Last Saturday, I watched 2 States, a 2014 Indian movie. This will be the first review of an Indian movie.
In a few words, that movie is about a couple, each from a different part of India, who meet University. They fall in love and live a romance for two years. Problems start after they graduate. They wish to work and live in the same city, but convincing their parents to agree to their relationship and marriage provides the movie’s major conflicts.
So, the main point of my review is this: 2 States is a movie about the changes in the marriage culture in India.
Isn’t love enough? Not exactly and n. Not always. In India, the parents choose their children’s partners. They base their decision on more than just their children’s needs. Certainly, the groom’s family wishes their son finds a good housewife while the bride’s kin knows that she has a stable provider. So, the choice is based on factors as community affinities, family connections, education level, religion, social and economic compatibilities and so on
But what happens when the couple comes from different origins? In the movie, they are willing to overcome their cultural differences, but their families are less flexible because they trust in traditional values. The groom’s Punjabi parents in Delhi and the bride’s Tamil roots in Chennai, both resist the pairing. Linguistic, caste, economic, and geographic barriers fuel their “stubbornness”. Their love isn’t enough through most of the film. When the couple seeks to marry, they must act also in connection with their families and their cultural values. Will the parents accept the marriage and develop some tolerance among them since they will become an extended family? You should watch the movie and discover it!
In India, as the movie makes clear, the family is part of the marital relationship of their offspring. So, if the young want to be happy, they and their families have to negotiate between old and new concepts. We see this movement in scenes where pieces of the culture are more exposed, as the parties, when we can see the differences related to food, drinks, dresses, dances, costumes and so on, of each family. The families’ prejudices were surpassed during the movie by dance, by laugher, by altruism, and by the pain inflicted on who we love. Not only that, but they also manage to fulfill the groom’s mother’s dreams of being a singer. The father, hitherto the villain in the piece, provides the vital link between the two families. We can observe that every character had to heal some wounds with the help of others for the family to be happy together. There is not much space for the kind of western individualism.
So, the movie is about how the parents deal with losing their space in the marital decision of their children. However, they also chose to overcome their differences in favor of their children’s happiness.
The movie 2 States is not as good as Motichoor Chaknachoor – a very recommendable movie which discusses the dowry in modern India – but it proposes a more varied range of subjects and permits us to understand better the feelings of the characters in a way we can be sympathetic to them. So, its multi-dimensional approach is a great quality for me.
I also love to see all the dance and music in the Indian movies because the lyrics are part of the plot since they help to tell you the story. The dance conveys to us the feelings and the lyrics’ meanings through body language. Also, I confess I love to see the proud shown by Indian movies of the Holi festival (the spring, love and colors festival). If someday I am going to India, I want to travel in March!
2 States is a movie based on a book about the real love story between Chetan Bhagat and Anusha Bhagat. Here the original couple:
He also wrote: Five Point Someone, Half Girlfriend and The 3 Mistakes of My Life.