- Critic's Rating - 4/104/10
Ranging its setting from Meerut to Mars, this Aanand L Rai directorial looked high on potential with some really interesting themes like dwarfism, space fantasy, human vulnerability on its platter to explore. Here, the pieces of puzzle were mindlessly joined, making the end product as 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 popping up and moulding in the narrative as per the convenience to escalate the mass appeal. It’s sad realizing that no dominating 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!!) who eventually just get 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 manages turning up at every location his heroine is at(what the security!), plus enduring even 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 as Aafia, the wheelchair bound NASA(changed to NCRA in the movie) scientist, and still ain’t to digest that she failed so miserably in her delivery, as I find her range very diverse from the loud Shruti(in Band Baaja Baarat) to the
controlled act she really well performed in her latest 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 play is exactly where Kalki won with her act in ‘Margherita with a Straw’. I somehow 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 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 a cameo); which I would call quite a revelation and a welcome surprise, much different from her memorably natural one in Namastey London. Unapologetically my favorite part of the movie, her act is still getting me ponder over if she really can 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 in real life is two years younger than SRK though(Woah!),
Sheeba Chaddha with her great act as Bauua’s mother. The appearances of actors not mentioned above are a worthy surprise!
To compensate for the umpteen flaws was a very 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 got me grinning in the first half but lost their magic later. It
seemed 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 in, rest seemed 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 the two prime leads 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, this 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