The Zoya Factor
Cast: Sonam Kapoor, Dulquer Salmaan, Angad Bedi
Director: Abhishek Sharma
How far can luck take you in matters of the heart? Or in life? Destiny, or free will and determination?
In a country where even those with the most scientific outlook submit to sitting in one position or wearing their 'lucky colour' when the Indian cricket team is playing an important match, The Zoya Factor that serves us cricket and its accompanying shenanigans with a romantic twist, has a fairly good chance of appealing to the audience.
Based on Anuja Chauhan’s book by the same name, the film is an enjoyable romantic comedy that steps away from the tried and tested formula. Zoya Solanki (a junior copywriter), quite Bridgette Joneseque in her bumbling ways, considers herself the most unlucky girl in the world. And with good reasons-- her rich dentist boyfriend has just dumped her for being too infra-dig, while her boss at the ad agency she works for, fantasises about firing her.
But soon, her luck turns when she gets a chance to shoot an ad with the Indian cricket team. Zoya accidentally meets Nikhil Khoda (Dulquer Salmaan) the dishy team captain and finds herself invited to a breakfast with the team! Things seem to be going swimmingly well till she happens to let slip the fact that her father(played by Sanjay Kapoor) thought she was lucky for the Indian cricket team as they won the World Cricket in 1983, the very day that she was born! In a happy coincidence, the team which had been struggling in the series thus far witnesses a quick turnaround in the match that follows. Is it indeed The Zoya Factor, or the hard work and strategy that skipper Nikhil Khoda believes in?
With its quirky premise, The Zoya Factor is light and frothy just as romcoms should be, and ticks against all boxes especially the prerequisite combo of a tall, dark and handsome hero and a good-looking yet naïve heroine.
Director Abhishek Sharma, best known for Tere Bin Laden steers it in just the right direction keeping away from sermonizing on superstitions or gender equality or some such, a common feature in films these days. Instead, he keeps to the promise of a comedic romance just the kind that the ladies love. The situational humour in the film is smart and the cricket match commentary packed with wisecracks is an effective trope that heightens the comedy quotient.
Sonam Kapoor, as the ditzy Zoya is adorable. Urbane chick flicks certainly suit her and Kapoor is getting better with every film. Her goofy and bumbling avatar works well. In a scene where she meets superstar AK (Anil Kapoor) for an ad shoot briefing, she holds her own and you can see a marked progression as an actress. Leading man Dulquer Salmaan gets ample screen time and he is impressive lending just the right amount of playfulness and romantic intensity. It would be safe to say that while he is already extremely popular in the south, with The Zoya Factor, his popularity is likely to spill over to the Hindi speaking auds as well, especially the women. Their on-screen chemistry only helps the film's cause. Sikandar Kher as Zoya’s brother Zorawar is impressive even in a small role, as are Koel Purie, Angad Bedi and Manu Rishi.
Anuja Chauhan, the bestselling author, known for her laced-with-wry-humor chick lit and spunky and fun female characters has done Hindi films a great favour by allowing her book to be turned into a film. If this film succeeds at the box office as I suspect it will, she may have spawned a new template for heroine led films in India. Incidentally, the rights for this book had been initially acquired by Red Chillies Entertainment many moons ago. But the film never got made till it eventually got re-acquired by Pooja and Aarrti Shetty and saw the light of the day after many years. Every film comes with its own destiny that makes it shine or tank. Fortune favours the brave and this one with all the talent it's equipped with plus The Zoya Factor certainly seems to hold the promise of box office success.
Rating: 3.5 stars
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