22 Dec 2018
Shah Rukh Khan eclipsing Bauua Singh is Zero's biggest failure
Zero was announced almost two years ago, so one can only imagine the anticipation around the movie.
That the superstar who spreads arms and makes us fall in love was playing a dwarf, added to the excitement.
But for all its hoopla and promises, Aanand L. Rai's Zero loses plot so soon that it seems like a bad investment of time.
Shah Rukh Khan is to be equally blamed.
WARNING: If you haven't seen the movie, this post has spoilers.
Bauua Singh isn't remotely close to how he was publicized
The title of the ambitious project was released amid much fanfare. We were introduced to Bauua Singh dancing to a hit Bollywood number.
The trailer, which released on King Khan's birthday, further proved that Bauua is not a character we see often. Our hopes scaled heights, but the movie threw us into oceanic depths.
Bauua is essentially SRK in every movie ever, a fact which couldn't be overshadowed by his dwarfism.
Bauua's relationships with his friend and father, stand out
Bauua hails from Meerut, his friend Guddu (played by Zeeshan Ayyub) fans his ego and his father Ashok (essayed by Tigmanshu Dhulia) puts him in his place.
So far so good? So I thought. Till the interval, the story focuses on establishing Bauua's flaws, his despise for all Gods and his over-the-top way of expressing love.
Coupled with a small-town feel, Bauua seemed admirable.
Extravagance doesn't work if story lacks soul
While the first half wasn't perfect, the second half was unbearable. In an attempt to atone for his actions, Bauua does unimaginable things, like signing up for a space program.
From Uttar Pradesh, Zero goes into another universe and the disconnect is clearly visible.
While fans can forgive the completely unnecessary plot of Babita Kumari, the space angle was too much, even by Bollywood standards.
Bauua is a cocktail of SRK's characters, and that's bad
It is Bauua's extravagant actions that make him more SRK, less himself. And for Zero it turns out to be a bane.
We have seen Veer spend 22 years for Zaara in prison, have witnessed Raj cross oceans to get Simran's father's approval and even seen Mohan quit the job at NASA for his Swades.
Bauua's actions serve as a reminder, offer nothing new.
The patience runs out in the second half
As the movie nears its end, one can't make out how Bauua is different from all the times when SRK played the resolute romantic.
Bauua screams SRK's mannerisms, from the way he walks to cries and even takes a bath.
We have seen this so many times in the last 25 years, that the only emotion which is prompted is boredom. Nothing else.
Playing vertically-challenged Bauua wasn't an 'experiment', wish SRK knew this
In AIB's podcast, SRK said the next time someone says he doesn't experiment, he would lose his cool. He said he was playing a dwarf in the next movie, for saying out loud.
As someone who has been a long-standing fan of King Khan, I knew he was right. He was putting his best even when his stardom is unquestionable.
But probably SRK forgot, playing a vertically-challenged character which was basically a mixture of all his previous roles, doesn't define 'different'.
How the actor and director failed to see this is a question which needs pondering.
In case you were wondering, here's how much 'Zero' earned
The movie, which also features Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma, earned Rs. 20.14 crore. It released across 4,380 screens, which shows the movie underperformed. The poor reviews mean the collections would take a hit, not something the makers would have hoped for.