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Opinion: Aanand L. Rai’s Zero is a brave and ambitious Love Fable but you need intelligence also to be brave.
Aanand L. Rai and Shah Rukh Khan’s Zero is an ambitious and brave love tale, I think they wanted to make a fantasy fable kind of romantic film which started with a good note too but then things started to falter. It is not that you can’t see the film, it is watchable and it is not formulaic also but the writing and direction are amateurish. Let’s start with the positives, despite all the shortcomings in the scripts Shah Rukh Khan as Bauaa Singh, a Dwarf keeps the film alive with his acting and charm. Even his character has minimal depth, still, Khan never ceases us to entertain. Despite a large section of the second half is a bore, he continued to shine. The only complaint I have from him is that; as an actor and producer please read the scripts nicely and tell your team to remove at least the visible flaws from the film. We have grown watching the films of Aamir, Shah Rukh, Salman, Akshay, and Ajay, we expect a lot from these guys. Shah, you deserve better scripts. Katrina Kaif as Babita Kumari is another highlight, maybe this is her best performance till date after Namastey London. The VFX is very good and I think all the money is invested in that only, the song Mere Naam Tu song is blissful. Some of the dialogues are sharp and funny uttered by Khan and Zeeshan Ayyub who plays Guddu, Bauaa’ best friend. Tigmanshu Dhulia as Bauaa’s father is very natural but he has nothing special to do. Some scenes are very good all because of Khan’s acting. The ambition of the idea and script is big but the execution in the screenplay and direction lets it down.
The first half of Zero is smooth, Aanand L. Rai brings the flavor of Meerut, for which he is known for, small town romcoms and then things became out of his control. A web or TV series or in fact a novel on the subject with better detailing would have been a thing to remember but when you make a commercial movie which is meant to entertain, then for being brave and ambitious you also need intelligence, logic, and sense. The film began as a romcom, then in the middle, it turned into an intense love triangle and ended up as a Sci-fi fantasy. It is not only the inconsistency in the genre, but the screenplay and writing of Himanshu Sharma in the second half also went for a toss. The Salman Khan song is really not needed, strangely Bauaa wins the dance competition to meet Babita Kumari without any competition and dancing skills, he spends money like a millionaire, and in the first half, there’s a scene where his father denies to give even five hundred rupees. Anushka Sharma overacts throughout the film and made fun of Cerebral Palsy, this her career’s worst performance, if you can’t prepare for tough roles then don’t take it. Many good scenes lost the required impact all because of her. Aanand L. Rai is good with low budget films but here with a huge investment and big superstar his direction loses control, Sharma’s character Aafia is unable to move legs, she can’t even nicely hold a pen and yet we can see her driving a car a couple of times, Mr. Rai how can you do this?
Abhay Deol and R. Madhavan are just there, Sridevi in her last silver screen appearance, Juhi, Kajol, Rani, Alia, and Deepika are also there, just there for no reason and yes editing of Hemal Kothari is unskillful. I would have ignored all the above if they have entertained me in a commercial entertainer but for around 40 minutes I was bored. An opportunity lost, still, go and watch Zero for Shah Rukh Khan and the idea of the subject at least once, entertainers are subjective, you might like it. I am going with 3 out of 5 stars.