Director Megha Ramaswamy attempts for a feel-good film but fails poorly in the execution
All during the film’s runtime, you keep waiting for something concrete to happen; something that makes the purpose of the film clear. But sadly, it never happens until the last 2mins of the film. When that actually happens, you realize that all the build up was futile. What Are The Odds? is visually enriching. But that’s about it. And that’s not a good sign.
Vivek (Yashaswini Dayama) and Ashwin (Karanvir Malhotra), two school students meet up by chance and through strange and unlikely encounters, discover themselves.
The story is by Ramaswamy herself and dialogues by Shreya Vaidya. The story is nowhere close to being noteworthy. In fact it’s one of those very routinely mundane tales that you come across and pass through.
Presented in chapters, it resembles a story from a children’s story book. Indeed, for the elements incorporated to tell the story, it does seem exactly that, and not a piece of cinema for that matter. All of a sudden, a group of senior citizens start dancing in red jumpsuits amid multi-colored smoke, or a man peeing on the terrace resulting in healthy growth of vegetables, or a goldfish who’s been given a narration, or a psychologist involved in an artistic experiment of her own- these are incorporated by Ramaswamy, only God knows why.
Watch the trailer here:
Visually, the film is bright. And you watch this 92mins film only because your eyes are satisfied. The colors and palette are soothing. Otherwise, talking of the content, things keep happening without a purpose all throughout the film. Why the Hindi exam, why Valmik (Abhay Deol) and his band and his songs and Vivek’s past, why her grandmother’s Alzheimer’s, why Rimpu (Manu Rishi) and his absurd mannerisms- are questions that will haunt you for the whole film. And the answers will never be given.
Coming to think of it, the message could be told in a 5mins short film. Infact, you realise that the only incidents that matter for the characters’ lives are when they meet first and the last when they realise of their existence. All what happens in between doesn’t make sense whatsoever.
The language of the film is majorly English, with songs also in the same language. Works for the Netflix audience in that psyche.
Both Yashaswini and Karanvir are very endearing in what they do. Trace Yashaswini’s projects in the past. She’s always given similar roles where she’s jaunty, carefree, and easy going. She aces the part though. Karanvir too is good in the portrayal of a self confident boy.
Manu Rishi is just okay, being capable of so much more. Sulbha Arya in a brief role is good, delivering nuances nicely.
Abhay Deol narrates the story and also has a special appearance. He looks charming. You like to see him. But the script doesn’t give much scope. Priyanka Bose is also just fine, nothing great. She too is capable to much meatier roles.
Ananya Melkote is also just fine, with not much to do. Same is the case for Monica Dogra.
Music and background score by Sagar suits the graph of the film, but ain’t able to do substantially well for the plot.
Cinematography by Lakhan Rathore is good, for the major upliftment of the story. The visual appeal is spot on aided by nicely conceptualised production design by Shravan Patil, Mandar Nagaonkar, and Swapnil Suraikar.
Editing by Arindam Ghatak with additional inputs by Pawan Theurkar and Sachin Nair is just bland, mainly because of the material that the script has. The film begins to bore you in the first 20mins owing to a haphazard collage of scenes. Random scenes.
This is a film that seems to have been made only to please oneself and not for the audience. Had it released in theatres, nobody would even know. What are the odds that audience would hook up to a film like this? None.