Even a brilliant performance by SRK isn’t able to save a poorly written film

You thought King Khan couldn’t stoop the level further down after Happy New Year or Chennai Express or Jab Harry Met Sejal? Well, pichchar abhi baki hai mere dost. No kidding- its really difficult to imagine a star of such stature and an actor of such high potential coming out with something so frivolous. That too when he himself is great as an actor in the film. Zero makes you ask with great thought- why was this film even made? Also, its hard to come to terms with the fact that it comes from the man who’s given Tanu Weds Manu, Tanu Weds Manu Returns, and Raanjhana.  You’ll come out of theatres and remain in a constant state of shock and upset with what you just watched, that too from people who are otherwise regarded so highly.

Zero, hindi, film, review
Shahrukh Khan with director Aanand L Rai (image source:

Vertically challenged Bauua Singh (Shahrukh Khan) hails from Meerut in U.P. state. Witty and ever smiling, 38 years old Bauua is desperate to get married. Seeing her picture one day in a matrimonial office where he has tied up, he falls in love with Aafia Bhinder (Anushka Sharma), a scientist with cerebral palsy. Enter extremely popular film actress Babita Kumari (Katrina Kaif), who Bauua is a die-hard fan of, changing Bauua’s course of actions.



The film begins on a high note. Just 10 mins into the film and you find yourself amused and happy at what is shown. Its infact a very good beginning promising to be upright and worthy of all the hype created so far.

But before you even know, things start to loosen. And they do so quickly that you find yourself caught amid a bog where you keep sinking with no way to come out. Even before you reach the interval, you are so fed up that you wish to leave the theaters right there. But you stay for two reasons- 1) You have invested money 2) Hope. But after the film is over, you curse yourself for clenching onto hope when the film warned you once.

Zero, review, film, hindi
Behind the scenes of the film (image source:

The writer Himanshu Sharma should let the audience know which 1st grader kid did he employ in writing the story. While Aanand L Rai is known as a master of playing complex emotions through subtle portrayal, he doesn’t even get close. In fact for the love you have for Rai, you should refuse to believe its a film directed by Rai. You tell the story to someone and it’ll put them off. The screenplay too is so shoddy that it seems its written by an angry soul who hates films in general.

What is good is SRK’s face. Had the face not been up there, we bet you wouldn’t have been able to sit through. He is so good as an actor that even when you dislike the film to highest degree, you would be all praises for the man for how he acts. You are also left disappointed at the physical attributes given to two of the leads. While it should have had a greater meaning in the narrative and cinematic frame, it is reduced to a mere stylistic approach majorly to bring visual variety and coming close to delivering the message. The space programme angle and the entire mission to Mars is the icing on the cake where things get one step further worse, at a time when you are already waiting for the film to end. You are suffocated to the core. 

Not only are the lead characters lousy and painful, even the supporting characters have nothing to convey to the plot. Here’s what has happened- brilliant actors were called one day informing them that they would be wasted.


Shah Rukh Khan is a sure-shot winner in this one. It’s a film that brings forth SRK- the actor, the performer, the charmer, and the star- all in one. Not letting go of his character in even one frame, he is humorous, outspoken, flamboyant, vibrant, saddened, reticent- with a balanced mix of all. Even those who don’t like him, it will be a delight to watch him. But all in vain, literally. 

Zero, review, film, hindi
Shahrukh Khan, Anushka Sharma, Katrina Kaif on sets (image source:
Anushka Sharma as a scientist is very good and you definitely see her growth as an actor. But she is reduced to being a caricature in an overly cringeworthy plot. She is fake too, at many junctures.
Katrina Kaif unlike some of her past films, has a nuanced role. And give it to her, she has performed well. She fits the role, even more than the others. But again, you left distressed. 
Tigmanshu Dhulia, Sheeba Chadha, and especially Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub are plain wasted. Its sad.

Ajay-Atul’s music goes well the feel of the film making it a justified album. The songs go well with the plot. Background score however could have been toned down in sequences involving high end drama. High pitch and frequency sound only accentuates the dramatic angles, not actually required. 

Manu Anand’s camera is lustrous, but only in fewer sequences. Some shots are extremely exquisite and cinematic giving you a worthwhile experience but some are so plain and dull that you feel you could have done better without any knowledge of filmmaking.

Hemal Kothari’s editing is routine. Needless to say, there is no extravagant highs and lows, and its a linear structure. Nothing great.

Wasiq Khan’s production design is quite regular. The sets have been installed with minimal effort it seems. Give it to the VFX team for the ‘forced perspective’ technology. Hats off to the amazing presentation, especially of the dwarf SRK plays.

Even with technical status reasonably achieved, the film fails to give you even one scene worth remembering.

With great hype around, Zero is sure to fetch souls to the theatres but probably not a single zero after numerics at the box office. What happened with Imtiaz Ali with SRK shaking hands with him, is evidently repeated here. Whether or not it is true, even with the slightest hint that star power comes in the way of creativity, as an audience and lover of cinema, you are deeply grieved for what’s become the fate of cinema with this film. The film must be watched ONLY to see and feel Shahrukh’s performance. If you expect more, you’ll be responsible for the damage.

Rochak Saxena

Rochak Saxena a Mass Media Teacher, former journalist at DNA and an ardent lover of Hindi films - literally. The blog derives its name from the popular term ‘Willing Suspension of Disbelief’, most commonly used in the world of literature and cinema. Meaning to immerse yourself in an unreal world (where you know what you see on screen is fake) with a self-proclaimed/declared belief/wish to consider it real, the willing world becomes magical. It’s the same magic every Friday that drives Rochak to share things in the perspective that it needs to be observed with. Every film is different. And the difference needs to be cherished.

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