Megha Ramaswamy’s film “What Are The Odds?” is a new-age fairy tale that begins on an ‘unusual day, bringing two unusual people together’. The film is built on the premise that a lot of pleasant memories and relationships stem from strange beginnings.
The story revolves around two students, Vivek (Yashaswini Dayama) and Ashwin (Karanvir Malhotra) from polar-opposite sections of the classroom. A girl, interestingly named Vivek, decides to skip a test, and Ashwin, the popular head boy, is pushed to join her by accident. And together, they have a fanciful day where they discover companionship in the strangest of places. They are just two kids trying to figure out the world, trying to get their minds out of their fishbowl.
Megha’s writing includes jokes about sexism and surveillance. Voting is discussed and so are existential issues. “I would rather vote for something I believe in, like art,” says Vivek to Ashwin. And when she describes her father’s exit from their lives, she hopes he is queer and is full of regret for leaving the mother-daughter duo. “It would make complete sense as he would have never been accepted,” she says to an understanding Ashwin. It’s a film where teenagers speak of daddy issues. This is a generation that knows a lot more and is rather grappling to process it.
The outlandish screenplay, staging, narration, and most importantly enchanting writing sells this lovely illusion. What Are The Odds is not only a new-age fairytale but also an upscaled version for the times we live in. One that pushes us to find the magic in our lives, hidden away under broken relationships, loneliness, illness, and a failing society. One which reminds us to find our smiles more often, and also not be blinded by the gloominess around.
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