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Zero : Theatre of the Absurd!

In one of the scenes from the movie “Zero”, the dwarf Bauua Singh played by Shah Rukh Khan challenges the Anoushka Sharma character Aafiya (who has cerebral palsy) to come out of her chair and pick up a pen in front of a press gathering. She responds and takes up the challenge and somehow picks it up and rejoices. This is meant to be a serious scene where two physically challenged characters have a connection to each other. But what ends up playing on the big screen is hilarious and ridiculously dumbfounded.

This post is aimed at giving a review of the year’s most awaited film starring (King ie..thats what he likes to call himself….Shahrukh Khan), Anushka Sharma and Katrina Kaif. The movie has been helmed by writer Himanshu Sharma and Directed by Anand L Rai (Tanu Weds Manu series, Raanjhana, Happy Bhaag Jayegi).

Zero : The film

“Zero” is a story about Bauua Singh who is a dwarf and lives in the small town of Meerut and has major issues in life because of his small height. He hangs around with his friends does nothing much in life except feeding on his father’s money and dreaming of meeting his favorite actress Babita Singh (Katrina Kaif). But he then stumbles upon the CV of Aafiya Yousufzai (Anushka Sharma) at a matrimonial consultant’s office in Delhi. He falls in love with her despite she being a patient of cerebral palsy. They both are about to get married and he ditches her to be with Babita in Mumbai and then after being with her, he goes to USA and then ultimately to Mars. I have no idea if Himanshu Sharma wrote this story in the first place.

“Zero” storyline:-

It may be well argued that a human story can morph into a sci-fi fantasy with no logic in sight. For Eg. “2.0” was low on its story’s logic of a cellphone coated bird attacking Chennai but the film took time to explain the evolution of Pakshi Rajan into a paranormal villain by getting into his psyche and his perspective on conservation of birds. But Zero doesn’t do anything to explain its plot. Everything is just there with no logic or perspective. Eg. Will a cerebral palsy patient who has discovered water on Mars will be peddling her resume for marriage at a non descriptive bureau in Delhi. Will a vertically challenged non educated middle aged fellow is physically capable to go to Mars? Why a chimpanzee will accompany him? Why a bevy of superstar actors make a dozen cameos without any rhyme or reason when they are not needed in the story. Who is funding millions of Rupees for Bauua most of the time when he is jobless? These points clearly prove that this film never really had a full script and not enough research was done. The first half of the film which is set in Meerut is tolerable as it gathers momentum from the colorful small town feel of the Hindi heartland. A Bad story doesn’t spare the best of directors and Rai here gets the axe!

SRK’s image and its fatigue

Lately, Shahrukh Khan has been involved more in TV commercials and other business ventures. He is hardly seen in films. With the exception of “Dear Zindagi”, he hasn’t acted in any defining film. His obsession of playing the leading romantic guy and run around trees has gone out of steam. His choices of “When Harry Met Sejal”, “Fan” didn’t really help him. The box office quotient of SRK is dwindling over the past few years. Unlike Salman Khan, Aamir Khan who do largely films for a living, SRK is a muti faceted personality with various businesses. He still has a huge fan base but they remember him only for his past films. But he doesn’t bank on his talent of acting any more. He has roped in a dozen plus actors in “Zero” to make guest appearances for no reason. It looks like in all his films, the entire industry does unionization of sorts. A good example of an actor evolving is Akshay Kumar who from doing stunts and beating bad guys has proven his mettle as an actor in “Padman”, “Jolly LLB”, “Rustom” etc. Khan seems to be stuck in his “Yashraj Films” boy hero image. His movies make 200 crores in revenue but on a 120 crore budget so the investor community doesn’t see much in his box office dependability. SRK has to evolve and choose better stories which don’t glorify his cult status (something which he harps upon in every film he produces and is obsessed with it) but brings the actor out in him. He does TED talks and fashions himself as a leader of the liberated population. And then he invests, promotes and acts in poor storytelling...Why????

“Zero” Performances

SRK leads the pack with a spirited performance but turns up in his under garments every 15 minutes for some scientific reason I assume. He does exude some charm when he does the romantic songs. Anushka Sharma as Afia Yousufzai ( a Malala cousin) is the biggest washout of the story. Everytime she comes on screen, I tend to cringe and I actually went out for a coffee when she does “picking up the pen” challenge. Her mannerisms almost makes fun of cerebral palsy. She was bad in “Sanju” but here she reaches a whole new level of absurdity.

Sharma is the epitome of ridiculous and she could have been avoided. Her performance is so bad that it makes Katrina Kaif looks like Meryl Streep who gives a decent portrayal of a jilted actress in Bollywood. The best performances stay with people who don’t have much screen time such as Brijendra Kala, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Sheeba Chadha and Mohammed Zeeshan.

Final Verdict for Zero

It’s a bad film….Period. Go only if you have to! I give this monumental mess a 3 out of 10.

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