Shahrukh Summer Discussion Post: Which is the Worst, Dilwale-Happy New Year-Zero?

Oh boy, you ready to get HEATED? We all know that Shahrukh did a few films that were not so great in the past few years. But which is the worst of them all?


A rushed attempt to capitalize on the aging SRKajol chemistry, a failed effort to combine an action comedy and an epic romance and a family comedy, a film with a looooooooooooooooong Jonny Lever plot digression. Or at least, it felt looooooooooooooooooong.

Happy New Year

Vomit comedy, misogyny, and disability comedy. Shahrukh playing a character that was way too young for him, Sonu Sood stealing scenes, Dipaka struggling to play a dancer. There’s a lot that is not good.


Shahrukh plays a dwarf, and he ghosts a woman after sleeping with her. And there is motivation for a chimpanzee. And a disappearing reappearing baby. And also, a disappearing reappearing gun. There’s a lot that is bad.

Now, the question! There is no wrong answer, you just have to explain it. If you are in a room with nothing else to do but watch these three movies, which would you choose first, then second, then third?

For me, I would do Dilwale, then Happy New Year, then Zero. Dilwale has the cute Varun-Kirti track, and decent comedy, and great action. Happy New Year is good too, I just don’t like the vomit comedy. And then there’s Zero. The film is just not entertaining. The other two, at least I could have some fun alone in my room, Zero is just exhausting.

32 thoughts on “Shahrukh Summer Discussion Post: Which is the Worst, Dilwale-Happy New Year-Zero?

  1. HNY, Dilwale, Zero. I think HNY is a fun romp and (I’ve said this before) Airplane-like in some ways. I really like the film.

    Dilwale let me down a lot – pretty much aside from Gerua, I didn’t enjoy it. I did like seeing Kajol all mean and gun-toting!

    Zero is a zero star movie for me. None of it made sense to me. Bluch.

    Liked by 1 person

    • See for me, Dilwale and HNY are so similar in enjoyment levels that I have a hard time picking between the two. And then there’s Zero. Sounds like for you it is HNY, then biiiiiiiig step down and Dilwale and then another biiiiiiiiig step down and Zero.

      On Sat, Sep 7, 2019 at 11:12 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

  2. Zero is actually I film I’ve been interested in rewatching ever since I finished watching Raanjhanaa (which is now the only ALR movie I like!) because I feel like the two of them deal with similar ideas. I think that those two films are much more interesting that Tanu Weds Manu.
    Dilwale I actually think is fine. Didn’t always think that (going to explain later) but it’s…fine. I have no patience to sit through the Kajol/SRK romance and some of the comedy is really dumb but love the Varun/SRK bromance and Varun’s fight scene is cool.
    I hated watching HNY so much that it made me think that Dilwale was an okay movie. The vomit humor, the weird racist Korean jokes, just bleh. Also I don’t understand why Deepika ended up with SRK instead of Abhishek. The fact that I like a good chunk of the cast made the movie even worse

    Liked by 2 people

  3. HNY, Dilwale then Zero.

    HNY we have SRK entrance covered in mud and also that song where his shirt catches on fire! I think it was my first SRK film I saw on the big screen, so I have fond memories just for that. I don’t mind the vomit comedy. Abhishek i think is super funny in the film. That one early dance competition song with the neon costumes, tho. yikes.

    Dilwale has that Janum Janum song and Gerua. I liked Varun as SRK’s younger brother, too.

    Zero is just – baffling. As you pointed out — the baby, the chimp, the sudden gun. Ugh. The ghosting is the worst.

    Glad that SRK is getting his wish for an action film coming soon. Just heard it may be with Katrina.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m with Kriti, Zero then Dilwale then Happy New Year. Zero is more interesting to me, I like a lot of the sections in isolation. The performances are better and his character has more substance. Dilwale I enjoy parts of it, I mostly fast forward through the young romance track and all the comedy scenes. The Kali fights are OK, the young Kali action scenes are pretty good. Don’t much like the ending. Happy New Year just bothers me. I enjoy the mud fight and I can hang on until about where Deepika comes in, but everything about how her character is handled bugs me. The whole second half is a big cringe for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Definitly Zero at the first place. I like this movie very much…it’s just magic for me. Then I would choose HappyNewYear. I love the ensemble cast and it is hilarious in some scenes. I’m not finicky about the Korean plot and I find it good that Charlie’s prejudice towards Mohini is shown. I liked everyone of the team, even Abhishek and his kinks…and Sonu Sood was such a sweet guy!
    At last I would enjoy Dilwale but forwarding certain comedy scenes (I found Johnny, Sanjay Mishra and Varun Sharma boring, even ennoying).

    Liked by 3 people

    • You know what’s interesting? There are two assumptions everyone makes, first that Shahrukh’s recent bad movies are 100% bad, and second that Shahrukh fans blindly love them because they love him.

      But based on our comments here, there are plenty of people who have sincere reasons to enjoy those movies. And we are all SRK fans, but we don’t all blindly like everything he does.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I won’t deny that I m a y belong to those who love his movies because I love him. When I read critical comments I ponder about my own impressions. Am I too biaised? And then I think “no” because there isn’t one movie of him where there isn’t something I really like just because I feel that he believes – at that moment – in what his character says or does.

        And then, there are the circumstances when I watch a movie. I remember that at the first viewing of Ra.One (the premiere in London) I felt a certain distance towards the film and the next day, watching Ra.One in a London theatre with lot of desi people, I was sucked in into the atmosphere of this movie because the public surrounding me emanated the pleasure to watch this movie which hadn’t been the case at all at the premiere. Nevertheless, I still don’t like the introduction scene with the explanations and all…I would have preferred the opening with Luzifer.

        As for Zero, f.ex., I don’t like the new version with Aafia’
        s voice over (which isn’t her reel speaking) because it takes away the magical cinematic touch the movie gets through the ‘damsel-in-distress-rescued-by-the-fearless-cowboy’ scene. From this scene on, I never watched the movie with a logical mind, but with the kid’s soul of an adult woman – and everything fell into place, nothing disturbed me.

        I think, I mostly relate to ShahRukh’s kid’s-like soul and to his ironical adulthood.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I think I shouldn’t comment here because :
    Dilwale – I haven’t even tried to watch because I heard it’s bad
    HNY – This one I tried watching, but I hate it so much I quit after 40 minutes maybe
    Zero- I managed to finish but I wanted to scream and destroy my tv in the end.

    If I would be forced to watch those 3 movies I would start with Dilwale (because there is a chance it’s not that bad). Then HNY. And before starting Zero I would dig a tunnel to escape. I hate this movie so much , I can’t rewatch it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think I agree with your order for you. And Dilwale is the one most likely for you to enjoy! It’s all about romance, it’s dumb and silly, and the songs are good.

      On Sat, Sep 7, 2019 at 3:36 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

  7. Once I block out my Political Correctness radar I enjoy HNY. Sure, the humour is based on poking fun at race, gender, disability and sexual orientation, but what the heck! Abisheck’s snake dance more than compensates for the vomiting, I love the stupidity of the characters and the riduculous humour, and I also love the acknowledgement that Shahrukh sizzles, even if it is a joke in the film.

    Dilwale is just okay, neither terrible nor great. The plot seems forced and just plods along. Janam Janam is a highlight, but Johnny Lever ……. eeeeeeekkk!

    Zero is last for me. Maybe if I took time to deeply analyse and pick up some of the goods points made here I would appreciate it more, but I cant make myself do it. I disliked his character so much and the plot made no sense to me, it’s still a crushing disappointment.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. 1. Happy New Year
    50. Dilwale
    100. Zero

    The first time I saw HNY, I hated it. It made me so angry that we hardly ever get a SRK movie nowadays and when we get one, it’s a stupid ensemble piece with so much time devoted to other random actors that I don’t really care about like Sonu Sood, Boman and Abhishek. It just seemed like such a waste that we rarely get a film and it had to be a stupid one without enough SRK instead of the art I want.

    But then I watched it again much later when I no longer had any prior expectations and suddenly I really liked it. I enjoyed all the stupidity and craziness, the songs are so much fun, and the campiness of mud fights and things catching fire from the chemistry of the leads is hilarious. Farah also knows how to make SRK look really really good. This is the movie I turn to when I just want to see a few fun clips to relax. The silliness is totally fun for me and the songs are so good. It helps that everyone is in on the joke and they knew they were making a spoof.

    I had the same initial hatred after watching Dilwale but this movie has never ever grown on me. I’ve tried watching it a few times and I just get irritated. I loathe the SRK-Kajol plot and the seriousness of it even though the acting is bad, the storyline is bad and it resembles camp without them knowing it. When they’re having serious fights, it ends up making me laugh. You can’t take anything seriously and yet it seems they want us to! This movie makes it look like everyone was oblivious to what they were making. Serious scenes end up looking funny. Funny scenes end up making you roll your eyes. The romance is utterly dumb and campy and yet they play it with too much emotion and heavy drama as if they’re showcasing a love of the ages. Total failure in whatever they were trying to achieve.

    Zero makes me want to tear my hair out. I can’t even watch this movie again. I’ve tried and it’s actually painful. It’s not entertaining. It’s so so so so boring. You can feel the clock ticking. The VFX is so creepy. They were able to make it work in Fan but here it just looks so bizarre. Technologically, it’s good but in terms of viewing experience it is uncanny valley and actually makes you feel uncomfortable. There are looooong boring scenes. I almost fell asleep while Katrina is telling her fake story about her dwarf parents. The story looks like it was written while they were filming it and just kept adding random weird things that sounded cool at the moment. Dwarf, romance, wheelchair, space training, Mars, chimp, gun, baby… omg I can go on and on. How can all these bizarre things fit into one movie?

    There’s more bad stuff too. I can’t even understand what Anushka is saying half the time – one of the worst performances I’ve ever seen. None of the characters have any chemistry with each other. It makes sense for SRK and Katrina not to have it but Anushka and SRK don’t have any chemistry either. Just like Dilwale killed the SRK-Kajol myth, this movie killed SRK-Anushka. I genuinely do not think they can be cast together ever again. I’m almost 100% sure these two pairs will never happen again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Really interesting point about Dilwale not feeling like it knows it is a spoof! See, I feel like in the present day section they do know it is a spoof. When it becomes two middle-aged folks in Goa who are secretly gangsters, then it is kind of funny. Especially with the way everyone is treating their breakup as a normal breakup and not knowing all the high drama. But somehow the past time is almost a spoof but not quite. The over the top car chases, that feels like they know it is a silly premise. But then there are other scenes that seem like they are played straight, like we are supposed to feel something.

      Sounds like you are in the camp of “if I were locked alone in a room with Zero, I would tunnel out before rewatching it” along with Angie.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re right. Parts of it know it’s a spoof but the romance is played straight and sucks. You can have a Manwa Laage with clothes set on fire in a spoof but you can’t have a Gerua. It just does not make sense. You can’t have them in an intense fight grabbing her neck.. it starts going into WTF territory. What parts are you supposed to take seriously? What parts are you supposed to laugh? Nobody knows because it’s all mixed up and because of that, nothing has the impact that it should. I think it’s very visible that Farah Khan is a much better filmmaker than Rohit Shetty. Everyone goes wrong sometimes but Rohit is not really a filmmaker. He’s someone who knows how to put together a commercial package to make money and that’s it.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, yes, I was thinking about the same: we hardly have a new SRK movie nowadays so at least I expect something watchable! I don’t need mastepieces, I would be happy with solid, nice movie.
      And the people who make those movies: C’mon you have SRK on board, at least try to do something good, work on this f****** script.


  9. So interesting to hear everyone’s take on this. I totally see HNY as complete spoof with so much self-awareness that it completely works. It’s funny for similar reasons that I find Blazing Saddles or Young Frankenstein funny or fast-forwarding, Best in Show (totally politically incorrect…you just have to go with it in context – that’s what makes it a spoof!) so none of the vomiting or Korean jokes are out of place; especially with Abhishek doing them – it’s consistent with his character who is so dumb he’s brilliant. Movie works for me 100% – I’ve watched it a bunch of times! Zero is just a pure zero for me and I agree with almost everything Anonymous wrote above about Dilwale and Zero.


  10. Omg what a beautifully terrible list to choose from, oh well let me see..

    I must agree with majority at this point that HNY is definitly the more bearable movie. I honestly find it highly enjoyable in some parts, especially songs like Manwaa Lage or India Wale were actually quite amazingly realized (Farah and all her glitter and extra-ness just touch my heart in the right places). HNY was also the first Indian movie I’ve ever seen in theaters and I watched it with my mother on my birthday, so theres also a bit of nostalgia coming with it. It was a funny experience cause so many Indians were in the theater, sometimes laughing loudly at jokes me and my mother just didn’t get.. The most annoying thing about the movie for me are (besides the childish toilet-humor) the romance that Farah had created between Deepika and Shahrukh. It was outright humiliating to see Deepikas character to only portrayed as a naive, uneducated girl who forgives Shahrukh for slut-shaming her just because he uses ”the English” but even worse was Shahrukhs entitled, arrogant and misogynistic attitude in the film! I also hated how he treated him friends like idiots who so willingly tried to help him with his plan.. The comedic performances by Abhishek, Boman and Sonu out weigh the negative things though for me. So I still see this film as something you can pop in on a boring Sunday night, you just have to turn your brain off for a couole hours..

    My next pick would be DILWALE, even though that would come like miles and miles and miles and miles AFTER HNY. I think what makes this movie so terrible for me is the sheer disappointment I felt after finishing it. As you mentioned, this movie was a pure cash-grab at the Shahrukh/Kajol romance that we love so dearly sprinkled with some ridiciouls action, highly annoying comedy scenes and something you can barely call a plot. This movie is not as bad as my last pick for this list but the amount of anger and hurt it brought with it (especially trying to tarnish the reputation of DDLJ a little), makes it such an aggravating experience for me to watch.. I might give it a chance in the future again but for now I just hope that the next time that Shahrukh and Kajol reunite that it will be something very new and fresh, something possibly written and directed by Karan Johar. I must say that the songs Janaam Janaam and Manmama Emotion Jaage pretty melodious and interesting were.

    And the most terrible movie that Shahrukh in general made for me in the last years is definitely ZERO. This is a movie I practically hated since I’ve heard of the concept of Shahrukh playing a ”vertically challenged man” who would go into space and fall in love with a woman cerebral palsy . Shahrukhs character is besides that also a complete jerk in this movie with his weird arrogance, flaunting of his ”superior cast”, the cheesy lines, the seducing of Anushka and later dumping her and much much more shenanigans I simply don’t have enough breath anymore to write about. Thankfully this movie didn’t disappointed me as much as DILWALE has, as I was expecting it to be bad. Not even Anushkas performance touched me and I usually love her in everything she does (especially next to Shahrukh or Ranveer!) and the plot was nothing short but absolutely ridiculous (even for Bollywood standards!). My only highlight in this entire convoluted garbage of a movie were the two songs Hush Parcham (which I still religiously listen to, what a fun number!) and Mere Naam Tu (classic, romantic Shahrukh). Another thing that I HIGHLY enjoyed in this movie was Katrina Kaif!
    I have developed more respect and love towards Katrina in the last years. I admire the way she has worked herself up in the business, her unbeatable amazing dance numbers, the modern, fresh air she brought into Indian cinema and the tasteful way she has dealt with some pretty nasty critics and god awful breakups in public. Some call her a Diva (which Kareena is too) or not really talented in the acting department (never found Aishwarya to be that convincing either) but I really love her new-found attitude in approaching her work! She outshined EVERYBODY (even Shahrukh) in ZERO and it must be acknowledged! It’s funny how it was before Anushka that put her in the shadows in JTHJ and now it’s the other way around for me.. I have a feeling that she has found some sort of ”freedom” since she has parted ways with Ranbir Kapoor (puke) and I am honestly very happy for her cause she also seems to trust in her acting abilities way more now. I am gonna check BHARAT out very soon, to get a glimpse of her performance again 🙂


    • Oh, I am excited to hear what you think about Bharat! I thought Katrina was on another level in that one too. She doesn’t have a showy role, but it is a really good one, and she brings a lot of strength to the character.

      On Sun, Sep 8, 2019 at 5:25 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  11. HNY and Dilwale are almost equal and I have rewatched both atleast once, whereas I don’t feel the urge to rewatch Zero. There’s no denying that much more effort went into Zero and they were actually trying to do something, unlike the other two. But I can watch them for pure fun and skip certain parts, Zero I’m not sure, though I’ve been meaning to watch it again.
    Also I think expectations come into play. HNY and Dilwale came out during a period when I was indifferent to Shahrukh’s movies, I didn’t care. So I went to watch Dilwale with a friend, not expecting much and had a good time. I watched HNY only last year, knowing it’s been panned and again it was fun. But with Zero, I was interested and expecting great things and it fell short.
    So I agree with your reasoning, dumb fun wins!


    • Yes, I would always prefer a movie that sets out to be dumb and mediocre and succeeds over a movie that sets out to be something special and ends up dumb and mediocre.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. All of your posts look so intriguing these days, and I’m so excited to read your Brothers Day reviews. I haven’t seen it yet but I hope to if I can escape from work one day. Work is still killing me. I hope things will ease up in October or November or I will need to start looking for another gig.

    But, I HAD to comment on this one. I’m kind of confused by the question. If we assume that we have to watch all three, then to me the order of watching isn’t so much about which movie is least bad, but more about the emotional flow of the movies and how you want to feel at the end. So, I like Dilwale least, then HNY, and I quite liked Zero, though I agree with most of the flaws mentioned here. I love all three of the main characters’ arcs, and Shah Rukh’s and Katrina’s performances, so much that I don’t mind the ridiculous plot devices. And Mere Naam Tu by itself is wonderful.

    But, in order of watching, I would watch Dilwale first because I’m the least invested in it. I’ll watch the fun or hot scenes and a couple of the songs, and will look at my phone the rest of the time. Then I’d watch Zero, which I like much better than the other movies, but which leaves me feeling contemplative and wistful rather than happy. So, I’d close with Happy New Year, because the giant ridiculous India Waale medley at the end makes me so happy. Ideally I’d skip the first 50 mins of the movie or so, till Lovely. The set up is sooooooo slow.


    • This sounds like a great way to spend an afternoon! You make me want to rewatch all of them, even Zero which I hated.

      And Brothers Day is not a great movie, but Prithvi is real real cute in it. If that is enough to keep you going through a whole thing, than take a day off work and treat yourself!

      On Sun, Sep 8, 2019 at 8:00 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

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