Imagine a man who is vertically challenged. He is not ashamed of his shortcomings; rather he uses them as his strength. He falls in a love with a differently abled scientist, who suffers from cerebral palsy. Their life looks the perfect bond between two misfits. So sweet, no?
Give it to Bollywood, and you see a great concept ruined at the altar of clichéd treatment and the refusal to come out of the cocoon that some of the elite Bollywood stars have created for themselves. The movie is titled ‘Zero’, and the movie in itself is a complete justification of the title.
The Plot –
Directed by Aanand L Rai, ‘Zero’ is a love triangle that involves Bauua Singh, a dwarf residing in Meerut who happens to run a marriage bureau. He happens to see the photo of Aafia Yousufzai Bhinder, a wheelchair-bound scientist who suffers from cerebral palsy. Despite their shortcomings, both develop an unlikely relationship, until Bauua ditches Aafia for his dream girl, Babita Kumari, a famous movie star. When Babita ditches him, how Bauua reconciles with Aafia and creates a name for himself is the crux of the entire movie.
The Good –
To begin with, let’s be honest. Unlike his contemporaries, Shah Rukh Khan did not disappoint in ‘Zero’ when it comes to his own performance. He did impress people with his quirky tricks as the optimistic dwarf, Bauua Singh does strike a chord with the audience. Had it not been for his antics, ‘Zero’ would’ve become unbearable torture right from the beginning.
Apart from Shahrukh Khan, Anushka Sharma was great as the differently-abled scientist Aafia. Even though the way the writer penned the role for her was underwhelming, Anushka tried her best to full justice to her role. Tigmanshu Dhulia as the cantankerous father and Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub as the faithful sidekicks also did justice to their roles.
The Bad –
Had ‘Zero’ been centered completely in Meerut and on the antics of Bauua Singh with his family and Aafia, it would’ve been a massive hit. But sadly, it was not destined to be so. Most of the cameos in the movie had neither any relevance nor did it they serve any fruitful purpose to the movie. Even the cameo of the deceased superstar Sridevi, which attempted to invoke nostalgia amongst the viewers, failed to achieve the intended purpose.
To make matters worse, shoddy execution and editing of the movie made ‘Zero’ a bizarre film. Both halves looked completely out of synchronization, thanks to the incoherent pacing of the movie. If Katrina Kaif surprised people with her acting in ‘Thugs of Hindostan’, she did the exact opposite in ‘Zero’. Not only did the name Babita Kumari look ridiculous on her, she was another factor that made ‘Zero’ close to unbearable. It thus makes me curious as to how the critics are praising her, even when her performance is not praiseworthy at all.
The Ugly –
However, the one thing that made ‘Zero’ literally unbearable was its complete contempt for logic. The second half was not only unbearable, it was also tortuous. From a sweet love story to a complicated love triangle, to Bauua vying for a trip to Mars, the logic in ‘Zero’ will make you scratch your heads in confusion and wonder if Rohit Shetty or Sajid Khan possessed the directed the second half. If ‘Interstellar’ had a cheap cousin, ‘Zero’ would have been a top contender.
All in all, ‘Zero’ is a classic example of how good concepts are ruined in Bollywood, thanks to the ego of superstars and clichéd treatment to the subject. My honest rating is 1.5/5 stars.
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