2 States!

Movie Review by Meena Yeggina

Cast: Alia Bhat, Arjun Kapoor, Revati, Amrita Singh, Rohit Khanna
Director: Abhishek Varman

A flippant movie that is sexually modern yet simultaneously Outdated that attracts the youth due to the same reasons!

Dharma Productions’ 2 States, a story about a north Indian boy and a south Indian girl, lacks depth and brings flippant solutions to serious issues such as dowry and premarital sex. However, it will attract youth due to the same reasons. The IIM setting is carefully submerged into the story to give credibility to all the nonsensical sexual drama.

Just like all Karan Johar’s, and also Yash Raj Productions for that matter, sex is liberal, free and on a no-strings attached concept. It’s surprising how an educated girl with such a family behind her jumps into bed (according to her she began having sex at 18) randomly, drinks and eats non-veg happily but worries about a badly prepared sambar at IIM Allahabad’s canteen!

Somehow the heroine’s unnecessary aggressive behavior seems a little weird and makes you uncomfortable.

Plus, I feel this film will mislead youth, which is equally as shallow, by giving quick remedies to serious issues. There is something lacking in Ananya- Krish’s relationship, which is definitely not the sex which goes strong in the rooms of IIM. Nothing much in the first half except songs and sex. It’s also strange that Ananya has no other friends in IIM. Not a single one!

Thank god this sex-story is set in a post graduate college and not in a high school as in Student of the Year!

Why so much talk about sex? Half of the movie deals only with that! As long time readers know, I have a daughter and a son too and all this free, casual, no strings attached sex, potentially with many, scares me in this day and age. I don’t even want to begin thinking about all the possible diseases! Sex per se is not bad but random sex definitely is!

Moving on, the film is based on a book written 5 years ago, which is in turn autobiographical. I haven’t read it myself, but lightly researched it and discovered that it is equally frivolous yet entertaining, drafted for a Bollywood movie in mind. It’s a best-seller in India.

Coming to the second half, after watching all that emotionless, cool, easy, friendly sex, you would assume that their respective parents are extremely liberal, or to say the least, less prejudiced and open-minded (if you believe free sex is open mindedness). Shockingly however, both sets of parents are stereotypical prejudiced Indian adults who shun other states in India and other people who are not like themselves. It’s a little strange that nothing of that rubbed off on their kids whose attitude reflects another end of the spectrum.

The book is outdated in its views (except for sex) and the director should have used his creativity and taken into account the changing lives in the south. He also apparently lifted dialogues and scenes directly from the book and nothing new was depicted.

After romping in the bed for almost 3 years, the couple decides to get married and suddenly realizes the importance of parents’ approval of each other. Even here, it is Ananya who is more fixed on her parents’ approval. Krish feels that they can elope, get married, and then convince their parents.

All parents are good in their roles and I especially liked Revati. I loved her concert scene and her fixation with carnatic music.

Nothing special to talk about in this movie. It’s kind of slow, cool yet very prejudiced. Can anybody really solve a dowry problem by talking to the groom in that flamboyant way like Ananya does? Doesn’t the groom know about these facts before getting married? These dowry demanders are not dumb and are very fixed in their mentality. A sweet talk about self-respect will not change their views.

Alia Bhat as Ananya is nothing like a Tamilian, except in Karan Johar’s mind. She is very cute and beautiful and did perform well. But neither her body language nor her looks come any close to being a Tamilian. However, for a change, students dress up like students and not like prom kings and queens prancing around in trashy clothes like in the Student of the Year!

Arjun Kapoor as Krish is extremely rigid. He looks like young Abhishek Bachchan: unfit, loopy and puppy doggish.

Some conversations between parents are so rude that it bothers you. I did not come across any such people in my real life. But North Indians do think South Indians are dark in general (it’s a fact, so why feel bad about it?) The truth is that many south Indians are also color crazy. Punjabis fixation with dowry is also wellknown but exaggerated in this film. However, when two kids who are smart, intelligent, educated and are well-earning, old-enough to decide and want to get married which urban-living parents would say no at this age and day? Ridiculous! Ending is also cliched as far as the father is concerned, who suddenly changes after practicing years of domestic violence and alcoholism. At one point he says I dont want to estrange with my son in my old age. Huh???? Is that why you want to be his friend????? For old-age security? As far as the mother goes, she has had such a bad marriage, you would at least expect her to be well-wishing for her son, wouldnt you? She relinquishes our sympathy when she insists on a dowry bringing Punjabi girl whom she can treat as a servant maid! By the way, there is a jibe in the movie about actresses Sridevi and Hema Malini, when Krish’s mom mumbles “Why do all these south Indian girls come and snatch away our Punjabi boys?”

This movie will be a success at the box office mainly because it would attract youth in India as they always are in a rebellious mood, thinking that the root cause of all their problems is their parents. This movie sympathizes with them. Romping sex in IIM, nevertheless, good songs, cute heroine and grumpy mean yet funny parents: what else do you need for a movie to be successful and loved by youth?