Rajeev Masand’s Review of Zero

Rajeev Masand’s Review of Zero

By Rajeev Masand22 December, 2018 3 min read
Rajeev Masand’s Review of Zero

Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif, Anushka Sharma, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Sheeba Chaddha, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub, R. Madhavan, Abhay Deol

Director: Anand L Rai

Early on in Zero the novelty and the curiosity of watching Shah Rukh Khan play a vertically challenged fellow wear off…much to the film’s advantage. Bauua Singh of Meerut is all of four feet and six inches – we get it. But admirably Bauua doesn’t indulge in self-pity, and the filmmakers don’t make a play for your sympathy.

Bauua, in fact, is cocky, motor-mouthed, and charming in a rough-around-the-edges sort of way. He may be short in height, but he’s seldom short of confidence. It’s a great character, and in the hands of director Anand L Rai, writer Himanshu Sharma, and Shah Rukh himself, Zero opens with promise. They set up an authentic, textured world with characters that feel real. Bauua’s parents (Tigmanshu Dhulia and Sheeba Chaddha) are fed up of his wastrel lifestyle, never holding back for fear of hurting his feelings. His best friend (Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub) meanwhile worships the ground he walks on.

The film switches gears when Bauua meets and falls for Anushka Sharma’s character Afiya, a brilliant scientist with cerebral palsy who’s confined to a wheelchair. Their meet-cute is a series of incidents where he refers to her as a “kati patang”, says things like “inse hilne ke alawa hota kya hai”, and in a moment straight out of a Farrelly Brothers-style black comedy he challenges her to lift a pen off the floor.

It made me question whether making jokes about someone’s disability is ok if the person making the joke is disabled or differently abled himself. The answer, I suppose, is in the fact that Afiya falls for him too despite his coarse manners.

Anushka, who can usually be trusted to deliver a competent performance, strains to portray Afiya’s condition convincingly. I don’t claim to be an expert on palsy but the acting is awkward and seldom consistent, and watching it made me cringe. Katrina Kaif does a lot better in the film’s other key role, playing Babita Kumari, a superstar actress whom Bauua has adored on screen for years. When we meet her, Babita has had her heart broken, and as a result she’s angry, permanently intoxicated, and, believe it or not, prone to kissing strangers on the highway. Katrina really gets into the part, bringing Babita’s pain and cynicism to the surface in a nicely realized performance.

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 are 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.

Rating: 2 / 5

Rajeev Masand
Written by

Rajeev Masand

Trending articles

10 Movies That Prove Kerala Is God’s Own Country Indeed

10 Movies That Prove Kerala Is God’s Own Country Indeed

While talking about Kerala, if the greenery, pristine beaches, vast backwaters, houseboats and cheerful natives do not come to your mind, you don’t know the state well enough. With its natural beauty, Kerala has stolen the hearts of tourists and filmmakers alike. There have been plenty of movies that showcased the exotic beauty of Kerala and we are truly thankful to the filmmakers for making the state their muse. On World Nature Day, le’ts take a look at 10 such movies that highlighted the natural beauty of Kerala.
By Devisree Jayakumari 2 min read
The Olympics Got You Pumped? Watch These Top-Rated Sports Movies
Movie Listicle

The Olympics Got You Pumped? Watch These Top-Rated Sports Movies

The Indian film industries, from Bollywood to Tollywood, have produced many superb sports movies. Not all are about cricket, thankfully. Here’s our top ten list of sports films. You can stream these movies online and if you have already watched them, don’t forget to add your own rating and review for the film by clicking on “Rate”.
By Delnaz Divecha 3 min read
Shershaah Trailer Launch: Sidharth Malhotra, Kiara Advani launch Captain Vikram Batra biopic on Kargil Vijay Diwas

Shershaah Trailer Launch: Sidharth Malhotra, Kiara Advani launch Captain Vikram Batra biopic on Kargil Vijay Diwas

On the momentous day of Kargil Vijay Diwas, Amazon Prime Video launched the trailer of a very special film – Amazon Original Movie Shershaah.
By Bollywood Hungama < 1 min read
See more articles
Privacy Note
By using www.bookmyshow.com(our website), you are fully accepting the Privacy Policy available at https://bookmyshow.com/privacy governing your access to Bookmyshow and provision of services by Bookmyshow to you. If you do not accept terms mentioned in the Privacy Policy, you must not share any of your personal information and immediately exit Bookmyshow.
List your Show
Got a show, event, activity or a great experience? Partner with us & get listed on BookMyShow
Contact today!
Copyright 2021 © Bigtree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
The content and images used on this site are copyright protected and copyrights vests with the respective owners. The usage of the content and images on this website is intended to promote the works and no endorsement of the artist shall be implied. Unauthorized use is prohibited and punishable by law.