If you thought North meets South was an interesting clash in the United States, wait until you see the Bollywood version. The divide between Hindi-speaking North India and Tamil-Telugu-Kannada-Malayalam-more-speaking South India is especially great, so when you try to marry them … well, chaos necessarily ensues.
The couple in 2 States are, yes, from two states: northwestern Punjab and southeastern Tamil Nadu. Krish and Ananya fall in love in college and want to get married, but only once their parents all agree. The lead roles went to two North Indian star children whose real-life families are attending Tampa's International Indian Film Academy Awards next week: Arjun Kapoor, making his first appearance in a nonviolent flick, and Alia Bhatt, who is riding a wave of success from February's acclaimed hit Highway.
2 States is based on the 2009 novel of the same name by Chetan Bhagat, whose written words have been fodder for Bollywood blockbusters before (IIFA award-winning 3 Idiots, Hello). But for an American viewer without an understanding of India's North-South dichotomy, this romantic comedy will likely be markedly less funny, let alone comprehensible.
2 States, with subtitles, opens Friday at the AMC Veterans 24 in Tampa.
Caitlin E. O'Conner, Times staff writer