Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Anushka Sharma, Katrina Kaif, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Abhay Deol, R Madhavan, Sheeba Chaddha, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub
Director: Aanand L Rai
Finally wait is over, as Shah Rukh Khan’s Zero hit the screens today. Fans have waited for the film ever since SRK”s character was first revealed.
Directed by Aanand L Rai, Zero has Shah Rukh Khan playing a dwarf, Bauua Singh. The film also stars Anushka Sharma and Katrina Kaif. While Anushka is essaying the character of a NASA scientist with cerebral palsy, Katrina plays the role of Babita, an actress, who is struggling with alcoholism and insecurity.
However, Zero has not been getting favourable reviews. While most agree that SRK, Katrina and Anushka have worked hard to essay their characters well on screen, they say that Zero lacks content and originality.
Bauaa Singh (Shah Rukh Khan), a vertically challenged 38-year-old man in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut, likes to see himself as a cowboy in recurring dreams. Bauaa’s father Ashok is almost always the enemy in them. Bauaa shuts up Ashok while speaking French and flashing guns. Apparently, this is because of Bauaa’s subconsciously channelled anger towards his father—Bauaa blames Ashok for his short height. At one point, he says it has happened because his father chews ‘gutakha.’
And so begins a series of absurd encounters between Bauaa and the scientist, Aafia (Anushka Sharma). We are told she is half-Afghan, half-Punjabi, and has a never say die attitude. Her love story, for the lack of better word, with Bauaa involves another dimension—a broken film star Babita Kumari (Katrina Kaif). Bauaa manages to get in the good books of Babita only to be torn between the two. At least, this is what Rai’s intentions look like.
Some critics have said that SRK is just the same as he is in every other film, except this time he is playing a dwarf. The storyline might be inspiring, but it hasn’t gotten the treatment that it deserves. The execution is said to be poorly done. Even special cameos and lukewarm liners cannot save the film from doom.
Shubhra Gupta from Indian Express said, “The trouble with Zero is not just that the mini-me SRK is just SRK minus the inches. Every twitch is familiar: the tousled hair, commonplace air, the regular joe who wears kachcha-banian.
“The bigger trouble is that the film doesn’t quite know what to do with its characters once it has them. The writing is all over the place, and everything is so choppy, that the characters all appear to float in their own bubbles, without any palpable connection with each other.”
Shah Rukh cannot be faulted. He gives his hundred per cent to liven up Zero, but for a film running on empty that is only a zero-sum game. Anushka contorts her face and angles her lips to deliver her lines – Full marks to her for effort. Katrina, who inevitably makes her entry with an item number, tries her best to convey the angst of a public figure whose life is a series of mishaps.
Zero, riding on SRK’s back, reaches for the stars. But its astral ambitions are thwarted by a lack of imagination and genuine understanding of the minds of people struggling to ward off undeserved ridicule and earn rightful recognition. But whoever expects such niceties from a movie that rarely rises above the level of unalloyed bilge?