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the film has all the elements of an amusing teen drama. But eccentricity and quirk are rather tricky qualities to achieve, as they require you to rebel against expectations and perceptions, yet without applying a formula to it.
The scope for imagination is boundless, and the world you conceive has to appear natural and organic. Ramaswamy’s film falls short on many counts as she puts whimsy on a pedestal over substance and eccentricity remains an embellishment, resulting in a film that’s mildly enjoyable, let alone memorable once it’s over.
It’s a pity that several scenes, even the ones with elements of magical realism, evoke a feeling that we’ve seen this before, not in a way of replication but by intent. One may not find too many reference points in Indian films, but What Are the Odds?
is reminiscent of movies like The Breakfast Club (1985) or perhaps even something as visually eccentric as Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010), in spirit. In these films, gawky teens live inside their heads, and we as ‘grown-up’ audience experience what they experience, but as outsiders.
One can’t, therefore, fully tell fantasy from reality, and that’s the whole point. What Are the Odds? lacks that energy and naiveté of living inside a teen mind.
The scenes are written around idiosyncrasies, but not much thought is given to a larger picture. Even these individual scenes would perhaps read better on paper than what is offered on-screen.
The narrative is contained to a day spent by two teens, who forge an unlikely friendship. A 15-year-old girl, amusingly named,
Vivek (Yashaswini Dayama), is as rebellious as a teen would be, who is left to the care of her grandmother and her parents are not closely involved in her life.
She drags an 18-year-old school head boy, Ashwin (Karanvir Malhotra) into her misadventures after wriggling out of an exam.