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Berlinale Co-Production Market
The Odds

Not available for screening anymore

The Odds

Directed by Megha Ramaswamy

  • India 2019; 97 min
  • Genre: Drama

  • From the director of RESHMA SHERA presented at Berlinale Co-Production Market

Synopsis

A high-spirited teenager, Vivek 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 and playing truant from an important exam day.
Things take a turn from mundane to magical as the story unravels events from the past, present and future in the lives of these two misfits and the accidental fairytale they are meant to tell.
Set in a whimsical version of Mumbai and peopled with characters and incidences personifying the title, THE ODDS is an honest, often hilarious and rapt exploration of growing up in contemporary India devoid of its cultural specificities.

Director's Statement

Growing up as a teenager in 90s’ India, I always found it hard to find relatable strong, young women characters in cinema. As an adult, observing via a worldview, I realized the normalcy of being raised here has always if not often been reduced to a rude cultural stereotype, a trope that I found defined & limited the way the world sees us. These thoughts obviously nag me & I’m glad I could use them as a foundation for THE ODDS.
The story of THE ODDS is not agenda-based but makes a heartfelt & innocent commentary on the state of gender & the complexities of love & social disaffection, as we gather from the main characters in the film unknowingly confiding in each other.
In a populist culture in India, we usually see teenagers (girls, in particular) hyper-sexualised, dancing at typical wedding setups, or preoccupied with matters of matrimony & forever-afters.
There is rarely a showcase of younger people from the big city’s in India having a natural love & flare for music, writing, rhyme & reason that could divert from our unavoidable Bollywood influence, without patronizing or condescending the sincere intentions of being a teenager & attending high school. All this in unaffected “Indian English” which is indeed possible & coherent!
This diversity in characterization, I strongly believe, is crucial if we wish to create strong role models for younger people through cinema for the world to understand & see.
The treatment of THE ODDS, thus, is in keeping with the thought.
It engages with young people’s worlds & their everyday concerns, from ambition to art, gender, & even untypical love.
However, the film does so without making their world seem too bleak & dark; both visually & in a story form - it reflects the spirit of youth with all its confusion, imagination, magic & most importantly hope - that’s is neither romantic or defined by the constitution of any relationship in particular.

Production

  • FILM KARAVAN

    Megha Ramaswamy