2 States: Book vs Movie

Like every Indian secondary school student I, too, have deliberately done one English literature project based on any Chetan Bhagat’s novel. Mine happens to be ‘2 States’. Back in tenth grade (May 2011, to be precise) I was asked to write a book review on any one novel of my choice. (Isn’t this the standard holiday homework they give in schools across the nation?) Alas! My choice was exactly like some other 15 people of my class. How? Maybe because I was in an all girls’ section. And our estrogen charged bodies are famous for drooling over mushy, romantic stuff. Scrolling down the memory lane, as far as I remember, I REALLY liked the book. Ok wait! I LOVED it.

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Three years later, when I got to know that Dharma Productions is coming up with a movie based on the novel, my curiosity upgraded to a whole new level. And when this adjacent poster got out, remeniscing my own experiences will reveal me being over-enthusiastic and zealous. This picture here of Alia Bhatt and Arjun Kapoor forced me to make a mental note under the category- ‘Relationship Goals!’. Though watching the movie was an altogether new venture.

As a matter of fact, when two similar things are served to you on a platter, comparison becomes an obvious choice! And so did it happen in this case too. The film ‘2 states’ is no doubt a faithful translation of the book where the director is let’s say invisible, unlike Five Point Someone and Three Mistakes Of My Life. There were so many instances where one could connect with the book instantaneously. The perfect paradigm being the opening mess scene. Abhishek Varman (the director of the movie) did an appreciable job by not omitting episodes which are crucial in specifying the location and bringing out the essence of the moment, eg. drinking tea at ‘Rambhai’ tea stall and the ‘basic marginal utility curve’ crying scene. But there were some extracts in the book which I would have loved to watch on the screen too. What about creating a controversy over – “From Hema Malini to Sridevi, all of them trying to grab Punjabi men”? I won’t curb from mentioning that I was anxiously waiting for Amrita Singh to utter these EXACT words. Imagine my disappointment!
While Krish was bang on like the IIT nerd I imagined, Ananya came as a surprise. All of us (who have read the book) must have anticipated her character to be that of a matured economist but Alia with her innocent charm nevertheless didn’t fail to flatter us (or at least the boys). What makes the film worth watching over reading the book is the climax – the Tamil style wedding. Woah! I am sure this scene would have compelled all those who were accompanied by their partners to hold hands. No? Then were my mom and dad the only romantic couple out there in the movie hall?
To sum up, the movie is fairly a shorter, compressed version of the book. Both would have created a niche in the reader’s heart (read: Indian reader’s heart). While Karan Johar or Rajkumar Hirani would have made us to reach for our handkerchiefs, Varman is just happy in making the fans of the book smile. And if you ask me my preference, the bibliophile inside me will not let me write the next sentence. Try asking yours!

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