Here is a Bollywood film guaranteed to entertain most audiences. Lacking the pervasive silliness that informs so many of India’s romantic comedies, it resonates with universal themes, enchanting performances by all the principals, stunning song and dance numbers, gifting audiences warmth, joy and empathy.
Alia Bhatt is “Ananya Swaminathan” a Tamilian girl from Chennai; she is feisty, deliciously beautiful and the “girl most wanted” by the male population of her graduate school; she meets and bamboozles shy “Krish Malhorta” a Punjabi boy from Delhi (Arjun Kapoor, is hypnotic in the role); they become fast friends, study together and ultimately become romantically involved; (refreshing contemporary spin for Bollywood); after two years, nearing graduation, their commitment to each other is permanently defined; their families meet and the differences between the “two states” is irresolute, argumentative, destructive.
The power and grace of the film lies in the young couple’s desire to win over each other’s families; the best scenes revolve around their assertiveness and strength in confronting and felling the myriad of obstacles posed by their intransigent parents. Ananya and Krish do not exhibit the narcissistic traits of their generation; as much as they love each other, they recognize the ultimate harmony in not eliminating the forces that raised them.
In conclusion “2 States” is resoundingly authentic, simmering verisimilitude lies at the heart of this fine film. Oftentimes the mixing of class, race, religion results, not in calamity, but revelation; an unveiling of a “state” once shunned, now dazzling, because of its foreignness; familiarity breeds acceptance, respect, ultimately shattering the monotony of the known.
THREE & 1/2 STARS!!!