Deadpan dude meets fresh-faced girl
2 STATES (PG)
Romantic comedy/150 minutes/Now showing
BASED on Indian banker-turned-writer Chetan Bhagat's best-selling novel of the same name, 2 States is billed as a romantic comedy but feels more like an overextended family drama.
The movie, unlike the book, has few witty touches. The 2009 novel - a confessional story of Bhagat's romance with his wife, Anusha - is about a Punjabi boy from New Delhi and a Tamil girl from Chennai who fall in love while studying at India's top management school.
The North-South cultural divide, on which the plot is centred, is nothing new in Indian cinema. 2 States, given its contemporary setting and easy approach to romance, love and sex, had a chance to update a previously tried-and-tested formula of a boy and a girl from different cultures trying to convince their respective families to say yes to their marriage.
But it fails, in large part because of the clunky dialogue, sloppy editing and a too-long storyline that sees both families either fighting or sulking in equal measure. The songs, the mainstay of Bollywood romances, are forgettable, too.
It does not help that Arjun Kapoor, playing Krish, has such a deadpan expression through most of the film that you almost want to jump out of your seat, shake him and ask him to emote just a wee bit.
The occasional sparks are offered by the fresh-faced Alia Bhatt, who plays love interest Ananya. She is styled well and looks beautiful in her sarees.
By the time the duo are done convincing their parents to say yes to their wedding, one only wants it to end.