- Critic's Rating - 4/104/10
Ranging its setting from Meerut to Mars, this Aanand L. Rai directorial looked to me really high on potential; having some interesting themes like dwarfism, space fantasy, human vulnerability on its platter to explore. Sadly, the pieces of puzzle here were mindlessly joined, making the end product a mere pointless experience.
What couldn’t let the dots get connected aptly was a heavily flawed writing by Himanshu Sharma (who otherwise has hardly disappointed previously) alongwith a half – baked screenplay, making actors and situations pop up and mould in the narrative as per the convenience, to escalate the mass appeal. It’s sad a realization that no dominant member associated with this ambitious project ever noticed what they were finally delivering to their audience!
Featuring (the) SRK, striving to break the superstar mould to huge extent; we are subjected to his act as a 4 ft 6 inch dwarf namely ‘Bauua Singh’ with some supernatural powers and an irresistible charm (because Hero!!). He eventually just gets the ladies he meets swooning over him; despite his clingy personality, typical Meerutiya lingo, and some borderline cringy antics. He is so great a human that he manages turning up at every location his heroine is at (What the security!). In addition, enduring all the Zero Gravity conditions comes naturally to him. Yet man, it’s hard to deny that the actor is still a charmer who does ably carry this whatever narrative given to him on his shoulders, with an on – screen presence so impeccable.
I first time saw a ‘trying it hard’ act by Anushka Sharma as ‘Aafia’, the wheelchair bound NASA (changed to NSAR in the movie) scientist; and still ain’t able to digest that she failed so miserably in her delivery. I otherwise have found her range very diverse right from the loud Shruti (in ‘Band Baaja Baaraat’) to the controlled act she excellently performed in her recent ‘Pari’ and even ‘NH10’. Her character had so much to offer, and she does create the impact to some extent; but where she fails to score is exactly where Kalki won with her act in ‘Margherita with a Straw’. I inevitably did compare compare the antics of these two characters, which made Anushka’s performance seem easily one of her worsts, because No, nothing can surpass her torturous act as Sejal!
An unexpected factor working big time for this movie was Katrina’s act as ‘Babita Kumari’, the emotionally affected superstar, who is acting in real life too to hide her ‘inside the doors’ vulnerable self. Yes, she got the quintessential item number to her introduction, but what followed it was a much convincing performance (though an extended cameo); which I would call quite a revelation and a welcome surprise, much different from her memorable and natural act in ‘Namastey London’. Unapologetically being my favorite part about the movie, her act is still getting me ponder over if she can really emote this way in her future projects too.
The prime cast was well – supported by Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub playing the “Hero’s Best Friend” (who accompanies him everywhere except Mars!) for some umpteenth time, Tigmanshu Dhulia as Bauua’s frustrated father, who though in real life is two years younger than SRK (Woah!), and Sheeba Chaddha with her hilarious act as Bauua’s mother. The appearances of actors not mentioned above are a worthy surprise!
To compensate for the umpteen flaws was a neatly done VFX which escalated the visual appeal of the movie several levels higher. The ‘Zero Gravity scene’ work stood out for me in this department. The dialogues by Himanshu Sharma got me grinning in the first half but lost their magic later. It seems that he stopped making efforts once the setting shifted away from North India. From the soundtrack by Ajay – Atul, only ‘Mere Naam Tu’ and ‘Heer Badnaam’ suited the narrative, rest looked out of place to me.
I was eagerly waiting for this release as a glorious redemption from the lead trio of SRK – Anushka – Katrina this time, who last collaborated in the snoozefest ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’; and primarily wanted this to work for SRK and Anushka, considering how terrible their every previous romance (read : ‘Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi’ and ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’) has been. To my dismay again, the disappointing streak of these apparently evil forces’ collaboration continued with Zero too.
In its runtime of around 165 minutes, this highly anticipated affair ranged my takeaway from frivolity to cringe, plunging perpetually with its each act. What could have been atleast my great guilty pleasure had everything worked, ended up being a colossal cringefest from Meerut to Mars!
Also Read : Simmba (2018) Review | Roaring Entertainment all the way
Also Read : Manikarnika (2019) Review | All hail the Queen!