A South Indian family gradually, but certainly, warming up to a guy who is love with their daughter - Real.
A North Indian Punjabi woman indulging in an extremely rude behavior at a lunch table - Unreal.
A young couple beginning to have a casual relationship, only to find themselves being serious about each other - Real.
A guest pulling up a spineless groom for his lack of self respect - Unreal.
It is a mix of some real, and some unreal episodes that make 2 States a film that has several interesting moments to keep the smiles on but then also traverses some territories that could have been either handled better, or perhaps best avoided. Of course it is clear that filmmaker Abhishek Varman had his heart in the right place for a debut feature film. However, he appears to have been carried away with the subject matter in hand and ended up writing so many scenes that he eventual just fell in love with them.
Frankly, the first one hour of the film is simply delightful. Arjun Kapoor getting all awkward about the presence of pretty girl Alia Bhatt in his life, the love story that develops, the song 'Locha-e-Ulfat', a brief glimpse or two of their respective parents being thrown in, a gradual attempt from Arjun so as to get into the good books of his prospective in-laws (Shiv Subrahmanyam, Revathy) - just about everything is brought to fore in good measure. You may not begin to clap, whistle or laugh out loud but there is a constant smile that stays.
[Spoilers ahead] In fact the journey towards the interval point is one of the best executed sequences (note the one where Arjun proposes marriage to Alia's entire family). However this is also the point where one's expectations further touches the roof. More so because after a rather somber South family, action shifts to Delhi with a feisty Amrita Singh leading from the front. However, and surprisingly, there isn't as much magic here as evidenced in the first half of the film.
On the contrary, what one gets to see is one insult after another being hurled by Amrita Singh on Alia's parents that becomes a little too much to handle after a while. Really, despite her character being projected as someone who is biased and opinionated but still large hearted (there is a back story justifying such behavior thrown in as well), it is difficult to digest the sheer choice of words used by her. Really, if not for the fact that Amrita Singh gave her all for the part and made it come across as believable as possible, quite a few of the written scenes would have perhaps fallen flat.
Moreover, the film also tends to get repetitive in the second half of the film. After things coming to normal at Alia's place, one expected not just the humor element to be further accentuated at Arjun's place but also much more spirited too due to Amrita Singh's presence. However, and surprisingly, while laughs and smiles are now just on and off, the interactions involving Arjun-Alia-Amrita (with Ronit Roy chipping in) turn further volatile. Moreover, unreal episodes (like the one stated at the beginning where Alia blasts a groom) leave you a bit cold too. In fact the movie does step into a different direction from this very scene.
Thankfully, it is the performances, look of the film as well as some good dialogues that keep the fire burning for 2 States. Arjun underplays his part really well and it is remarkable to see him show this good range after working in three back to back volatile films. Alia has never looked better for a film and she is absolutely ravishing here too. Meanwhile, she establishes once again that she has gone much ahead of the 'training period' in Student of the Year and is now raring to go for some bigger matches.
Amrita Singh is good but her characterization isn't as convincing. Revathy is underutilized though Ronit Roy eats up every scene when he comes in front of the camera. He is so good and has a constant part to play in the film, despite being billed as a 'Special Appearance'. Achint Kaur is just okay.
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