Ullas (Sunil) is a good-for-nothing from Venkatapuram who's greedy for money and has no morals, not even when it comes to his family. When he marries his childhood friend and NRI Laya (Manisha Raj) for money, little does he know that she's a raging alcoholic.
'2 Countries' is a remake of the 2015 Malayalam film of the same name starring Dileep and Mamata Mohandas. The film charts the journey of Ullas (Sunil) and his shenanigans that always get not just him and his own family, but even his best friend Bose (Srinivas Reddy) into trouble. For Ullas, money is everything and he will go to any low to gain some. When he owes money to Patel Bhai (Sayaji Shinde), he pretends to be in love with Patel's disabled sister and agrees to marry her. But when a misconception brings to him a better and richer proposal from US, he's on cloud nine and ditches Patel's sister immediately. What happens after he marries NRI Laya (Manisha Raj) is what '2 Countries' is all about.
Ullas (Sunil) is an extremely hard character to like or even tolerate. No matter how much Laya's parents want her to marry an Indian who will 'set her right', it's surprising they agree to the marriage and allow him to behave the way he does. It is only Laya's biological father who calls out Ullas' behaviour and wonders how her mother and step-father even allowed the marriage to happen. Ullas starts out as a greedy man with no conscience and even though his character takes massive strides and changes by the end of the film, he just leaves viewers with a bad taste in their mouth.
Laya (Manisha Raj) is an alcoholic who's physically abusive when she's drunk; she's no innocent flower either. Addicted to alcohol ever since her parents divorced seven years ago, despite being the heiress to Rs 500 Cr worth of property, she's only eligible for it when she's sober. Laya, with her fake American accent and juvenile attitude is hard to like too.
In fact, in '2 Countries', it's not just the lead characters that are unlikable. Laya's motley crew of parents consisting of her biological mother and father, along with her step mother (played by Sanjjanaa) and step father are unlikable too. It takes a good-for-nothing Ullas to marry Laya to force her to go to rehab, something even her parents couldn't do. When Ullas begins to value her love, he puts up with her even when she's physically and sexually abusive. In '2 Countries', these are shown as funny scenes.
In fact, the film displays a lot of racism and sexism in the name of comedy. Tacky jokes and stomach churning one-liners aside, there's really nothing salvageable in the screenplay. It's the story that's the hero of the film - that of an unsalvageable man changing himself to save his alcoholic wife. The way the events progress in the film makes no sense and the film fails to keep the audience engaged.
Sunil however is good in his role as the unlikable Ullas, making the best of what he's offered. He also tries his best to make people laugh or shed a tear or two, but unfortunately, he's been handed the short straw. Manisha Raj is also good in her role of alcoholic Laya, keeping up with Sunil's energy. The biggest drawback of '2 Countries' is having a stupendous cast and failing to make the best of any of them. Gives this one a miss unless you have time to kill and want to watch this film just for Sunil.