Directed by: #JunayedAlavi
Written by: #JunayedAlavi
There is something inherently enticing about any film that can get pulses racing. Thrillers can use shaky cam, a hammering drum soundtrack and imitate Jaws all they want – audiences have seen it all before. To really catch attention these days, there must be more at stake. We must feel and embody the characters we see. Odds makes an admirable attempt at reaching the high bar of modern thriller shorts like Brothers or Dream Girl, but falls short of its aims.
A young man (Shreyas Adhikari) becomes obsessive around odd and even numbers, after being taught that odd people can be found everywhere. He takes this to new extremes when he stalks out victims in broad daylight, brandishing a knife as he hunts them down. But unbeknownst to him, his actions are to have consequences that he could have never foreseen, as the ‘odd’ people start fighting back.
Odds is a competently directed and suitably delivered film. The film is at its best in moments of high tension as the protagonist stalks his victims, with fine camerawork and effective music choices. The film’s fight scene is particularly impressive, and gives director Junayed Alavi a chance to show off a well-choreographed and brutal brawl that would not seem out of place in a far longer film with a much higher budget. In such a short runtime (just under 8 minutes) the film does not seem rushed, and lands the technical aspects brilliantly.
However, we never really get any sense of who our characters are. The plot is barely legible, and acts really more as an outline for the director to shoot action scenes. None of the characters are given names, or any time to develop personality. There is only so much investment a viewer can make into characters with such little development, and the thrill and tension we feel we inevitably hit a low ceiling because of this regardless of how well-directed or performed the movie is. The cast do a fine job with what they have, but really a failure for the audience to form any sort of connection towards any of the characters is where the runtime hamstrings the film.
Odds shouldn’t be totally dismissed for lacking character development. It quickly establishes its themes and what little plot is required to jump straight to well-directed and stylish scenes of horror and violence. But do not expect it to leave too much of an impression. Director Junayed Alavi shows promise with this short, but even if he does not want to make Lawrence of Arabia, a little more time allotted would have given the film a chance to develop characters and become much more memorable.