Zero, a film by Aanand L Rai, was certainly one of the awaited films of the year. This film has attracted negative feedback from most of the critics, whereas, I felt the film deserved a better viewership and feedback. Any film, especially our Indian film, has its major ingredients in terms of theme, plot, screenplay, dialogues, emotions, music, visuals, direction, mode of story-telling, character sketching of the lead protagonists as well as other characters and most importantly the actors associated with the film and their portrayal of characters. Let me speak first about what does not work in the favour of the film – it is probably the fact that certain aspects of story seem unreal, not so logical and practical. Barring this, there are so many other factors which actually work in favour of the film. First of all, Shahrukh’s energy, magic and charm are incredible. He infuses life into his character Bauvva Singh. Anushka projects her character with utmost sincerity. Katrina’s screen space is less but one cannot deny her character’s contribution to the plot. Zero has its heart in place, emotions play in its real flavour. There is love, betrayal, ambition, heartbreaks, sacrifice, repentance etc. Music and humour in the film also have enough power to engage the audience. So, the film deserves a better viewership and rating.
Bauvva Singh (Shahrukh Khan) is a dwarf – 4.6 feet, who lives his life in Meerut with style. Bauvva is a movie buff and has a crush on the actress Babita (Katrina Kaif). He does not shy away from showering money on his friends Guddu (Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub) and gang when they read out the news of Babita’s breakup. The banter between father Ashok (Tigmanshu) and son generate add lot of humour. He looks up at the sky, counts from 10 to zero to turn stationery stars into shooting ones. Bauvva is now 38 year old bachelor looking for an alliance. Through his matchmaker, he does come across Aafia (Anushka), a NSAR scientist suffering from cerebral palsy. Bauvva is absolutely unsympathetic in his approach towards Aafia, right from the beginning. What happens, when two individuals fall in love, who are not normal as per the norms existing in and around our world? A space scientist falling in love with hardly a 10th grade Buavva and then the triangle with Babita in the scene, an alcoholic actress – the story unravels beyond this. The film wins here, since the plot does not succumb to any sympathy, the characters don’t fall prey to the victim trap even though they all are misfits in the world as per the norms.
How does the love between Bauvva and Aafia evolve? When and how does Babita’s character get weaved into the plot ? Yes, Bauvva chooses to come back to his love Aafia and then how the story evolves further ? The film has special appearances by Madhavan, Bobby Deol, Sheeba Chaddha, Brijendra Kala too and how they become part of the story? Watch the film to know all these.
The dialogues have the underlying tone of humour most of the time, yet breaking many set norms and notions. In one scene, where Bauvva wants to dance as well as make Aafia also dance, there he first demands for a Shammi or Rishi Kapoor’s number and then later demands: Play any damn Kapoor song, it will work. He takes a dig on his own dimples. Babita, an alcoholic actress, heartbroken in love, does comment that she being fair does not need any make up.
The film also dedicates Shahrukh’s stardom in a scene to his leading ladies, where they come together – Kajol, Juhi, Sridevi, Deepika, Alia etc. The song Issaqbaazi, where Shahrukh and Salman are in the same frame along with Remo D’souga and Ganesh Acharya, is entertaining. It has Shahrukh wearing a t-shirt with Katrina’s image in it has wordings like one saying that she is his need whereas the other claims that she is incomplete without him.
Zero has its heart in place with emotions playing in its real flavour. Shahrukh infuses life in Buavva Singh through his energy, magic and charm. Certain parts of the film seem unreal, but the emotions displayed are so real, be it love, ambition, betrayal, loyalty, repentance etc. How can it be a Zero? It certainly deserves a better viewership and review.
Rating: 3/5 (Good)