Sonam Kapoor, Dulquer Salmaan, Angad Bedi, Sanjay Kapoor, Sikander Kher and others
Ever read a book that did nothing to impress you and yet, it goes onto becoming a full-fledged feature film…making you wonder if you were the only person who was unimpressed by the content? Well, it happened with Chetan Bhagat’s Half Girlfriend and me. But keeping an open mind is a prerequisite of our job so though Anuja Chauhan’s The Zoya Factor didn’t really impress me as a reader, it was no reason why seeing Sonam Kapoor act goofy, and Dulquer Salmaan look all dishy wouldn’t have swayed my interest.
The film is about a girl - Zoya born on 25th June, 1983 – the day India became the World Champions in international cricket. While all babies are a blessing, Zoya’s father (Sanjay Kapoor) is convinced that she is one lucky child. He predicts a grand future for her the moment he takes her in his arms. But life doesn’t pan out quite so efficiently for Zoya. To begin with, despite all her lucky charm – she hates cricket. She doesn’t have a steady relationship and her job usually sees her on the receiving end of brickbats. Yet she finds herself at a promotional shoot with the Indian cricket team. It is the captain of the cricket team Nikhil Khoda (Dulquer Salmaan) who Zoya cannot seem to get over. Clearly her reservations about cricket do not trickle onto cricketers. Soon the two start spending more time together and love happens. While the going seems to be finally getting good, Zoya lets it slip that her family believes she has all the cricketing luck one can have. While she admits her brother always wins in his gully cricket matches when she is around, it is not necessarily going to mean the same for the Indian cricket team. Yet the team members are desperate, it has been over a year since they have had a win and they need a miracle. Zoya could be that miracle, so it starts with her taking breakfast with the team before their matches and voila! The victory goes to the boys in blue.
Though Nikhil tries to reason through this madness, there are too many who need to believe in superstitions to aide them with more confidence. Slowly, the Zoya charm starts snowballing and it wedges itself in between the lovers. What happens, how it all works out in the end…. That’s predictable. The real question is whether it all comes together entertainingly….
It is a fact that we have already seen Sonam K. Ahuja act like a klutz, she has done that in Khoobsurat, Aisha, I Hate Love Stories and even portions of Dolly Ki Doli. There is absolutely nothing new about seeing her goof around, and what’s more cringe worthy is her attempt at comedy. The girl might be funny ha-ha but she lacks comic timing. It is tedious to see her do the same thing in newer clothes and take the top billing. Yes, she is the central character, but in this particular film, she doesn’t earn the top spot. Of course, seeing her in frame with Dulquer Salmaan is like seeing her antithesis. He is funny, in a quiet way and while she is blah! His look is all subdued, while she is buzzing. He is a good actor while she is happy to be a diva… the only place Dulquer looks a wee-bit uncomfortable is the song ‘Pepsi ki kasam…’ - it is obvious that this Salmaan has a suave appeal but not the Bollywood swag.
This mismatched couple still looks cute in a few scenes, but doesn’t really help taking the movie forward. Though director Abhishek Sharma certainly seems to have given his best because everyone other than Sonam is in great form under his direction – uncle Sanjay Kapoor included. Given she is in every scene, hamming, it works adversely for the film. Given The Zoya Factor releases alongside two other films, given it is the biggest release, it will be a damper if the other two supersede this one!