Abhishek Sharma‘s ‘The Zoya Factor’ is based on Anuja Chauhan‘s 2008 chicklit, published by Harper Collins. The rights of the film were first reserved by Shahrukh Khan‘s Red Chillies Entertainment for three years and later due to inaction the rights were acquired by Pooja Shetty.
Directed by- Abhishek Sharma
Produced by- Fox Star Studios, Pooja Shetty, Aarrti Shetty
Starring- Sonam Kapoor, Dulquer Salmaan, Angad Bedi, Sanjay Kapoor, Sikander Kher
The adwoman Zoya Solanki played by Sonam Kapoor Ahuja is happy working at an advertisement agency, promoting brands, especially Zing Cola. Her simple ‘girl-next-door’ life takes a new turn when she goes to Dhaka to shoot an ad film with the Indian Cricket Team. Soon, the Men in Blue realize that whenever they eat a breakfast or lunch with Zoya, they score a sure shot win. This superstition puts her on a pedestal and the country declares her a goddess. Further, her life becomes even more complex when the new skipper played by Dulquer Salmaan refutes this theory and treats it as nonsensical.
The Zoya Factor started out on a really entertaining note. Being a chick flick, it is silly and flimsy but a lot of fun to watch (Bridget Jones Diary sort you know). But as soon as it enters the second half, the film becomes too hyper. The same silliness which was entertaining 20 minutes back, becomes too much right after the interval, since it starts taking itself too seriously. This is the problem with our desi chick flicks. The film very consciously chooses this genre, but at the same time becomes too insecure to be called one. And perhaps to bridge that gap, it incorporates serious elements such as hyper nationalism.
Further, the connection between cricket and glamour is not new in reel or real life. And this correlation never gets interpreted on an undisputed note. In fact, when Nikhil Khoda played by Dulquer Salmaan says that he doesn’t believe in lucky mascot but hard work and talent, it comes across in very ‘starky’ and ironic manner. A little anecdote here, remember Sudhir Kumar Chaudhary? In fact, you don’t have to put a lot of pressure on your mind to remember him, since you will often spot him at Indian cricket matches even now, painting his whole body in Indian flag colours. He is Sachin Tendulkar‘s lucky mascot. Tendulkar is that man whom India worships as the God of cricket. Is it not a parody?
The film tries very hard to put an important point across, that success is achieved through talent rather than luck. Ummm What? The lead female, Zoya played by Sonam Kapoor is the daughter of Anil Kapoor. Nikhil Khoda played by Dulquer Salmaan is the son of Mammootty, the famous actor-producer of Malayalam film industry. Sonam‘s father, Vijayendra Singh Solanki played by Sanjay Kapoor is the brother of Anil Kapoor. Sonam‘s on screen brother, Zoraver Singh Solanki played by Sikander Kher is the son of veteran actor Anupam Kher and actor-politician Kirron Kher. I mean, I am not trying to put any conjectures here. But does this not conflict with the motto of the film?
Moving on, talking about the good part, the cricket and the commentary is hilarious. Also, the actors have done a great job looking and acting like cricketers. They did a convincing job in making us believe that they are the real players. In fact, you will often see glimpses of Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli in them, as they look like doppelgangers of the real life personalities.
All in all, Zoya Factor falls somewhere between fun-but-not-so-fun category. But if you are intrigued with the concept, it can be a delightful watch while munching through a big bucket of popcorn with a group of noisy friends this weekend.