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2 States : A Movie Review

Watching 2 States was an accident when last weekend, we headed to the cinema without bothering to check what movie was being shown. After getting there, my husband said that he had heard a lot of good things about 2 States and so we bought the tickets. However I got skeptical when I looked at the poster of the movie: An average looking hero, donning huge glasses, looking lovingly at a pretty heroine sitting on his lap. To me, it looked like a typical romantic comedy with a nerdy boy falling for a pretty girl, followed by comical confusion and mishaps resolving to a cheesy happy ending.

However, 2 States proved to be a pleasant surprise. Though the storyline is not unique at all but the way it is executed and the fact that it is based on Chetan Bhagat’s book “2 States: The Story of My Marriage” which chronicles the true love story of the writer, a Punjabi based in Delhi and his wife, Anusha Suryanarayanan, a Tamil Brahmin from Tamil Nadu makes it all the more interesting

The movie starts with a boy Krish (played by Arjun Kapoor) and a girl Ananya (played by Alia Bhatt) who meet at India’s premier business school, IIM, Ahmedabad. The boy and girl are prime examples of over achieving kids born to middle class families whose families pin their entire hopes on them, a breed found in top government universities even in our country. The boy has pursued an engineering degree because of his parents although he wants to be a writer. This is aptly depicted in the scene when Ananya asks Krish what he plans to do after graduation.

"Me engineer ban ker bhot sarey pesay kamaana chahtha hun" (I want to earn lots of money after becoming a writer)
"Aur phir?" (And then?)
"Aur phir me writer banna chahtha hun. Aur tum?” (Then I want to be a writer. And you?)
“Me kuch bhy kar lun meri maa kabhi mujh se khush nahy honay waali“ (Whatever I do, my mom will never be happy with me”

A nice change is that finally an Indian Movie features a heroine who is educated and has ambitions other than pining for her love. Ananya is the position holder of her batch and secures a job in a multinational firm where she works throughout the movie.

Although in the beginning, the movie is the regular cheesy fare filled with romantic songs and dance sequences but it takes a totally different turn once Krish and Ananya decide to get married. Their families come from two different states of India and the fights and conflicts that ensue throughout the movie due to this single reason are worth watching. The stereotypes, prejudices and intolerance the two parents have for people belonging to another region is portrayed hilariously. Credit goes to the writer for touching such sensitive topics with flawless ease. The mothers continuously refer to each other as “Punjaban” and “Madarasan” and make fun of each other’s little harmless rituals and traditions. Special emphasis is placed on the parent’s desire to marry their child within their own sects. During a scene, Ananya’s father, played by Shiv Kumar Subramaniam who is simply hilarious through the serious robotic way he carries himself, remarks:

“Daykho Krish tum bhot achay larkay ho, meri madad kartay ho, meray betay ko parhhatay ho lekin ye bhool jao ke me Ananya se tumhari Shaddi karunga” (Look Krish, you are a very good boy. You help me out, teach my son but forget that you can ever marry Ananya)

Another important point the movie tackles is the issue of dowry and gifts given during marriage. The boy’s mother’s takes offence when the girl’s parents do not bring a gift for her when they meet her for the first time. She keeps bragging about a recent wedding in the family where the boy was given a huge dowry and a car. She continually refers to the girl as “In madrasi larkiyon ko to bus larko ko pataana ata hay warna meray larkay ko to koi bhy larki mil jaaty” (My boy can get any girl he wants but these Madrasi girls surely know how to trap guys). The entire movie is filled with characters we regularly find within our relatives, neighborhoods, offices and even inside ourselves.

If all this doesn’t strike your fancy, then there is the music. Each song with its catchy tune and skillfully choreographed dance sequence will surely keep you bound to the screen. All in all, this is an extremely fun movie so get together your friends this weekend, head to the nearest cinema, buy some popcorn and enjoy as the twisted views we hold when we search for a spouse for our children are magnified on the big screen.

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