wogma rating: Watch, but no rush (?) - The ultra-keen could consider the big screen
Debutante director Abhishek Varman gives us a Chetan Bhagat adaptation that doesn't attempt to offer any more heft than what the book does. It provides instant gratification primarily because of a charming lead cast and an excellent supporting cast that rises above the rather tame writing.Read more
*I am out on a vacation. Pradeep has been kind enough to review the film for wogma. So here goes...
2 States is the kind of film that is most likely to give you exactly what you expect from it; and that isn't necessarily a good thing.
A young, vibrant love story between a Punjabi boy and a Tamilian girl - or, as we Indians seem to revel in relegating to highly generic region-based nomenclature as 'North Indian' and 'South Indian' (for the record, 'North India' and 'South India' are not places!) - 2 States gives you a thoroughly engaging lead pair amidst stereotypical humour taking off on the respective states. (The showy Punjabi or the condescending Tamilian, for instance.)
That the attractive leads are going to fall in love with each other is a given. Arjun Kapoor and Alia Bhatt occupy the screen as well as their young, yuppie characters with ease. They play off each other well; to use a cliché that should have been abolished even before slavery was, they share 'great chemistry'.
What is also nice to see is the easy manner in which the couple - both the boy as well as the girl - handles intimacy, without it being made as big a deal as we're used to seeing in our movies. In fact, the scenes featuring just the couple are rather refreshing. In the context of our big mainstream cinema, this is the closest we've come to capturing the spirit of how the youth of today treat relationships.
But in India, love is the mere beginning. The hard part is convincing the respective sets of parents, particularly when it so happens that they lie on opposite sides of the great cultural divide brought forth by the mighty Vindhyas.
In terms of plot, the film stays largely faithful to the Chetan Bhagat novel it is adapted from. One can safely say that 2 States isn't Bhagat's worst bit of writing, though that isn't particularly saying much. Where the film falters, despite being largely watchable, is precisely where it should actually have been the strongest - in the conflict that prevents the couple in love from ending up together.
If the romance portions are breezy and make you smile often, the portions involving the parents look like they belong to another film, one that was set a few decades back. True, the Punjabi-Tamil (or, North-South, if you prefer it) clash is meant to evoke comedy, but it comes across as too forced. It's hard to digest the kind of acrimony seen in the film in this day and age, even though the reluctance of the older generation is still very much a reality.
Another sore point in the film is the relationship that Arjun’s character Krish shares with his father played by a suitably gruff Ronit Roy. It keeps cropping up through the film, but is never once fully explained.
The film is also sinfully long. At two and a half hours, considering the demographic the film is aimed at, the film is a good thirty minutes too long. The climax of the film drags on and on, and then drags some more, before ending exactly where you knew it was going to end. The film also follows a forced non-linear narrative that just doesn't seem to have a point. Why it moves back and forth in time is a mystery, when it would have worked just the same as a flat-out linear narrative.
The real takeaway from the film, then, is the manner in which the supporting cast, the four parents to be precise, create characters that are at once over-the-top yet believable. Revathy and Amrita Singh, in particular, are top notch. While Arjun is earnest and Alia brings spunk, verve and spontaneity to her part, they aren't faced with the task of creating distinct characters, the way the senior actors are.
It would have helped immensely if the film had a more memorable soundtrack, though a couple of songs are quite catchy, to be fair.
When you walk out of 2 States, then, one isn't likely to be absolutely gushing about it, nor will one be particularly annoyed by it. It just gives you what it promises - tolerable enough fun for just as long as it lasts.
This article is by guest author Pradeep Menon. Pradeep is a filmmaker and a dreamer. He loves books, rain, winters, tea and his parents. Cinema, however, is the only truth he believes in. He breathes and bleeds film, mostly in hues of saffron, white, green and blue. You can watch his short films at www.youtube.com/cyberpradeep.
Thumbs up, by Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama : ...2 STATES is one of the finest movies to come out of the Hindi film industry of late. This is one of those rare Hindi movies that commands a repeat viewing. Strongly recommended! ... full review
Thumbs up, by IANS, Bollywood Life : ... 2 States creates a world where characters don’t shout to be heard. They just belong to a world where being proper, politically or otherwise, is not always a pre-condition.... full review
Thumbs up, by Prathamesh Jadhav, Bollywood Life : ...Hate Chetan Bhagat or love him, loath his books or swear by them, but you definitely can’t ignore him and most certainly can’t ignore this delicious movie made with sincere efforts and heart. ... full review
Thumbs up, Daily Bhaskar : ...2 States is a complete family entertainer which has everything positive about it. There is no over the top drama or heavy action scene. For everyone who has read the novel, keep your expectations in check. WATCH IT... full review
Thumbs up, by Somesh Sinha, Desi Martini : ...Merits repeated viewing due to its chartbuster music, relatable storyline, fantastic performances & mainly, the jaw-dropping technicalities! ... full review
Thumbs up, by Devesh Sharma, Filmfare : ...The film is another testimony to the changing times at Dharma Productions. Business-wise, they have tied up with Nadiadwala Grandsons and its a leap of faith for both the production houses to let go of old norms and boldly set new trends. We need more such collaborations as they spell exciting times ahead for cinema.... full review
Thumbs up, by Saurabh Dwivedi, india today : ...2 States can be a good mirror for parents to understand their children. So take along your parents and enjoy the film. Read more at: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/movie-review-2-states-alia-bhatt-arjun-kappor/1/356328.html... full review
Thumbs up, by Paloma Sharma, Rediff : ...Nevertheless, there's nothing that should keep you from watching 2 States. If you're as desi as I am and get senti about maa, there's no way you won't run home after watching this film and give your mother a big hug.... full review
Thumbs up, by Somdatta Sen, Star Blockbuster : ...It’s been some time that we have actually seen a good love story that plays within the set formulae. 2 States is right on that line. If you have been campus sweethearts, or are in the verge of giving up on love, watch it to try one last time…one more time. - See more at: http://starblockbuster.com/movie-review-2-states#sthash.RaQIb0Wk.dpuf... full review
So-So, by Anna MM Vetticad, annavetticadgoes2themovies : ...That being said, 2 States is moody, low-key, pleasant yet steeped in the idiosyncracies that mark relationships even in contemporary, seemingly forward-thinking India. It revolves around a likeable lead pair, and is unusual in tenor as Bollywood romances go. With all its flaws, it touches the heart and had me rooting for Ananya and Krish to end up together. When that happens in a film, you know it’s worked. ... full review
So-So, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ...This mean that Chetan Bhagat may have been boning up on Greek drama while writing his bestsellers? I feel like I’ve just been hit by a tranquiliser dart.... full review
So-So, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks Cinema.com : ...But for the rest, 2 STATES can easily be rated as a partially entertaining one time watch with the charmingly brilliant Alia Bhatt & the other members of her two diverse families.... full review
So-So, by Núria Bonals Hidalgo, Bolly Spice : ...2 States is an enjoyable film, though an average piece of entertainment. It feels too long and the narration is quite irregular. The story would have benefited from a better balance between romance and drama, which would have allowed the leading couple’s performance to stand out more intensely.... full review
So-So, by Deepa Gahlot, cinemaah : ...Trying to remain faithful to the book makes the film too long with large chunks of banality. The novel needed updating and adapting instead of slavish copying to make it relevant to the times. But even as it is, 2 States serves its commercial purpose—romance, laughs, some sniffles, music, dance, family values, wrapped with a glittery bow. ... full review
So-So, by Kusumita Das, Deccan Chronicle : ...A special mention for the music and the background score which nicely complements the narrative and the cinematography makes every frame look lush with colour. The editing is at times abrupt, but the sincere performances and the freshness of the film makes these glitches seem too small. It won't be wrong to say 2 States is a good state for Bollywood to be in... full review
So-So, by aneela zeb babar, Desi Martini : ... Do you believe in Karan Johar's IT IS ALL ABOUT LOVING YOUR FAMILY? How you answer this question depends on whether you will like this movie ... full review
So-So, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...Parental opposition is one of the oldest conflicts as far as love stories go. Sure, the culture clash here gives us some genuine laughs. But at 2 hours and 30 minutes, this is a long, indulgent film that wears you out. I'm going with two-and-a-half out of five for 2 States. I've never rooted so hard for a couple to get married. If only so I could go home.... full review
So-So, by Shubhra Gupta, indian express : ...It’s nice to see Bollywood attempting to create a contemporary young couple. I liked the way they proceed without fuss into that most modern of compacts — of attraction that leads to conjugation, minus coyness. It is done as just something that happens, a no-weightage progression. ... full review
So-So, by Mohar Basu, koimoi : ...2 states is barely unwatchable but misses the magic of Chetan Bhagat’s novel. As a stand alone, it is endearingly done with Alia and Arjun’s scorching chemistry coming off as adorable. Despite a half baked soul, this movie is worth the price of your popcorn. I am going with a generous 3/5. The Bhagat fan in me is disappointed but the cinegoer isn’t.... full review
So-So, by Joginder Tuteja, Movie Talkies : ...Now if only the film would have been a crisper affair with the light hearted flavor of the first half moving well into the second half too, 2 States could have been so much more than it eventually turns out to be - See more at: http://www.movietalkies.com/movies/reviews/20169/2-states#sthash.sZWh0XLG.dpuf... full review
So-So, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...The film targets a young audience, and they have to be prepared to appreciate the story at a slower pace than they are used to in commercial Bollywood cinema. It's worth the patience, because you get a well-cooked meal where all the flavours get a change to integrate with the dish. Worth sampling! ... full review
So-So, by Shivam Sharma, Upper Stall : ...In the end, you'd be better off sticking with the book and skipping this one or if you really wish to watch two contrasting families coming to terms together, rent a DVD of Basu Da's classic Khatta Meetha. ... full review
So-So, by Rummana Ahmed, yahoo! India : ...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.... full review
Thumbs down, by Piyasree Dasgupta, FirstPost : ...If all of the above don’t seem mildly disturbing, fictitious or a case of gross generalising to you, you’ll love 2 States. And since you’re not one of your kind, and, in fact, have millions for company, 2 States will be a thumping hit... full review
Thumbs down, by Faheem Ruhani, india today : ...Lastly, what was that long, boring psychiatric session that Krrish has with a faceless psychiatrist. If it was not there, would it have made any difference to the film? Unfortunately, 2 States is the kind of film that leaves you unsatisfied in spite of some good performances.... full review
Thumbs down, by Suhani Singh, india today : ...As a romcom 2 States has its share of moments, but they don't add up to make this an entertaining ride. Read more at: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/movie-review-2-states-arjun-kapoor-alia-bhatt/1/356411.html... full review
Thumbs down, by Mansha Rastogi, Now Running.com : ...2 States is a wasted opportunity to encash the popularity of a book. Despite the cast, the budgets and brand in place, the film fails to make a mark purely due to faulty execution. Not a funny or entertaining rom-com this one. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Namrata Joshi, Outlook India : ...And then there’s also the subplot of a bad dad (Ronit Roy, made for the role, with an Udaan behind him) suddenly turning good and helping out the estranged son. Why this sudden change of heart? And how? However, long after having watched the film, I am still wondering about another question: what purpose did the psychiatrist and her couch serve in the film? Clumsy touch that!... full review
Thumbs down, by Anuj Kumar, The Hindu : ...Arjun finally gets a role where he has to explore the vulnerability of the character without any props and he doesn’t disappoint. It is their natural charm, particularly Alia’s effortless approach that makes you invest in their relationship despite the fact that the narrative unfolds in a soap operatic tone.... full review
Thumbs down, by Aparna Mudi, Zee News : ...Watch the movie for a lack of any other show to go to with your loved one. Despite the attempts of a modern love story, this 2 and a half hour movie can get to your nerves if you are expecting anything different.... full review
yoges_wary: 2 States = Awesome movie!☺️✌️
vinit9489: Dunno abt what the critics say.. But two states is worth a watch.. Definitely
VeeDihShah: Watched 2 states! Enjoyed!
usmanbabar: "2 States" Cultural clash.... Love this movie... After a long tym a powerfull story... Chetan bhagat is outclass writer ....
usman4s: so 2 States is a achi movie
tipumadhusudan: Saw 2 states. Superb movie @aliaa08 @chetan_bhagat , never read the book. Now I really feel like
theaveragellama: Loved 2 states ahhhh
TheAmazingLibra: Really njoyed 2 states wudnt mind watchin it again... I must say Chetan Bhagat had a real nice love story :)
Tejasvita: 2 states - simply told and beautifully enacted. no over the top drama. just the real drama. :P
TALLkaholic: Enjoyed Two States. Started shaky, but found its balance with a great supporting cast.
Taani_T: 2 states was such a cute film! Absolutely adore Alia Bhatt and Arjun Kapoor
swathigovindar2: 2 states is awesome
swaathi_: But real talk, Queen and 2 States are prob the best of recent Bollywood
SuryanshEDM: At the intermission of '2 States.' Enjoying it so much, I can relate being half Punjabi.
sraeimn: Watched 2 states with naveen ytd. It's 8/10 for me hehe you should all watch it by the way #bollywoodmovie
Snigdha_1991: Just saw 2 states! Must say the tamilian vs punjabi element was brought out so accurately!
Smittty__: Wentt to watch 2 States! That moviee has me catching emotionss!
simrank27971293: 2 states i just love it !! :*
shweta1625: I loved 2 States
shubnumshaikh: 2 States! It is different in an awesome way. Hilarious!
ShreeyaSaldanha: 2 States is such a cute movie! #ArjunKapoor & @aliaa08 ☺
shazransahib: 2 States has been watched. Such a refreshing movie. So real and heart warming.
Sharon_eliza: 2 States is an amazing movie!
SanchitKumar2: 2 states is incredible. Amazing work by Alia and Arjun. Very well done Abhishek Varman.
saintsiva: Watched 2 states, an awesome movie with excellent performance by the both of you @aliaa08 !
RusticBlue_: So finally watched 2 States and I realised that one should never judge a movie by its twitter reviews. The movie was simply adorable ♥
Rishik_Mani: Two States is really good....
RajputRahul005: Loved loved 2 States!!Favourite movie of 2014!!
rajdeepbhatti: 2 states was such a fantastic movie. Epic love story.
Rahul_Shree: 2 States....very nicely made....4/5
RagingSage_: Saw 2 States! Awesome movie indeed
pure_singh: 2 States awesomeness :) Loved it and For the first time in My Life I am Thinking About Reading A book :)
PreetzRai: A love story like 2 states, I don't mind
patelnirav3497: I salute 2 states movie. Very o'some movie. Very good acting by both of you ....!! @aliaa08 @ArjunKapoorFB @chetan_bhagat
OmarFAkhtar98: 2 States is such an amazing film! Superb story to it and wonderful acting by Arjun Kapoor and Alia Bhatt. They really make a fabulous pair..
nupurrmohanty: TWO STATES WAS ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE!! So relatable :')
Mtina_J: Liked it a lot! Definitely recommend it - 2 States #movietime
MSDian_719: So FINALLY I watched 2 states itz sooo freeeaakimg awesomeee :") :") :") cuteee movie need to watch I swear @aliaa08 u could b so amazing
mousse_tafa: 2 states is a nice cute movie
Mohit15856: #2states and #queen awesome movies....... <3 ............. indian parents should learn something frm 2 states........
MehndirattaV: 2 States ..........Must Watch ! <3
Medha52: Saw Two States , v good movie , great thought given to next generation . Such importance given to parents is appreciable.
Mariyammmx: 2 States is cute tho..
mahnoorasim: 2 states is like too good :)
Kouts_19: 2 states again;;)
KotadiyaNilesh: 2 states...... @chetan_bhagat. Superb.... Enjoying
KOOLCHANDRU: Just saw 2 states movie very nice movie it is combo of Career and Love....Superlike.....
king_abhineet: '2 States' was Fabulous.... :D
Jdiee: What a Fab performance by @aliaa08 in 2 States! Couldn't resist reading book over and over again. Same with movie. @chetan_bhagat Good Job!
JazzyStahh: 2 states. Must watch! Loved it.
janmejaypati: My rating ☀ ☀ ☀ ☀ ☼ 2 States Movie
JaijayArtist: 2 STATES is the first SUPER HIT of 2014. Congrats to the team! #ArjunKapoor @aliaa08 @karanjohar @chetan_bhagat #DubaiMasala
itzkriti: 2 States ❤
itsjaibhatt: 2 states is surprisingly good
iAvantikaGupta: 2 States for the fourth time today! & Jury in a week! Breathe.
iam_yVijay: Watched 2 States. Liked it.
HipsterSRKFan: I saw 2 States today and really loved it. People have praised Alia a lot for it, but I think Arjun stood out for his composed performance.
HeyItsRaesmi: 2 states was so nice
harshvardhanU: 2 states.... Awesome movie...must watch
Harshalkamle14: I luv <3 2 states aWeSoMe movie ;)
Harjapx_x: 2 states is a great movie
goshti_gappa: 2 States movie dekhi...sahi hai...gud job Karan..
gkpandey: 2 states. A must watch
GirlyBuzzer: 2 States... No words for this.. Touching movie
geek_rohit: Saw 2 States. Nice movie, liked it.
GAYASHIRI: 2 States was such an amazing movie!
freak_b2utyelf: 2 states is such a great movie!
FatimaS25: Thoroughly enjoyed 2 States. It's the first film I've seen of Alia Bhatt and I'm officially a fan.
elankarthika21: Looveed 2 states.. Amaziin movie.. The best till now. Entertaining..,,, funny n cute
dreamonaastha: Just watched 2 States and it was amazing!
Dpinaakii: 2 states is a really good movie!
DILIP287: 2 states - lovely movie enjoyed every bit @chetan_bhagat
dhans_v: Never thought I would enjoy 2 states as much as I did. Lovely!
dayumbieber: Wow I loved 2 states. Omg
bhavsikatari: 2 States was actually such a good movie
bcharitha: 2 states....nice movie...concept of marrying 2 families has been well pictured....
BalaShigu: 2 States - The magic of the novel can be felt throughout the movie...A beauty
AvishaRamsurwaj: Just watched 2 States #WhatAnAmazingMovie :D
arssheikh: watched two good indian movies, 2 states and main tera hoon. 2 states is nice and well written. Main tera hero is really funny..
anmol_dabra: 2 states Punjab and Mumbai :P:P One of the class movie :D
anjiisrani: 2 states us actually really good ☺️☺️
Animegirlhopex: Finally watched 2 States. Loved it! And Alia looked beautiful in her wedding dress!!! <3
Alamshakur07: 2 states was awesome.
AhsanTanoli: 2 states is the biggest hit (Super Hit) of 2014 so far.
AdityaGoenka94: After a pack full of work load , finally found sometime with friends. #2_States . A Nice Weekend
AdeelMi53132309: 2 states OweXome MoviE...
abzoniac: 2 states. Decent. Story is the hero and Alia Bhatt.
Abhishek_Sen: Two states with friends followd by wonderful lunch with friends..Weekend well spent..Decently made movie,Alia Bhatt is cutenessmax surely :P
21875103908: 2 states!!!!<3 loved the chemistery of @aliaa08 and Arjun!!!! Loved the film!!!!!
thenksokbye: 2 States was okay. Some parts were pathetic. A one time watch at max. But boy, Alia is amazing. What amazing screen presence. In awe of her!
p0kkish: Two states is entertaining. Not a very great movie, but definitely better than the book. The book sucked!
mehtakeyur: "2 states" a movie that could have been made better .. Characters well portrayed.. Aaliya impresses again.. But an average movie
HassaanFaridi: 2 States isn't bad for a Bollywood movie.
darkvadr: Oķ 2 States nice watch!!! But just single watch I think! Except d music, Nothing gr8 2 write home bout! RL way more interesting! Gn all #fb
Ammarr10: itni buri bhi nai thi 2 states lekin main tera hero chikni lag rai hai .
Therealhuzaifa: 2 states ahhh bakwas movie :/
ShwetaKapur: BTW saw 2 States (for reasons inexplicable) and it's the steaming pile of turd I expected. Ridiculous.
Ruoie: 2 States is a bullshit movie. Why so much hype?
ron87gro: "2 states" crap movie
psychopanti: 2 States is bit disappointing could have been better :/
pronzz97: 2 States- Please don't Watch if you've read the book. It will make you hate Bollywood. Im halfway through and it has Ruined my night.
Prashant_Yolo: Only Ronit Roy's acting was good in 2 States. Everything else was crap. Another book ruined.
pgadtia: 2 States Filim nahi Dekho... https://www.facebook.com/Gadtia/posts/10202071592134652
MaheshJagga: Till I saw it, I thought ' 2 states' was a movie about lands owned by Vadhra in Haryana & Rajasthan. #DamaadGate
LeaveAnasPlis: Kya fazool tareen movie hai 2 States. Bakwas tareen movie.
Idreesiii: such a typical and boring movie.. 2 States..
IAmAGoodGirl__: 2 states was so boring movie waste of time even i do not finish it itni fazool thi =P @aliaa08 #wasteoftime #2States #offfo
gupta_kaushal: If you have read "2 States" then don't watch it, you would be highly disappointed!
fulltofuntoosh: 2 states, havent seen such a disasterous movie for long long time. ridiculous cast trying best for act worst.
BeePeeEl: 2 states is the most bakwaas movie that i have seen in recent times, Total bakwaas!!! Time waste!
aphrodiite: What the fuck is this movie 2 states? Na sir hai na paaun. Time waste
AmberParashar: Movie Review for 2 states : MAT DEKHNA..... #2states
alihachaudry: 2 states, the movie was so shit that I couldn't even get through the first 20 minutes..
This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.