21 Dec 2018 14:49 IST
Aanand L Rai's love story of two flawed individuals is clouded by too many lofty ideas and scenes.
Aanand L Rai's Zero is an exciting idea on paper and he goes the whole hog with an outlandish romance, turning it into a grand circus on screen that includes three big stars in the lead, good actors wasted in small parts, a mission to Mars, tons of star cameos (including Abhay Deol and R Madhavan) and last, but not the least, a chimpanzee.
Zero is the story of a bratty dwarf, Bauua Singh (Shah Rukh Khan), who makes up for what he lacks in height with brashness and devil-may-care attitude. Perhaps he's been mocked far too often for being the shortest man in the room. But his dreams are big.
Afia Yusoufzai Bhinder (Anushka Sharma), a scientist, who makes up for her cerebral palsy with her intelligence, falls hard for Bauua Singh when he doesn't treat her with the extra polite pity smiles she gets from most people.
Bauua serenades Afia in quintessential Shah Rukh Khan style to Ajay-Atul's swooning score, with open arms and lots of colour, flowers and rain machines.
While he does all this to get Afia's attention and some sex, Bauua is not one to be tied down as he himself puts it he is a koel who always lays eggs in other's nest and never builds his own.
Bauua's journey takes him into the life of superstar Babita Kumari (Katrina Kaif), and Mumbai's film industry. He is crazy about Babita Kumari. But soon discovers his true feelings for Afia.
It's post this that the already illogical sequences turn into an outlandish romantic story as a mission to Mars, a chimpanzee, a baby and a fiancé come into the picture.
While Sharma's speech and lip movement are inconsistent, she gets full marks for her effort. The actress infuses her character with the right mix of hurt and self-respect, with her eyes doing a lot of the talking.
Katrina Kaif has rarely been this good. Playing a fictionalised version of herself - a movie star nursing a broken heart after a certain 'Kapoor' breaks her heart, Kaif comes as a complete surprise. She is spot on as a sneering and cynical celebrity who forms an empathetic relationship with an obnoxious Bauua.
Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub as Bauua's loyal friend and Tigmanshu Dhulia as a father tired of his son's antics do their best with the little screen space they have been given.
Bauua Singh is the most flawed character of the lot, but Shah Rukh Khan, with his earnestness and charm, makes you like him. But the visual effects, often inconsistent in showing Khan's proportion to other character, that make Khan look pint-sized, are often distracting. At the end of the day though, no matter what the height, Khan is still doing the same things that he does with his other characters, make them larger than life.
When Khan counts down to zero and makes the stars fall at a flick of a finger, you believe that love can be magical. Unfortunately for him, he is in the middle of an outlandish love story written by Himanshu Sharma. Too many elements cloud the core magic that a tale of two physically and mentally flawed individuals finding true love could have had.
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