Director: Abhishek Varman
Starring: Arjun Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Amrita Singh, Revathy, Ronit Roy, Shiva Kumar Subramaniam.
Chetan Bhagat novels have always been brimming with opportunities for screen adaptations. So naturally, most of his novels have been turned into a film, some with disastrous results (Hello) and some done with brilliance (Kai Po Che, 3 Idiots). 2 States fortunately belongs to the latter category and is a well made adaptation of a rather mediocre novel.
Directed by debutante Abhishek Varman, 2 States is an all out entertainer and keeps you smiling throughout its duration. There is no novelty factor to the story as love stories amidst parent's opposition and culture differences have been done to death in Bollywood. It's the fresh voice, a realistic approach and enjoyable performances which appeal to you. Even with an outdated storyline this romantic comedy feels like it has something new to offer.
Chetan Bhagat novels have always been popular for its simple story, relatable characters and a unique and funny insight of the society. Thankfully, the director who is also credited for adaptation and screenplay along with the author succeeds in keeping the soul of the book alive and finally manage to create a better film than the book which in itself is a rare feat. Except for some minor changes which only work in advantage of the story, it remains the same for the most parts and fans of the book can relate to the proceedings.
Varman shows a penchant for romantic comedies and keeps the going on fresh. He succeeds in creating the contrast between cultures and the community needed for the plot. The characters and the world he creates are very relatable and strike a perfect balance between the comic and the emotional sequences. Even though there is plenty of laugh out loud moments which are brilliantly written and executed it's the emotional sequences which strike a chord. The complicated relationship of Krish with his father or the relationship he shares with his mother comes out beautifully. The romance between Arjun and Alia which is an integral part of the story is nicely subtle and never overdone. The new age couples would relate to their lingo and attitudes.
Even with its brilliantly executed climax the film seems to drag a bit. Ideally the film should have been close to 2-2.15 hours and the director could have easily avoided a song or two.
After going through a casting hell, Arjun and Alia feel like they are meant to play Krish and Ananya. Arjun Kapoor is a total delight and is absolutely endearing as Krish. Alia Bhatt slips into the girl next door role with ease after the surreal Highway performance. Both share an amazing chemistry together and there convincing performance is one of the main reasons for the movie to work.
Another masterstroke of the film is the casting its supporting characters. The two veterans Amrita Singh and Revathy are a treat to watch and are perfect in their respective roles. Ronit Roy is simply outstanding in a small yet intense role and so is Shiva Kumar Subramaniam as Alia's father.
Music by Shankar Ehsaan Loy is of high quality and even though not their best work still gels well with the flick.
2 States is a great picture and even better an adaptation of the source material. A must watch for the fans of the book but the ones who have not read the book are also sure not to be disappointed.