Months before it actually hit the big screen, there was enormous chit chat around the arrival of the much fanfare touted Bollywood movie based on a blockbuster Indian Novel “2 States” penned by Banker turned author Chetan Bhagat. The movie cast relatively new actors as both male and female leads. As mentioned, the movie was inspired by a super-hit novel read by almost all Indians competent enough to comprehend basic English.
A strong coherence was expected in the screenplay; however, what we actually saw was a copy pasted job. The movie appeared to be a visual rendition of the novel than anything else. Having said that, I take the counter that the movie was supposed to be based on the novel, however, who stops to garnish the storyline with some creativity and exclusiveness.
In fact, movies made on Chetan Bhagat’s books have all had some coherence with their respective literally work. At the same time, all of them did have some tweaks and moderation to create a niche for themselves. Sadly, 2 States had none, though I am not discounting an opinion according to which the movie was supposed to have the exact flow.
The movie killed the insatiable appetite of moviegoers, a sense of curiosity i.e. to delve into the unknown. As a result, viewers were easily able to foretell the next frame of sequence while watching the movie, i.e. there was no excitement to know the unknown.
Another pertinent problem with the movie was casting of both male and female leads. Arjun Kapoor, playing a geek Krish lacked charisma and grit to make any positive impression. Alia personally was not a good choice to play a postgraduate Tamil Brahman. She lacked on-screen maturity and persona respectively.
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In the course of the movie, there was a lot of stereotyping like South Indians being dark complexioned and North Indians (read Punjabi) mostly uncultured. The Punjabis were depicted as dowry bargainers; although ironical it seems, the same tradition is very strong down south. Over that, an aspect surrounding the father-son relationship which baffled readers in the book continued to bamboozle viewers even more in the course of the movie.
Overall, the movie served as a good revision of the book read almost half a decade ago. I wonder if we can have some visual tools for those preparing for nerve-wracking competitive exams like IITJEE and UPSC (Civil Services). Just imagine the kind of help which they can bring to innumerable aspirants. Sadly, watching “2 States” didn’t have even one tangible benefit of watching it. Maybe, the timed comic scenes did the trick for a few.