit Roy. This slow pace can be attributed to the amount of content that the newcomer director Abhishek Varman had to showcase from the book on the screen. Some parts are exact replicas of the paragraphs from the book while some are conveniently forgotten about which could have been an entertaining addition to the dry portions right before and after the intermission.
Abhishek Varman might have had it easy in terms of screenplay as Chetan Bhagat’s works are descriptive and easy to transform on screen anyway. Credit to him for maintaining the freshness of the college romance but he should’ve worked harder on the pace of the film rather than just trying to stuff in as much content as possible, this is when a good editor comes handy but sadly, Namrata Rao doesn’t deliver it well this time. Few of the family sequences manage to surprise the audience and put them to complete silence that’s when you can say that Verman isn’t bad at all as a newcomer. The music is in sync with the plot but is not as impactful as some earlier works of Shankar Ehsaan and Loy.
The casting has to be one of the strengths of this film. Surprisingly, Arjun Kapoor has given an above average performance compared to his last three attempts. He seems more serious about the acting business, all he needs to do now is invest more attention in it. He looks the part of Krish and his acting of the meek character is likeable. Alia Bhatt shines yet again as Ananya and plays her part confidently enough to make the performance look natural and believable. Her presence infuses innocence and freshness in to the frame. She looks absolutely stunning in quite a few scenes.
Amrita Singh is fantastic as the loud and over the top Punjabi mother of Krish. Ronit Roy is as impactful as ever in the role of Krish’s father. Both their performances can be listed in the merits column of the film. Shiv Kumar Subramaniam and Revathy do their needful as Ananya’s parents, both have played their parts well.
To be fair, the movie sums up the story well but at the expense of excitement. Watchable for its performances 2 states can be your overdue family outing at the multiplex this weekend.