The UNITED STATES of INDIA

Mayuri Ghosh

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Why have the youngsters fallen in love with the ‘Oh-so-Manly’ Arjun Kapoor and the ‘Oh-so-Elegant’ Alia Bhatt?

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The IIM Ahmedabad campus, the Rasgulla and Sambhar quarrel, the ‘Shuddh Tamilian Brahmin Household’s’ bubbly and honest chic gobbling on chicken tandoor, the eco tuitions, the tender yet sensuous love chemistry and the final struggle to change both their statuses from ’In a relationship’ to ‘Married’….says it all and answers as to why should we watch this film.

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THE CAST

Arjun Kapoor as Krish Malhotra, Alia Bhatt as Ananya Swaminathan, Ronit Roy( The Adaalat Man) as Vikram Malhotra (Krish’s contemptuous, grumpy and dominating father), Amrita Singh as Kavita Malhotra (Krish’s  dominated, down-to-Earth, yet a strong Punjabi mother), Revanthy as Radha Swaminathan (Ananya’s conservative and  conventional mother) and Shiv Kumar Subramaniam playing Shiv Swaminathan (Ananya’s traditional and orthodox father). The best part about the cast was that both Arjun and Alia were exactly similar to the Bhagat-ian characters described in the book. The couple made us feel comfortable and took us back to the original manuscript of the film (the book: 2 States by Chetan Bhagat) where Alia and Arjun look exactly as the characters Ananya and Krish have been described there.

A BORING NOTE FOR THE ACTUAL INFO-COLLECTORS

Directed by                           Abhishek Varman

Produced by                         Karan Johar, Sajid Nadiadwala

Written by                             Chetan Bhagat

Based on                              2 States by Chetan Bhagat

Music by                                Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy

Cinematography by             Binod Pradhan

Editing by                             Namrata Rao

Studio                                   Dharma Productions and Nadiadwala                                                 Grandson Entertainment

Distributed by                      UTV Motion Pictures

Released Date                    18 April, 2014

Running Time                      149 minutes

THE PLOT

The film starts off with Krish Malhotra opening his shoes in a psychiatrist’s cabin and narrating the STORY OF HIS LIFE as his reason for wanting to commit suicide… well, it’s the same old wine in a new bottle… Guy-meets- girl scene, love at first sight…as well as at a very sweet rasgulla fight, their first date where the crispiest dialogue of Ananya, after getting the bill, was spoken as… “120 each”, then warning Krish not to propose her directly as he would be the 11th IIT-an to propose the girl, then the eco tuitions in the girls’ hostel, the LOCHA-e-ULFAT (problem of love), the famous kiss dialogue and the kiss, and their love story… the main problem arose because of an old misunderstanding between the North Indians and the South Indians. From their very first meeting in the convocation, the Swaminathans were against the “Typical Punjabis…uncultured people” and their hatred was reciprocated in equal dimensions by the Malhotras as well, saying… “Kis bhasha mein baat karu? Mujhe Madrasi nahi aati”, also in their next and almost-last meeting saying, “Apko toh yakeen hi nahi hua hoga…ki aapki beti ko itna handsome aur qualified ladka mila” or “Maaf karna, par 90% Tamilians gore bhi toh nahi hote!”

This North South divide also generated NAME BASED JOKES where Ananya laughs at the Punjabi name ‘Minty’ and the maternal family of Krish making fun of Ananya by calling her ‘Anyay’..

Yet the couple tried to convince each other’s families for allowing their marriage…and the steps undertaken are really mentionable. Be it Krish’s helping Ananya’s dad to make a PowerPoint presentation, or giving her mother an auspicious occasion to sing her beautiful and trained voice out, or coaching her brother for IIT…Krish was really hardworking all throughout the movie. Talking about Ananya, she could not cook, and that was what her to-be mother-in-law hated her much for. It was Ananya’s quick wit which helped her to win Krish’s mom’s heart partially when she saved Minty’s marriage by undergoing a straight talk with Duke, the ‘Dowry Dulha’. Now what was left is…”Ladke ki family ko ladki ki family se pyaar hona chahiye, aur ladki ki family ko ladke ki family se”…which is so impossible when you have a Punjabi mom! After all… “ Punjabi mother-in-law se khatarnaak kuch nahi hota iss duniya mein.” They finally separate. Now, the most villainous character of the movie, Krish’s detestable, obnoxious, dominating, ruthless, cruel, inhuman father comes into the scene, snaps his fingers, casts a magic and makes the marriage actually happen. He, according to me, was an art-film character-obnoxious, yet, an angel in disguise!

And that is how their final KALYANAM happens…in a beautiful temple in Chennai.

ALIA BHATT

After her Shanaya-tic role in Student Of The Year and her bohemian, unpolished finish in Highway, we get to know how versatile an actor Alia Bhatt can be. From the sophisticated, rich, fashionable and sexy Shanaya, whose attire was never anything except Posh…we get the natural, guileless and childlike Veera in Highway. And then the elegant Ananya, the cultural Ananya, the graceful  Ananya, the Ethnic Ananya, the comely Ananya, the dainty Ananya, the bubbly Ananya, the intelligent Ananya and the appealing Ananya in this movie. She is the new fashion setter…because she has brought back Long Skirts into Indian Fashion again. The way she said her favourite dialogue “Tumhe bas darr hai…ki kahi tumhara action nah bandh ho jaye” was so natural and automatic. She may not be an authentic ‘Madrasi’ in terms of her body language or accent, but she has played the role of a TAM-BRAHM girl pretty well.

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ARJUN KAPOOR

His debut in Ishaqzaade was so manly and amazing, that it was enough for girls to fall for him…and for their boyfriends to get jealous and possessive…( Bitch, please…He is SOOO  HAWT)..His crispy dialogues and the matured way of handling the lead role in Ishaqzaade demanded more…much more from him. From the rustic, arrogant, sexy, bold, courageous, dashing, heroic  Parma in Ishaqzaade and the brave, gallant, valiant, dauntless and daring Bala in Gunday, we find an entirely polite, shy, gentlemanly, “handsome aur qualified”, cute and well-bred ‘gora-chitta-chashmish- Punjabi IIT-ian (as expected from Bhagat-ji)-ladka’ as Krish Malhotra in the film. No doubt he was amazing…again! His using his Punjabi-ness as an excuse for falling in love with Ananya was ‘just-so-natural’…”Punjabi hoon…Khoon garam hota hai humara”. The best part of the character was the way he was getting matured with the progression of the plot…you can very well see Krish evolving from childish and afraid to grown-up and confident. Though the journey is interesting…it is so very boring to see a guy becoming confident so as to slap…yes, slap his dad for domestic violence.. impressive and cool, isn’t it? I mean you really need guts to gift your dad with a tight hard slap!

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THE DIALOGUES

The dialogues of the movie weren’t of much weight…they were crispy and streetwise and so so very rustic. Be it the cheesy, flirty dialogue as “Yeh tumhare right gaal ke left side pe jo til hai nah, uspe dil aa gaya hai mera…mujhe roz follow karta rehta hai…and then I just want to kiss you...” or the ‘uff-finally relised what is love’ dialogue “duniya mein shadi karne ke liye sabse zaroori kya hota hai? Pyaar…” (as if we don’t know {robustic poker face})…all of them were extremely light and well-spoken. It was kind of a deviation from the ‘Mere paas maa hai’ type of dialogues. You can feel the feminine insecurity when Ananya says “Tum ladko ka na…yehi ek problem hai…Bed pe kudne ke liye bilkul time nahi lagta…bas thora sa commitment mang lo…toh sochne ke liye waqt chahiye!”The best dialogue, according to me, was… “Tragedy is the new cool…” It was just…phenomenally awe-inspiring.

THE PROPOSAL…OR…UMMM…PROPOSALS

Have we ever thought of being proposed in the middle of an interview? No…I mean…Of course NOT!

But, Krish proved us wrong by placing his ‘Oh so innovative’ style of proposing Ananya for marriage in the middle of a well on-going interview. But this is nothing compared to what happens in the later part of the movie…where the theory of “ Ladki ki family ko ladke se pyaar hona chahiye…aur ladke ka family ko ladki se” comes into action. Krish, at last, ends up buying four rings and proposing the entire Swaminathan Family…isn’t it yet another extra-ordinary way of winning somebody’s love and credence?

MUSIC

Actually and critically speaking, there aren’t any heart touching…or better say…heart ripping songs in the movie… “Offo” is a total party song which will definitely generate a shake in your bumps each time you play it…and I’m sure you do that hand wala step each time “Locha-e-Ulfat” is played. Well, the movie also has soft, romantic and rhythmic tracks like “Mast Magan” and “Chaandaniya”. Ummm…no offence…but…I don’t think you’ll try listening to “Hullaa Re” or “Iski Uski” more than once. The clear winners, thus, are “Offo”, “Locha-e-Ulfat” and “Mast Magan”.

GET MODERN AND… APP FRIENDLY!

Guess what…the movie has set up a brand new trend of exhibiting how much you love your partner in an extraordinarily cool, undecipherable and tricky way…especially when your mom is keeping an ear on what you are talking over the phone and an eye on in what shape your lips are dubbing the words… so… presenting the way you say ‘those-three-ultimate-words’…

 “I…LOVE…YOUsing this app

Isn’t it cool…and…to some extent… APPy??… Well, apply it… I say it works…because there are yet so many people who haven’t yet watched 2 States…

IT’S REAL, RELATABLE…AND STILL FOLLOWS THE OLD LOVE THEORIES

The movie is really believable…it did not center around the absurd. From the IIM love story developed between two different cultures, to their struggle to realize the relationship through conjugal bond, to the process of making the ‘ladki ki family’ love the ‘ladka’ and the ‘ladke ki family’ love the ’ladki’ in various pre planned ways, to all the dates, the kisses and even thinking that you are all lost and you want to commit a suicide when you have to leave the love of your life because of your mother’s conservative nature and Punjabi-ness…it was all-so-relatable!

One more thing that was actually appreciated in the movie was…OLD LOVE…REAL LOVE. Though you know you might be separated from your beloved because of misunderstandings, intolerance and the North-South ridge between the families…you still don’t give up hope. You try and try from AHMEDABAD to CHENNAI to DELHI to MUMBAI until you finally break down the North South wall with your hands entangled with your beloved’s.

After all… “Baat communities ki nahi hai…baat yeh hai ki hum kis tarah ke insaan ke saath apni zindagi beetana chahte hai.

RATINGS

If I am to rate the movie, I’m going to give it 3.5 out of 5…because there was no innovation-the movie was not revolutionary. If something needs to be appreciated, it is Arjun Kapoor and Alia Bhatt’s natural acting…Arjun’s smartness and Alia’s beauty. The kurtis she had all throughout the movie were actually worth appreciation…and she looked amazing in her Kaanjeevaram Silk saree with the gajra and the jhumkas. The songs of the movie would definitely make to jig if you are seated…and…ummm… 3.5 for the idea of ‘I LOVE YOUsing this new app’.

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2 thoughts on “The UNITED STATES of INDIA

  1. mayuri ghosh- ur ‘aatherosho pochpanno’ was worth 1855.. your recipe was tasty with an extra spice of the awesome word ‘TAM-BRAHM’.. anyway keep writing.. infact critical writing.. it was fun reading.. best of luck.. 🙂

  2. thank you trinankuri.. ur the first one to read it probably!
    karor dhoirjo nei amar “atharosho pochpanno” porar.. 😛

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