A lot many times you wish Hindi films were short, that they wrapped up in 90 minutes and had no interval at all. In the case of 2 States, the patience doesn’t even last that long. Just the first 40-odd minutes is what works for the film, the 40 minutes of love and courtship. Delhi-Punjabi boy Krish (Arjun) meets Chennai girl Ananya (Aalia) over some bad sambar and good rosogolla in the IIM canteen and love begins to blossom at once. The girl is spirited, fun and extremely likeable, the boy is likeable because he is so visibly in love with her. The give-’n-take is cute, conversations sweet and believable. Little moments make you smile, the superbly shot song Locha-e-ulfat lends just the right boost of energy and romance to the proceedings. In a nutshell, you do get charmed by the familiar high of young love.
And then comes the big question: that of marriage. Parents step in with a vengeance and the narrative begin to disintegrate and deteriorate in alarming fashion. The scene in which two culturally different families meet for the first time is handled quite well, the initial discomfort and prejudices are something one can relate to. But from then on the film lapses into a hyper, over-the-top tale of opposition, reconciliation, opposition and reconciliation all over again, which turns out more wearisome than compelling or engaging.
Yes, this may happen to a lot of cross-cultural lovers in India. But 2 States doesn’t rise above the essential banality of it all to become compelling cinema. In fact, it keeps making one long for Vicky Donor, which provided a far more winsome and realistic portrayal of the clash of cultures. 2 States lapses into familiar cliches and stereotypes, which may potentially end up upsetting both Punjabis and Tamilians. Or perhaps not—if they are diehard Bollywood addicts and don’t take its takes on real life too seriously. Things get stretched needlessly, with a dowry spiel and a family vacation gone awry thrown in, as also some unnecessary songs, a Punjabi wedding and the usual naach-gaana. The pair that you did care for in the beginning begins to get tiresome. Somewhere you stop caring for their fortunes, are not bothered whether they get married at all or not.
And then there’s also the subplot of a bad dad (Ronit Roy, made for the role, with an Udaan behind him) suddenly turning good and helping out the estranged son. Why this sudden change of heart? And how? However, long after having watched the film, I am still wondering about another question: what purpose did the psychiatrist and her couch serve in the film? Clumsy touch that!
Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to read the article and share their thoughts. Out of the arguments made here, there are two that perhaps need answering. So here they go.
1. The first part of the article compares outcomes (relative percentages of population of the religions concerned) irrespective of the process that led to those outcomes - whether immigration, relatively faster population growth or conversions. This was for two reasons. One, to put the figure of 2.3 per cent in "numerical perspective", as the article itself explained. The second reason was that outcomes are ultimately what the crux of debate is about. The rest of the article in any case dealt with process - or conversions in this case, from both a contemporary and historical perspective.
2. Some commenters have tried to cast doubts on the reliability of Census 2001. Those who do this should bear in mind that Census 2001 was conducted by a BJP government. Considering the extreme importance that BJP gives to this issue, it would be reasonable to expect that IF it had perceived a problem with the methodology that was distorting the numbers, it would have fixed it. As the article mentioned, BJP or BJP-supported governments have been in power for 10 of the last 40 years, or about a quarter of the time, and the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at is that any misreporting of numbers, real or perceived, would be marginal and hence, not of importance.
To all other arguments made, my answer is the following: Please read the article again, with particular focus on the quotations of Vivekananda and Monier Williams, and the history of the missionary efforts in Bengal and their outcome.
A rather silly review by Namrata Joshi. It seems that she has not been to a film appreciation course and basis her reviews on personal likes and dislikes. This is not journalism. Online reviews from readers on various sites reveals that it is an engrossing movie that explores relationships and cultures. Maybe your reviewer has seen too many movies to write any correct assessment of a film, and needs to be sent to pasture.
what can you do with a cbag script except hope that enough idiots watch it in the first week so that producer recovers his money
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