Zero Movie Review 2018: The Rocket That Misfires

Zero Movie Review 2018: The Rocket That Misfires

Movie Name
Aanand L. Rai
Drama, Romance
02 hours 44 minutes

Zero Review

Sometimes, after watching a film, you wonder what was the story and screenplay that was narrated to a huge actor like Shah Rukh Khan for him to have come on board?

Director Aanand L Rai's Zero is one such film where you scratch your head and ponder over what he wanted to say or what attracted Shah Rukh Khan to the role of Bauaa Singh. Was it only the fascination of playing a dwarf?

Typically, Aanand Rai is most at home when he's in a small town where Bauaa is a cheeky guy who pretty much does nothing except get on his father's nerves and fritter away his money. He calls his father by his name Ashok. There's a bit of fun and frolic out there with Bauaa and his friends and his major crush on film star Babita Kumari.

The good part is that Bauaa is not a self-pitying, vertically-challenged midget. He carries himself with the swagger of a hero and much self-belief which is such a relief.

When he meets wheelchair-bound Aafiya Yusufzai who's a brilliant scientist, she too states at one juncture that it's so refreshing to meet someone who doesn't treat her differently.

It's interesting that there's something flawed in all the major characters. Bauaa Singh has to live with the height he was born with. Aafiya has her physical disability and Babita Kumari is an emotional wreck. And it is a different sort of triangle that had immense potential.

But unfortunately, Himanshu Sharma's writing is flawed too. Where he leads the three characters is literally out of this world and that's not to be taken as a compliment. There are only a couple of lines that are funny. Like Bauaa asking the women who're rubbing him with haldi, ghisghis ke ek foot kamkar doge kya? Another is when he invites his friend to America who eagerly says, ‘You can get a US visa for a Muslim? Then of course I'll come'.

What's also subtly woven in are several religions without hammering home any differences. Aafiya for instance strangely has a Sikh father.

Shah Rukh as the slightly badtameez Bauaa who refuses to let his height depress him is always good at fun, dance, romance and a hint of a tear in the eye. But along with the dimples, come age-revealing creases too.

Anushka Sharma is valiant as the challenged Aafiya and it's just her face that does a splendid range of work.

Katrina Kaif has, well, the presence of a film star.

A galaxy of celebrities including the late Sridevi make a party scene engaging.

But with Bauaa fetching up in America and a space training programme, the plot literally lands on Mars. There are too many holes in the logic too. Why would a dwarf's father tell his son's father-in-law to sell tickets and turn him into an object of ridicule?

Where did Bauaa get that kind of money to splurge on business class tickets and throw money around in America? Especially after he's run away from home?

Disclaimer: We are proud that LehrenTV reviewer Bharathi S Pradhan has been appointed an advisory member of the prestigious CBFC. However, her reviews reflect her personal appraisal of a film and do not in any way speak on behalf of the Censor Board.


  • Dialogues
  • Story
  • Music
  • Screen Play

The Verdict

For sure, Aanand Rai directs every scene with polish and emotion. And he has challenged himself to move out of his comfort zone. But overlong and after a point, pretty pointless, it’s a challenge to stop squirming.

For a romantic entertainer that aborts in mid-flight, Zero gets a 2.5* rating.


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