Shah Rukh Khan, the superstar has to deal with yet another disastrous film at the box-office. His recently released film Zero, is his 6th film in a row to flop. The movie now joins the ranks of Fan, Raees, Dear Zindagi, Dilwale, Jab Harry Met Sejal which all bombed at the box-office.
The teaming of Aanand L Rai and Shah Rukh Khan was a unique combination, yet they pair had nothing new to offer. While they had a huge canvas to explore and experiment, they didn’t do that sadly. The movie opens to the life of Bauaa Singh, a vertically challenged man from Meerut, who apart from a few jibes doesn’t really count for the hardships faced by vertically challenged people. The character of Bauaa is that of an insolent, brat from the cowbelt. There is no newness to his character which we haven’t seen in Raanjhanaa or Tanu Weds Manu from the same Aanand L Rai stable. Anushka Sharma plays a space scientist, suffering from cerebral palsy, but is completely unconvincing and uncomfortable in the role. You also wonder why a world-renowned scientist is looking for suitable grooms on Shaadi.com and is completely fine with a strange man following her.
Bauaa and Alefiya have characters that were supposed to have evoked empathy for these individuals with physical challenges. Yet neither characters are relatable nor do we feel remotely sorry for them. The blame is on the actors themselves who have clearly not been able to pull it off. The role of Alefiya needed a consummate actress on the lines of a Vidya Balan, Rani Mukerji or Kangana Ranaut. Definitely not Anushka Sharma who is more suited for multiplex rom-com roles. What the end product is simply ridiculous. Shah Rukh Khan who is present in every frame in the film, plays a role that we have seen before in Fan, Don. The only time when Shah Rukh Khan really stepped in the skin of the characters and gave up being SRK was in Swades and Chak De India and we all know how those films turned out.
It is a shame that the actresses who have previously played the role of characters with disabilities – Sridevi and Rani Mukerji are mere cameos in the film. Their cameos itself are placed in the most bizarre manner which leaves the audiences gaping if the makers put any thought behind the screenplay and direction. It is unusually odd that Aanand L Rai wouldn’t give much thought to the treatment of the film. The second half of the film is absolutely bizarre. It reminds you of the equally bizarre Jaan-E-Mann. There are several similarities in both the films. Not just the fact that the Jaan-E-Mann was bizarre as well, but the plot about an unknown child, about abandoning a lover and the Mars mission is too ludicrous at this point.
The surprise package of this 2 hour 45 minutes fiasco is Katrina Kaif, who nails her role of Babita Kumari, a heartbroken, devil-may-care and alcoholic actress. But you have got to wonder, in a PR driven entertainment industry which top actress could afford to have such public meltdowns and which are the newspapers and journalists who get a freehand to write about celebrity affairs so brazenly! By the end of the film, you would have been reminded of a number of films that you have already seen before and you wonder whatever made Aanand L Rai think he could pull off a Raanjhaana again albeit with a bit of sci-fi added to it?