When something like a ‘Sultan’ meets a film like an ‘Aae Dil hai Mushkil’ where the only unique elements are the climax and Shah Rukh Khan’s character, a movie like ‘Zero’ is born. Anand L. Rai knows how to craft stories emerging in small towns and the wry humour which comes with it. This film is no different in the first half. Witty dialogues, a bit of slapstick here and there and a well shot love song, the film is a little more than bearable in the first half. The second half makes you restless and increases your urge to go and grab a tub of popcorn. Logic goes for a toss in Zero. Suspension of Disbelief and Magic Realism is not something new to Bollywood just like it’s sloppy execution. Realism for me is one of the most important things in cinema and it becomes extremely important for a film to be true and honest to it’s time, place and the environment it is set in, unfortunately Zero fails to do that.
Speaking of the characters and the acting, Khan has played the role of a Dwarf who is from a small town called Meerut, Anushka Sharma is a world renowned scientist having cerebral palsy and Katrina Kaif plays the role of an actress who is completely broken after a break up. Shah Rukh Khan nails the physicality and I also feel he does justice to his character but I never got a glimpse into the mind of the character because the film never really shows his struggle and Shah Rukh Khan plays the character the way he does in his every other romantic film. Anushka Sharma seems grotesque in parts and her acting lacks consistency. Katrina Kaif does what she was asked to do and it would not be wrong to say that it is one of her better acting performances.
The weakest element of the film is the story and the screenplay. When I came out of the theatres I was absolutely confused as to what the film wanted to say. If the film was about the journey of a Dwarf from Mars to Meerut and propagated the message of ‘Do not Give Up’ then the entire portion of Katrina Kaif felt a little unnecessary and long. The duration could have been cut down tremendously.
The film does try to go where many Indian films refrain from going but experimentation can just be appreciated for a good try but unfortunately it does not mean a good film. Zero is borderline disappointing from a director who has made much better films and told genuine and honest stories.