2 STATES – 2014 HINDI FILM REVIEW

by Ruby Gege

2-States-2014DIRECTED BY: ABHISHEK VARMAN| WRITTEN BY: CHETAN BHAGAT| WRITTEN BY: ABHISHEK VARMAN & HUSSAIN DALAL| STARRING: ARJUN KAPOOR AND ALIA BHATT

RATING: 9/10 (because this is truly an excellent film!)

One question – is love really enough when it comes to marriage and spending the rest of your life with the man or woman of your choice? Is it wise to disregard other people’s opinions? It is safe to live by the rule that love conquers all?

Or are you the type to actually consider every factors before making the decision? What kind of a married do you want? The one where you are able to include your parents and your in-laws or not?

2 States is a film that deals with this dilemma of such decisions. We are introduced to our main characters, our hero, Krish and heroine, Ananya, at the beginning of the film as two young bright students in a prestigious postgraduate academy in Gujarat. Both of them hailed from completely different parts of India – Krish is a soft-spoken polite Punjabi Delhi boy whereas Ananya is a gorgeous steady Tamilian girl from Chennai. They became friends and eventually, lovers. The chemistry between Arjun Kapoor and Alia Bhatt worked so well here – they matched each other so perfectly. Krish was a young man without a meaningful aim in life, then came Ananya, who often encouraged him to pursue his true passion, writing. 

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As the love grows, so does the desire to take the relationship to the next level – marriage – and this is when the movie really starts. 2 States is different due to the fact that it portrays rational-minded young lovers who do not make hasty decisions out of love. Instead, they take their steps slowly and try to make things work and at the same time pleases the people around them. What is so great about Krish and Ananya is that they both are filial dutiful children. How can they not be – their parents raised them well to be the person they were to be. Thus, it is only natural the lovers wanted their parents to bless the marriage as well.

Our Ananya is very adamant about wanting her parents to accept Krish. She could never imagine making them sad. The same goes for Krish, whose mother had sacrificed everything in order to raise him though she had been trapped in an abusive unhappy marriage.

The altercation between Krish’s mother, a typical loud-mouthed Punjabi woman and Ananya’s conservative reserved Tamilian parents are the funniest parts of the film. Literally, I cried my eyes out of funniness in the cinema. The differences in culture is great. Ananya’s parents are more rigid and traditional because they came from a pure Brahmin family, the highest of the caste system. They are vegetarians, which contradicts the Punjabi culture of loving food, including the non-vegetarian ones. The Punjabi culture in courtship and marriage also appeared to be more financially consuming based on how Krish’s mother would indirectly demand gifts from Ananya and her family, defending her opinion by saying that that is the way how in-laws should be treated.

However, the most important factor why Krish’s mother and Ananya’s parents could not get along was because of their clashing personalities. Krish’s mother is the gossip-y type of woman who can be inappropriately offensive at times whereas Ananya’s parents are quiet. Full stop. They don’t start a conversation unless necessary. Thus, always, when the three parents shared the same scene, they were either awkwardly silent or arguing with each other.

Alia Bhatt and Arjun Kapoor in 2 States

All these problems were the obstacles for our pair of lovers’ tireless effort to be with each other and at the same time, pursue their parents’ blessing. Misunderstandings happen and more than often, between love and family, our hero and heroine would choose family. However, that led to severe unhappiness to the both of them and thankfully, the parents realized this as well.

This film has a happy ending. No worries. And I swear to God I felt so happy after watching it. I smiled like a crazy person because I enjoyed it so much. The last time a romantic film touched me to such depth was a few years ago when I watched Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi.

THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE FILMS…

1 – Arjun Kapoor as Krish Malholtra

I love the fact that I have found a new Indian actor to love and have been able to follow his career from the beginning. Arjun in Ishaqzaade, his debut work, did not really impress me much. Most probably because I was too overwhelmed by Parineeti’s awesomeness. But then, his second movie, Aurangzeb, completely changed my perception towards him. I realized that he is a good actor and is able to play both rough characters and a low-key moderate type of man as well. In Gunday, where he acted with Ranveer Singh, I do believe he was the better performer. He had great control over his emotions, showing us his humane side whilst playing a gangster.

Arjun-Kapoor-Bollywood-film-2-StatesIn 2 States, he played a normal middle-class man and he played it to perfection. I kept asking myself – “Arjun Baba, why are you so amazing?!!!” as I watched him on screen. He seems like a completely new person, transforming himself for his characters. I am definitely, most validly an Arjun Kapoor fan now.

2 – The Pace of the Love Story

I have to confess, I ABSOLUTELY DETEST AND HATE love story that occurred within the span of less than a week or two. Indian films have lots of this films where the hero meets the heroines and within three days, they are in love and a week later, they are willing to die for each other. May I repeat this for the gazillionth time – IT DOESN’T MAKE ANY FUCKING SENSE!!!!!! My goddess Parineeti’s latest film, Hasee Toh Pasee is, unfortunately, in that category as well but her exceptional performance as a mad scientist held the film together for me.

2states4I love how natural and realistic is the relationship between Krish and Ananya to me. They first became friends, then close friends, then casual lovers, then serious committed lovers to an engaged couple, and finally, husband and wife over the course of a few years. It did not happen instantly and they had lots of ups and downs, partly because of their parents’ clashing opinion. The most touching scene to me is at the end, during their wedding ceremony in this super beautiful ancient Hindu temple. Our heroine, Ananya, held down her tears as Krish was tying the thali (a necklace of marriage) to her. She cried because they had to overcome so many obstacles to be together and at the same time, managed to unite their parents as well.

3 – Filial Piety Based on Love, Not Fear

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I think in Asia, there is a misconception that children are bound by their parents’ opinion because of fear. That is wrong or an over-generalization. Most children care for their parents’ opinion and seek their blessings due to the deep love and respect. Ananya was steadfast in her stand that they should not elope and seek their parents’ blessing because she loved them. The same goes to Krish. They knew that their parents had sacrificed everything to make them happy. To elope and disregard their roles as children would simply be wrong and selfish. Amidst the intense love they have for each other, they remained reasonable and careful in their choices.

4 – The Music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy

Listen to the soundtrack and you’ll get why. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy is my favourite composer team ever. All of their works have never been less than perfect and AMAZING!!! My favourite tracks? Everything!!

In conclusion, 2 States is a highly watchable love story that is able to make you laugh, cry and feel for the characters at the same time. The plot touches you. The issues raised in this film is relatable. Aren’t we all trying to make our parents happy and at the same time, pursue what we desire most? I am so happy that 2014 has been so kind to me by producing such great Hindi films. Let’s hope for many more to come!!!!!!

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My New Flame, Priyanka Chopra

By The Gorgeous Palah Chingu

Before Barfi, no one ever thought Priyanka can act (what i’m trying to say that she can act but not brilliantly). Don’t blame me for saying so because I think she’s terrific in Anjaana Anjaani, Fashion, 7 khoon Maaf and Barfi. It is not her fault that people could not get past her gorgous body and exotic face. I mean, if you look at her, you know she looks different. Not bad different but good different. Well, if you beg to disagree with me, go on because she was after all Miss World Pageant 2000. Anyway, my intention here is not to write about Priyanka Chopra’s acting ability. I am sure all of you knew that she’s one of the fine actresses in Bollywood Industry right now. She earned so many awards and praised by critics for her films like Fashion (2008), 7 Khoon Maaf (2011) and Barfi (2012).

I am here just to spazzing how I love that she agreed to do item song for 2 films in 2012 and 1 film for 2013. Katrina Kaif will always be my goddess but damn, Priyanka may able to steal the title. Oh my god, this is so not straight statement from me. Haha.

  1. Asalaam E Ishqum – Gunday (2014)

The moment I listened to this song in cinema, I was instantly hooked. Everything is so masala and overdramatic. Priyanka as a cabaret girl in this song just blew me away. I mean, who the fuck does not want to tap that ass (Palah, please control your lust). I am a freaking straight girl but if I get any chance with her, well that could turn out to be another story. She’s hot in her own music video ‘Erotic’ but it is incomparable in this music video. I wish Ranveer and Arjun didn’t featured in the video though the voice of male playback singer in the song is so addictive. I don’t know how many times I raped the repeat button on my Ipod for this song only.

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  1. Ram Chahe Leela – Ram Leela (2013)

Ram Chahe Leela might not appeal you at first, but It will grows on you. I mean, Ram Leela film’s sound track is pretty damn good. From Ang Laga De, Lahu Munh Lag Gaya to Nagada Sang Dhol, you will be hooked to all of it right away. Ram Chahe Leela might take a longer time for me to like it, but hey, In the end, i love it as much as other song. Priyanka agreed to cameo for this song and she delivered the hell of a dance in the film. The voice of playback singer in the song also suited her looks well.

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  1. Babli Badmaash Hai (2013)

I don’t really love Babli Badmaash. The hype around the song is so huge that when I listened to it, I am kind of disappointed. This is the first item song that Priyanka agreed to do in Bollywood. When Priyanka fans spreading the word about how good it was, I was actually feeling ‘Mehhhhh’ about the song. The dance routine is good and Priyanka in black leather tight one piece suit with neon light attached is freaking weird but sexy in the same time. Maybe I just didn’t love the song. I still enjoy Priyanka in this anyway (or maybe because John Abraham was in there too). Haha.

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GUNDAY – Hindi Film Review

BY RUBY CHINGU

Gunday-Poster-NewDirected and Written by: Ali Abbas Zafar | Starring:Ranveer Singh, Arjun Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Irrfan Khan

RATING – 6/10

It has been quite a depressing week in Malaysia. The Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is still missing, the terrible haze in Shah Alam, the city where I’m staying and the general emotional helplessness continues to break our hearts as all around the world fervently hope for the missing flight to appear and the mystery to be solved. The tragedy led me to think of many things, the same way when my father passed away. Now would be the good time to tell your loved ones that you love them and try to achieve your dreams and to fulfill your wishes, as we never know when our time on earth will end. A sad morbid thought but that’s reality.

Alrighty, moving on to the more cheerful stuffs!

gunday-4_660_112113025925PLOT SUMMARY: The film I’m about to review today is Gunday, starring the ever-so-shameless-but-entertaining Ranveer Singh (or more affectionately, Ranveer Baba) and his baba friend, Arjun Kapoor. The premise of the film is about two childhood friends, Bikram and Bala, who became refugees resulted by the independence of Bangladesh. Identifying themselves as Indians, they survived their childhood by committing illegal acts of stealing coals for the older guys. As they managed to escape the depressing life in the refugee camp, they landed in the town of Kolkata, where their fearlessness in breaking the law and the bad guys resulted in the boys building a massive business empire, albeit always related to illegal dealings. Main point the film tried to convey is that though they were basically Mafia dons, they had the heart of gold. Like all the heroic Mafia dons in Hindi films, they did a lot of charity and ruled over the needy people of Kolkata with kindness and compassion. Then, entered the beautiful Nandita (Priyanka Chopra) into their lives. Both Bikram and Bala fell in love with the same woman and promised each other that they would respect whoever Nandita chooses to be with. As per usual, what Nandita did in entertaining the flirtatious behaviours of both men and ended up in choosing only one caused a drift in Bikram and Bala’s relationship. Other than that, they also faced challenges in the form of ACP Sarkar (by the amazing Irrfan Khan) who had been tracking their criminal activities for a long time.

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REVIEW: Overall, the film is very very entertaining. It has all the ingredients to a great Hindi film – action, that dirty ruggedness of a masculine Indian man, some romance, some underground don-related stuffs and great item songs. However, the main ingredient that made Gunday so enjoyable is the brotherhood of Bikram and Bala. The chemistry of Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor is superb here. BROMANCE TO THE CORE, BABY! They did everything together – lived off the streets together, built a business together, committed crimes together, slept next to each other on the same bed wearing the same clothes all the time together to the point I find their relationship to be extraordinarily sweet but gay.

The minus point I’m very unhappy with is the fact that they drifted apart due to a woman, which makes the film kind of predictable. Nevertheless, Priyanka is sooo stunning in her item songs (highlights: Tune Mari Entriyaan and Asalaam-e-Ishqum). She’s stunning but that’s just it. She was not much of a presence compared to Irrfan Khan who played a cop that has been trying to put Bikram and Bala in jail for years.

Now, to the acting of Ranveer Baba and Arjun Baba. In all honesty, I am not a fan of Ranveer. He’s great and all, I know. He was amazing in Band Baaja Baarat, the film that ALMOST made me fall in love with him. I have yet to watch Ricky Bahl and Lootera, though. But in Ram Leela, Ranveer did not impress me much as an actor. I enjoy watching him more in real life than in films, which is weird because it is supposed to be the other way round. Ranveer as a person is infectiously funny, bubbly and simply crazy (note: do watch his interview in Koffee With Karan, the 4th season). Unfortunately, it seems like the character of Ram in Ram Leela and Bikram in Gunday were tailored for that side of his personality. Thus, I kept thinking that I am seeing the same Ranveer Baba over and over again – the happy, sometimes conflicted but naturally funny and confident man that he is.

But damn, Ranveer Baba can surely dance like there’s no tomorrow! And he’s super hot! I know he’s hairy and oily and all…. but still, I think he’s hot. That’s the problem, though. I find myself to be strangely attracted to this actor yet at the same time I don’t really like him that much. Hmmmm, now how did that happen?? Hahahaha

30ot506h2vttebnd.D.0.Arjun-Kapoor-Gunday-Film-PhotoNow we go to Arjun Baba. Okay. Let me just put this out there – ARJUN KAPOOR IS AN G-R-E-A-T ACTOR! Unexpectedly, he is the one who actually brings more emotional depth and layers to Gunday. I first saw Arjun in Ishaqzaade, in which he was great as well. But in next film, Aurangzeb, he totally challenged himself by playing dual roles of a pair of twins with completely different personalities. I love how Arjun seems to be quite selective in his works and refuses to play the same character over and over again. He’s young and hot and new and he could easily choose to do that but he did not. So, yes, I am very proud of him. He did not manage to get the girl (Nandita) in Gunday, as she chose the obviously hotter and more oily Bikram (Ranveer) but that made Bala more humane and wounded. Thus, Arjun got to deliver a wider emotional range compared to Ranveer. While the latter’s character as Bikram was limited to a cheerful mischievous sweet lover, the former’s character as Bala was an embittered man of few words with a tough exterior but a soft kind heart. He displayed his disappointment over losing Nandita’s love so well – his facial expressions during the song Saaiyaan are so heartbreaking! *cries*

God, am I Arjun’s fan now? I think so. I did not really like him at first but after seeing how well he acted, I am super excited to see his next performance. Go Arjun Kapoor! I believe in you!

IN CONCLUSION, ARJUN KAPOOR’S ACTING IS THE BEST THING IN THE FILM.

Now, what don’t I like in the film? The actions scenes are overrated. But then, that’s a given for all masala films. And too many chest exposure. I mean, I do love naked guys but do they have to be oily and sweaty ALL THE TIME? There was this one fight scene where Ranveer and Arjun were running towards each other, topless and wet, and I can literally see their chest muscles bouncing up and down. I mean, I’m not sure…. is bouncy chest supposed to be sexy? I mean… this sweaty sex and all… I’m not sure… But hey, if you like it like that, you like it like that and who am I to judge? Hahahahahaha.

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The slow-motion muscle running thing I was talking about

Watch the film if you like a good bromance story. Plus, the music by Sohail Sen is super great. And also, do appreciate Arjun Kapoor’s performance! Heheheehe.

P/S: Never stop praying for Flight MH370 and the people in it. Also pray to the Search and Rescue team members who are working very hard to find the plane and rescue the people inside it. I pray that everyone involved in the incident is safe and sound and I hope the loved ones can be reunited with them. Dear Allah, do give them strength to face this experience.

ISHAQZAADE – 2012 Bollywood Film Review

Review by Ruby Chingu

RATING – 7/10

(It’s a good film, thoroughly enjoyable, very cute and passionate with a great soundtrack. A perfect Bollywood film. But the story did not haunt me. It was not really mind-blowing or left me with something to ponder at.)

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Every now and then, I always enjoy a good Bollywood film. To say that the effects the films have on my childhood, growing years and now pre-adulthood are magical is an understatement. Because there’s always something more to these films than just the great songs, perfect choreography and sometimes illogical fairytale-like plots. They are great love stories. The passionate I-can’t-live–without-you ones. I don’t believe in such love but it’s great fun to watch people who do. They persuade me, sometimes, that this types of love can be appealing and worth dying for.

Ishaqzaade (Love Rebels) is one of those films. It took me a year of my best friend, Palah Chingu’s relentless persuasion to watch it. And when I finally did, I hated myself for not watching it earlier.

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The story revolves around Parma, a Hindu local gangster and Zoya, a Muslim college girl who had been enemies since they were children due to the fact that they belonged to rival political families. Zoya’s father is an MLA, or Member of Legislative Assembly. Gun violence in their lives were predominant. Parma and Zoya grew up to hate each other. Overtime, while campaigning for his grandfather and Zoya for her father, both found ways to love and did fall in love with each other.

Their love was the secretive, passionate kind. They had to sneak around town to meet each other and dated only at places where their family members wouldn’t be able to see them. They were different yet very much alike. He’s a rash kind of guy, unwanted by his grandfather who saw him and his widowed mother as a burden whereas she was a firebrand loudmouth of a girl – though loved and doted by her father – was sidelined from the family’s political venture because she was a girl and for them, girl holds the family honour. He made a mistake in cheating to her and it took her a long time to forgive him. However, their shared love for each other endured and they chose that over the hatred of their families who would rather see Parma and Zoya dead than dishonour them by being with each other.

Some may say the ending kinda sucks. For me, it does not. Because it’s not really a suicide for me. Parma killed Zoya, Zoya killed Parma – both out of their own requests. Rather than dying in the hands of their family members who were hunting them, they would rather end their own lives. They knew they were doing to die anyway. They wanted love to win. Did it win? Well, if you looked at it, it kind of did. If they killed each other, they did it out of love. If they were killed by their families, it would be out of hate.

The direction of this story is great. The cinematography, too. The plot, though seemed very cliche at first, somehow feels fresh. The film seems familiar yet gives off very different feeling. The strongest point of the fim? Both leads, our Parma and Zoya are very VERY CUTE together!! Both characters were always angry, intense and loud. Both had guns on their own accord. Both lacked manners. Both possessed no sense of rationality – once they wanted something, they go for it notwithstanding what other people think. That’s why they were made for each other. Coming from different background, they were so similar for each other.

And that’s what I find the most endearing part of the movies. Their families are, of course, important to them but it had nothing to do with their love. Once they came to realize that their families wouldn’t accept them, they did not give up. They were about to lose everything anyway. So, yeah.

Death does not seem as scary as it used to be next to the person you love.

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What passion, yaar!