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Zero: A Review

January 2, 2019

After the disappointment of 2018’s AndhaDhun, in which a blind pianist is revealed to be faking his disability, Zero has restored my faith and pride in Bollywood’s ability to represent disability positively.

Shah Rukh Khan is brilliant as Bauua Singh, a man of restricted growth with more than enough of everything else! His search for a wife leads him to Anushka Sharma’s Aafia, a space scientist with Cerebral Palsy- the disability I have had since birth.

They fall in love, sing a beautiful song, and yes, even have sex. However, on the day of their wedding, Bauua runs away to participate in a competition to meet a movie star, Babita, played by Katrina Kaif.

When he eventually realises that he truly loves Aafia, he finds her, and his baby daughter, in New York, where she is training human volunteers for a voyage to Mars. Over another beautiful song and several months of training, he tries, unsuccessfully, to win her back.

He proves his love by going to Mars when he is selected, returning 15 years later.

Many may find the space science side of this movie unrealistic. I found it fascinating.

Many South Asian audiences may find it difficult to believe that two disabled people can fall in love and do everything that other couples do. As a woman with Cerebral Palsy, I instantly loved the characters. I know exactly how intelligent and capable disabled people are and in Aafia, I saw a version of myself. I would have loved her character in a Hollywood movie, too, but for Bollywood to represent disability in this way felt somehow more special.

Bauua has his faults, but who doesn’t? They are exactly what makes him a ‘normal’ man.

Zero picks up right where 2017’s Kaabil left off- proving that disabled people are capable of anything. Maybe South Asian audiences don’t yet accept this fact, meaning that Zero might not be a smash hit, but in my eyes, everyone involved in this movie scores 100%.

I sincerely thank the cast and crew, and I sincerely hope for many more positive representations of disability in future Bollywood movies. I ask Bollywood to remember its great influence over worldwide audiences, and to remember the great power that fiction has to change opinions and attitudes to all kinds of differences and social issues.

 

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 2, 2019 12:10 am

    Reblogged this on Samosas And Chips.

  2. January 3, 2019 10:32 am

    Reblogged this on michaelsnaith.

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