By Rachit Raj
What Are The Odds? delivers what it promises, and that is both the highlight and the downfall of this largely enjoyable, simplistic Netflix movie that finds one foot in realism and another in fantasy, probably saying that both are simply there in our head, and the odds of two meeting forms the larger crux of the film’s story.
We first meet Vivek (Yashaswini Dayama) as she wakes up with an annoying scream, something that is a constant, disturbing presence in the film probably trying to address her tryst with trauma but failing to find authenticity and depth in it. She misses an examination due to an admit-card problem and wanders around the school aisle when she realizes that Ashwin (Karanveer Malhotra), the Head Boy of the school, is being forced to miss the exam too. Vivek takes this opportunity to spend a day with Ashwin, someone who would never even look at a girl like her otherwise.
Hence begins a story of encountering Amol Palekar, a grandmother who has Alzheimer’s and a forty-something singer (Abhay Deol), who is also the narrator of the story. What Are The Odds? is essentially a film about oddities that we refuse to accept as a part of our lives. It is a story of incidents that do not come with a guarantee of logical explanation but a promise of a heartfelt sense of joy.
The problem with What Are The Odds? is not that it is a decidedly simplistic movie. The problem is in the movie’s inconsistent ambitions and occasional aspirations to be something deeper than its basic arc, which is where the film admittedly crumbles. There are instances where the film aspires to be a musical, but it never truly absorbs the essence of a musical. Similarly, there is an entire track that hints at exploring the past of Vivek, but all of it turns into an undercooked resolution which defeats the very point of it.
The performances are all consistently decent with Dayama being especially likeable as a school girl once again after essaying a role of a similar age-group in Made in Heaven and Delhi Crime. Much like Chopsticks, What Are The Odds? wastes a very talented Abhay Deol in a role that demands him to look charming and nothing more.
What Are The Odds? is a film about two teenagers who belong to different worlds in the hierarchy of a school world brought together for a day of unexpected, absurd events. The characters of Vivek and Ashwin are simplistic and sincere and their journey a satisfying one, but the same is not entirely true of the movie. The narrative suffers from lazy writing in the name of a simplistic narrative, always making us a pleasing onlooker of the story but never letting us feel like a part of the journey Vivek and Ashwin go through.
[What Are The Odds is streaming on Netflix]