Director: Anand L Rai
Producer: Gauri Khan
Cast: Shah Rukh Khan. Anushka Sharma, Katrina Kaif
Public Review: Zero
Zero takes you on a journey of love, friendship, pride and redemption with the vertically challenged Bauua Singh, physically challenged Aafia and the emotionally challenged Babita. Several ups and downs, plot twists, hysterical moments and just pure masala, Zero is the film that the audience had been waiting for.
Shah Rukh Khan plays the role of a dwarf, Bauaa Singh. The first half of the movie is amazing thanks to Shah Rukh Khan’s super energetic screen presence. The actor leaves no stone unturned when it comes to getting into the character of Bauaa Singh. Anushka’s performance is not upto the mark when it comes to the character of Aafia, scientist with cerebral palsy.
Coming to the synopsis of the movie, the second half of the movie leaves you without fulfilling your expectations. The other half part of the movie is tedious and boring.
The music of the movie again leaves your expectations unfulfilled. The songs of the movie do not match the level of what is expected out of a Shah Rukh Khan Starrer.
Director Anand L Rai is unable to deliver a power packed movie irrespective of excellent concept and excellent acting of main character of Bauaa Singh due to weak screenplay of the movie.
Critic Review- 2/5
It’s easy to see what the makers of Zero might have been going for – a story of three ‘damaged’ individuals, and how they end up healing each other. But that idea is buried under the weight of an overwrought screenplay that packs in much more than your patience can handle. By the time the second half kicks in, Zero feels like an entirely different film from the one we were promised.
Where’s the small-town, real world charm that has been the strong suit of this writer-director pair since Tanu Weds Manu? How did we land up at a space research facility in America? Why is this film competing with Om Shanti Om to set a record for maximum cameos? These and a dozen other questions were swimming in my head as the film hobbled towards its climax, clocking in at nearly 2 hours and 40 minutes. The problem isn’t just that the film is too long. It’s that there are so many scenes that are completely incoherent.
It’s a shame Zero comes undone, because the ambition and the effort is visible. Shah Rukh Khan is especially entertaining in the first half while the script stays on track. But in the end it feels as if the makers threw everything at the wall and decided to see what sticks. Unfortunately, very little does. I’m going with two out of five for Zero.
Critic Review- 2/5
The truth is that I’m still trying to understand Zero. The story begins in Meerut and somehow moves to Mars. It’s so bizarre and implausible and incoherent that I kept wondering if pages in the script went missing or too many scenes were slashed or if I’m just missing the point. There are so many ferociously talented people both in front of the camera and behind it, starting with director Aanand L. Rai, writer Himanshu Sharma and of course superstar Shah Rukh Khan. But I walked out, feeling like Dhritarashtra from the climax of Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro. I could only ask: yeh sab kya ho raha hai?
These characters are individually interesting – there’s enough material here for another film about Bauua’s fractious and superbly funny relationship with his dad, played nicely by Tigmanshu Dhulia, whom he calls by his name, Ashok. But the connective tissue between these people is so thin that the narrative starts to wobble precariously. Which leads to compensation through cameo – Salman Khan arrives to shake a leg. There’s a Bollywood party scene featuring a line of stunning leading ladies including the late Sridevi. But with each scene, we get further and further away from Aanand and Himanshu’s core talent, which is creating rooted worlds about real people, that are propelled by rich emotion. Eventually we end up at a space center in America where a gun, a chimpanzee and a baby occupy the same stage, and later, a character utters this classic line: According to you, chimpanzee ki family usse Mars nahin jaane de rahi hai.
Zero strains for sweep and scale. The visual language suggests a glamorous fairy tale. The VFX is convincing and I loved the Ajay-Atul ballad Mere Naam Tu. But the rest of this film left me stumped and eventually, sad. Because when artists take such ambitious creative risks, you are really rooting for them to succeed.
The actors trusted you Anand Rai, but your projection of the complex characters failed to evoke any empathy. Katrina Kaif is over the top and Anushka Sharma for the first time misses the mark. Shah Rukh Khan’s Bauua is spirited and spunky but poorly let down by the script!
You said your film was about the magic of incompleteness – but one saw just flashes of this- like when the stars at a mere count of numbers fall from the sky. And when they don’t, it is because the hero has broken a heart!
Dear Anand Rai you have broken many hearts with this film, mine included.
The Times Of India
A great concept needs an equally skillful execution, but not every good story gets the treatment it deserves. Zero has a story with an interesting and inspiring concept that doesn’t hold back with its outrageousness. This Meerut-to-Mars romance dabbles with ideas of science, interplanetary travel and closer to home, conventional themes like unrequited and undying love. In doing so, the film tries to put forth too many ideas and doesn’t quite do justice to any one. Some of the visuals and romantic moments are striking, but most of them disappear as quickly as a shooting star.
The ideas get a lot more audacious in the second half. Bauua’s love story travels to Mumbai for a fantastic tryst with Bollywood. It’s here that cameos of B-town’s stars surprise you and one of the obvious highlights being the coming together of the two Khans – Salman and Shah Rukh – in the song Issaqbaazi. Moving on, the story travels to the US and goes on a Mars-inspired mission, too. It’s here that the graph of the movie and the characters just does not add up. The writing by Himanshu Sharma, has its moments, but it does not translate into the larger-than-life love story that it aspires to be. It swiftly goes hurtling out of orbit and at 2 hours and 25 minutes, the film definitely feels too long drawn.
The good part is that director Aanand L Rai’s characters never let their physical challenges overpower their spirit and resilience. There’s no rocket science to the fact that Shah Rukh pulls off romantic moments and he does that here with charm and intensity. He is excellent as the short but charismatic Bauua in a story that relies highly on special effects. Katrina Kaif appears in a smaller part, but she totally impresses in the performance of a conflicted Bollywood star, who is also heartbroken. Sadly, while Anushka Sharma’s character had wonderful potential, the mannerisms employed by the actress to portray the handicap, don’t always look consistent or convincing.
Critic Review- 3/5
With Shah Rukh Khan films, these days its becoming more about what could have been than what we eventually get to see. There is that initial disruptive spark, that desire to disturb the universe that eventually peters down in the two-and-a-half-hour odd runtime to get safely bottled into the well worn and the long familiar. Do I then see the glass half empty or half full?
SRK’s latest Zero, which could have been that rare film about the insecurities, dreams and aspirations of imperfect people, their resistance to support even while searching for emotional anchors, their inability to connect with others because they haven’t quite bonded with themselves. It could have also been a fantastic opportunity to cut down to size the larger than life romantic persona of SRK, to bring his brand of love and longing down to the grassroots so to speak. I did see heartening glimpses of it in Zero—the ‘Mere Naam Tu’ song and dance on the wheelchair seemed to point at the possibility of love, leading to sex, for all and not just the able.
On the flip side, take the physical conditions of the leads—Bauua’s (SRK) dwarfism and Aafia’s (Anushka Sharma) cerebral palsy—away and the film ends up playing on the same old tired trope of commitment phobia. All encapsulted in the talk of koyal, ande, ghonsle—about the cuckoo laying its eggs in somebody else’s nest. It’s about a far too often seen transformation—in this case of Bauua, who always wants to run away but finally decides to stick it.