Starring Abhay Deol, Yashaswini Dayama, Karanvir Malhotra
Directed by Megha Ramaswamy
Rating: * (1 star)
Towards the end of this dreadfully droll and consciously ‘cool’ film, the girl named Vivek asks the boy named Bobby Darling…okay I am kidding…boy named Ashwin, ‘What are the odds of a boy like you hitching up with a girl like me?’
I have a similar question for the brains behind this balderdash. “What are the odds that we can sit right till the end of this weird film, so proud of it that it wears its weirdness on its chest like a soldier’s medallion?”
What Are The Odds is not just an odd piece of cinema, it’s also excruciatingly unfunny while trying to be just the opposite.
A man tilting on the edge of a precipice says, ‘Main suicide nahin su-su kar raha hoon.”
The 15-year old heroine tells her 40-year old crush, “Salman Khan dates teenagers.”
Abhay Deol looks like he has just been compared with Donald Trump.
A fish talks to us in Jugal Hansraj’s voice. Last I saw him playing a child molester in Sujoy Ghosh’s film. This must be Jugal’s chance for atonement. But where is the way out for us in this cloistered kick-in-the-groins of caprice? We can’t even get up and leave, since we’re watching it at home, hoping and praying that the next Netflix offering would be a redemptive measure.
To those who are still interested in knowing the plot, here is the thing. There is none. The narrative about two schoolgoing teenagers spending a day together talking to various mammals and amphibians all of whom behave like they are high on substance abuse reads like a series of improvised shots strung together anyhow. The spoken dialogues, in English, sound like they are being read out of a moody teleprinter.
And the actors are in it just to be fey. So we get Sulabha Deshande dancing on the streets, Rajshri Despande ranting in an elevator, Manu Rishi jumping around in tree suit, and of course as mentioned Jugal Hansraj speaking out of a fishbowl.
The central pair is played by talented youngsters Yashaswini Dayama and Karanvir Malhotra whom we’ve seen in much better places. Here they go from gag to gag looking at the director for their next cue. Abhay Deol shows up after half an hour as an affable musician with Monica Dogra as his girlfriend, who steals the heroine Vivek’s song. Plagiarism is one thing we cannot accuse this film of. But originality per se is not a virtue. Not here at least.