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Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Zero Movie Review: Shah Rukh Khan’s Voyage from Mohabbat to Mars

Zero has released and marks the return of Jab Tak Hai Jaan trio SRK-Anushka-Katrina together on the big screen.

The film narrates the story of Bauua Singh (Shah Rukh Khan), a short man from Meerut who, after difficulty, finds a companion in Aafia Bhinder (Anushka Sharma), a NASA scientist with cerebral palsy.

However, leading superstar Babita Kumari (Katrina Kaif) also gets close to him, testing his first relationship.

This love triangle takes them to far-off cities and thrusts Bauua on an adventure to discover both his true love and completeness in a life lived to the fullest.

Filme Shilmy reviews the Aanand L Rai film. 

Interesting and novel concept

Firstly, the concept itself is promising. Unlike every other Bollywood Masala love-story, all three characters have some kind of weakness.

Bauua is of small-height, Aafia has cerebral palsy and Babita suffers from alcoholism due to heartbreak.

It’s interesting to see how all the characters are not perfect and how love develops between them.

Furthermore, it is interesting to see the space backdrop… Something which has not been seen much in Bollywood.

There are many novelties that if they worked, could have made this film iconic.

Aanand L Rai’s filmmaking traits are visible yet again in Zero: A small-town-guy, vivacious/carefree female character, a good soundtrack and a Holi sequence.

However, does this film rank amongst his best works? Definitely not. But it’s not solely his fault. The culprit here is the flawed script and it lets the movie down… Majorly.

What’s wrong?

There are so many parts in the film that have plot holes and some even seem to have been borrowed from prior films like Om Shanti Om.

In the second half, we see a plethora of Bollywood stars including Kajol, Juhi Chawla, Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt and the late Sridevi – which really isn’t necessary.

Also, Bauua’s realisation of his real love should’ve been more developed. It happens so quickly, rather than it being convoluted.

The Issaqbaazi song is so extra. Bauua has to compete with Remo D’Souza and Ganesh Acharya and is judged by Salman Khan… One wonders which reality show this actually happens in?

Zero’s narrative seems far-fetched and overdramatic in certain places… It makes us think ‘would this happen if this wasn’t a Shah Rukh Khan film’?

Yes, agreed that this mainstream/commercial Bollywood movies are about escapism and can often be far-fetched, but should quality and logic be compromised? Perhaps not.

The second-half especially just spirals things downwards – which is quite a shame because the first half is quite entertaining. 

Good performances

Thankfully, the performances do not disappoint.

Shah Rukh Khan is his usual best and the film has his name written all over it. When it comes to romance, he is unbeatable.

A special mention goes to the VFX team and the effort in making Bauua Singh.

Anushka Sharma impresses once again. To play a character who suffers from a physical impairment is not at all an easy task, but she does it well.

Her chemistry with Shah Rukh works very well.

Katrina Kaif is a surprise package. Though seen briefly, her performance is dynamite.

In fact, it would not be wrong to say that Zero for Katrina is what Cocktail was for Deepika.

In supporting roles, Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub, R Madhavan, Sheeba Chadha and Abhay Deol (in a brief role) are satisfactory.

Final Word

On the whole, Zero tries to be different by the novel and interesting concept. But unfortunately, a faulty script and far-fetched storyline bring the film down.

If anything, Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma’s performances make the film watchable.

⭐⭐ (2/5 stars)

Anuj Radia
Journalist and film enthusiast.

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