What Are The Odds Review: An uninteresting, ordinary dramedy that offers only little to like!

Siddarth Srinivas -

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Format: Feature Film
Platform: Netflix
Movie Rated: 16+ (Language)
Genre: Drama, Comedy, Romance
Language: English & Hindi
Digital Premiere: 20 May 2020

Out of the blue, Netflix came up with an announcement that an Indian film is making its way to the platform. Just three days after the announcement, we have ‘What Are The Odds?’ – a film by Megha Ramaswamy which comes from the production house of Abhay Deol. With Yashaswini Dayama and debutant Karanvir Malhotra (Selection Day) in the middle, this film seemed like a coming-of-age drama with some funny situations built-in.
 

What’s the story about?
What Are The Odds? Is narrated in the form of chapters, showing us a day in the life of a punchy teen girl Vivek (Yashaswini Dayama) and a straightforward, responsible school head boy Ashwin (Karanvir Malhotra).  The two take off on a journey through the streets of Mumbai, after their exam hall tickets go missing and they are left with nothing to do. Vivek and Ashwin go around doing different things such as meeting a handful of absurd characters, talking about their pasts, and even striking a connection with a goldfish.
 
Performances
First things first, Yashaswini Dayama is so good here. With a role that offers her a lot of space to be a jolly and happy-go-lucky individual, she performs out her parts superbly. Karanvir too brings in a fresh blaze to the atmosphere of the film with his bright presence. Abhay Deol’s extended cameo does bring in a few smiles, but the rest of the characters do not make much of an impact, mainly due to their eccentricity which does not turn up on the greener side.
 
Analysis
Right from the start, What Are The Odds does not make the best use of its premise to create entertaining situations. There are a handful of places where the laughs do arise organically, but apart from that, I was left wondering at this where this was heading. Megha Ramaswamy doesn’t have anything to say until the point where Abhay Deol comes into the proceedings, where there’s a little turnaround in the story which lights up things by a bit. While the film has a lot more space for pulpy humour, it simply does not take the opportunity and settles for less.
 
Music and Other Departments
Sagar’s music is definitely the saving grace of the film, with some good songs flowing in from time to time. The background score also complements the proceedings, working well. Otherwise, the film is fairly well shot and has neat editing to go with it.
 
Highlights
The pair of Yashaswini and Karanvir make this bearable, along with the lively music.
 
Drawbacks
What Are The Odds definitely could have done with better characterizations, interesting events in the screenplay and some emotional highs. The film was originally planned to be made as a series, but things didn’t go their way with the idea getting shelved and the footage is edited into a film – it clearly shows that something is missing here.
 
Did I enjoy it?
No. There are a lot of other feel-good films that work better. Except for some laughs here and there, I wasn’t even interested to know how this film was going to end.
 
Do I recommend it?
No. You might just want to pick something else.
 
review-rating
 
Synopsis : A high-spirited teenager, Vivek (Yashaswini Dayama) commits a small and clunky crime as a mark of “protest”, which leads to her striking an unexpected friendship with well-behaved head boy Ashwin (Karanvir Malhotra) and playing truant from an important exam day. Things take a turn from ordinary to magical as the story unravels events from the past, present and future in the lives of these two misfits and the accidental encounters with Val (Abhay Deol) that turns the mundane into a fairytale they are meant to tell. Set in a whimsical version of Mumbai and peopled with characters and incidences personifying the title, 'What Are The Odds?' is an honest, often hilarious and rapt exploration of growing up in contemporary India devoid of its cultural specificities and celebrating unusual friendships.
Cast : Karanvir Malhotra, Yashaswini Dayama, Abhay Deol, Priyanka Bose, Sulabha Arya, Monica Dogra, Manu Rishi
Directors : Megha Ramaswamy
Producer/s : Apoorva Bakshi, Pooja Kohli, Sanjay Bachani, Abhay Deol
Cinematographer (DoP) : Johan Aidt
Production House : FilmKaravan Originals
Music : Sagar Desai

Total number of seasons : 1
Digital Premiere Date : May 20, 2020

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