The Zoya Factor movie review: Sonam Kapoor and Dulquer Salman’s chemistry may impress you but the film ?

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The Zoya Factor movie review: Sonam Kapoor and Dulquer Salman’s chemistry may impress you but the Movie ?

The Zoya Factor is a 2019 Indian Hindi-language romantic-comedy drama Movie, starring Sonam Kapoor and Dulquer Salmaan. It is directed by Abhishek Sharma and produced by Fox Star Studios, Pooja Shetty and Aarrti Shetty. The Movie is a light adaptation of Anuja Chauhan's 2008 novel of the same name, which follows the story of a girl, Zoya Solanki, who becomes a lucky charm for the Indian Cricket team during the 2011 Cricket World Cup, and the skipper Nikhil Khoda who doesn't believe in luck and superstitions.

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The Zoya Factor movie review: Sonam Kapoor and Dulquer Salman’s chemistry may impress you but the Movie ?

The Zoya Factor
Cast: Sonam Kapoor, Dulquer Salmaan, Angad Bedi
Director: Abhishek Sharma

Movie story

When luck is on your side, nothing can go wrong. But it is hard to say what will work as a ‘lucky charm’ for The Zoya Factor. An adaptation of Anuja Chauhan’s novel by the same name, The Zoya Factor, starring Sonam Kapoor and Dulquer Salmaan as lead characters, explores a world that is unreal yet director Abhishek Sharma makes it believable. Though the central premise of the Movie is thin, it’s the feel good factor that holds your attention. Since it’s a novel adapted for the big screen, you pretty much know what’s going to happen next, but Abhishek has adds quite a few elements that keep you hooked.

For instance, the script incorporates timely and hilarious puns about Ranveer Singh being head over heels in love with Deepika Padukone and the nepotism debate in Bollywood. The references to Movies such as Dhoom and Baahubali or Amitabh Bachchan’s game show Kaun Banega Crorepati crack you up.
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Image source : Naukri Nama
The Movie starts with Zoya Solanki (Sonam Kapoor) being born on the day when India won the cricket World Cup in 1983 and is labelled a ‘gift from cricket gods’ by her father (Sanjay Kapoor). Though considered a lucky charm who can make teams win ‘tosses and matches’ merely by sharing a breakfast with them, Zoya’s personal and professional life is a sob story. She is caught between dating losers and having a deadbeat job as a junior copywriter in an ad agency.
This middle-class Rajput girl from an army household gets an opportunity of a lifetime to work with the Indian cricket team for a shoot. The starstruck Zoya meets the hunk of the team Nikhil Khoda (Dulquer Salmaan), who believes ‘luck has no role to play in success; it’s only an excuse to failure’ and immediate connection is forged.
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Image source : India Today
Things change when Zoya gains currency as a lucky charm and the entire team starts counting on her to win the game. Even the the cricket board offers her a whopping amount to be the lucky mascot for the team. In a fix between dating the team’s captain and her dilemma to take or leave the offer, Zoya goes through a tsunami of emotions.

Cast

  • Dulquer Salmaan as Nikhil Khoda, Indian Cricket Team Captain
  • Sonam Kapoor as Zoya Singh Solanki, an advertising executive
  • Sanjay Kapoor as Vijayendra Singh Solanki, Zoya's father
  • Angad Bedi as Robin Rawal, Indian Cricketer
  • Sikander Kher as Zoravar Singh Solanki, Zoya's brother
  • Udit Arora as Ketan, Indian Opening Batsman
  • Abhilash Chaudhary as Shivnath(Shivi), Indian Opening Batsman
  • Jashan Singh Kohli as Navneet Singh, Indian cricketer
  • Gandharv Dewan as Hharviindar (Harry) Singh, Indian cricketer
  • Abhishek Madrecha as Zahid Pathan, Indian cricketer
  • Manu Rishi
  • Pooja Bhamrrah as Sonali
  • Koel Purie
  • Pradhuman Singh
  • Saurabh Shukla as Nikhil's dad
  • Rahul Khanna as Nikhil's brother
  • Sachin Deshpande as Lakhi, Indian cricketer
  • Vikas Mandaliya as Vishal
  • Shoaib Ahmed as Dabbu
  • R. Bhakti Klein as Wes Hardin, Indian Coach
  • Pankaj Dheer (Guest appearance)
  • Anil Kapoor (Guest appearance)
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Image source: Onmanorama

Sonam Kapoor-Dulquer Salmaan's Movie Seldom Rises Above its Clichés


Let’s take a moment to appreciate the irony that The Zoya Factor, which makes a case for the merits of hard work over sheer good luck, features Sonam Kapoor, Sanjay Kapoor, and Sikander Kher in key roles.

Okay, snide potshot out of the way, this is a Movie that doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it truly is – a silly, inoffensive romantic comedy, with an emphasis on silly. Sonam plays, for the nth time, the sort of ditzy, klutzy young woman who babbles like a second-grader and does dumb things that are meant to be cute. Her character Zoya Solanki is the sort of person who shows up for an important work meeting with her tongue numb from a visit to the dentist. You get my point.
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Based on Anuja Chauhan’s 2008 bestseller about the push and pull of a freshly blossoming romance between an advertising rookie and a charming cricketer, the Movie’s plot kicks into gear after Zoya is packed off to Sri Lanka to shoot a campaign with the Indian cricket team, where she enters the orbit of skipper Nikhil Khoda (Dulquer Salmaan).

To be fair the Movie’s first hour is breezy even if the scenarios are highly improbable. Nikhil is a firm believer in the rigour of sport, and the dint of hard work. Zoya, who was born on the day that India won its first World Cup back in 1983, appears to be lucky for any team that she sits down for breakfast with. When the Indian team snaps out of its losing streak, she’s quickly anointed their lucky charm, much to Nikhil’s dismay.

It’s an interesting premise but the writing is never as surefooted as it needs to be. Sonam knows how to play the loveable ditz and she slips easily into the role of Zoya. But it’s hard to buy into the film’s flimsy conflict when, frankly, it could easily be resolved over a simple chat. Dulquer has a magnetic presence. Both in the film’s dramatic scenes and in the bits where he’s clearly falling for Zoya, it’s hard to take your eyes off him. It’s a charming, fully realised performance and easily the film’s biggest strength.
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Image source : Masti Ka Hungama 
Directed by Tere Bin Laden’s Abhishek Sharma, the film’s big problem isn’t the silliness – frankly, it disarms you into laughing along with its pedestrian jokes. It’s that no other character is even remotely interesting and that so much of what goes on feels so contrived. Sanjay Kapoor and Sikander Kher as Zoya’s dad and brother, respectively, show up routinely but have little impact on the plot. Angad Bedi is nicely cast as Nikhil’s jealous, plotting teammate; Manu Rishi as a shady cricket official; and the actors playing some of the other superstitious teammates. But they’re all in service of a script that seldom rises above its clichés.

I didn’t hate The Zoya Factor, and it’s not an unwatchable film by any measure. But it squanders the opportunity to say something about the world we live in, and our reliance on luck as both a crutch and an excuse. The film comes to life in the lighthearted romantic portions between Zoya and Nikhil. I could’ve watched those two for longer, if they’d only shaved off the contrivances.

I’m going with two-and-a-half out of five. Sure it takes flight, but it never soars.

Rating:2.5/5

The Zoya Factor movie review: Sonam Kapoor and Dulquer Salman’s chemistry may impress you but the Movie ?

Watch: The Zoya Factor public review


Dulquer Salmaan, son of legendary actor Mammootty and a heartthrob in Malayalam cinema, delivers a pitch-perfect performance, and is clearly the star of the Movie. He stands out in every possible way and you register his absence when he is missing on the screen. He’s the team’s skipper who doubles up as a chef and biker when not playing on the field.

For a high-on-cricket Movie, the director and writers have tried hard to make the stadium portions look convincing and they succeed in some places.
For a high-on-cricket Movie, the director and writers have tried hard to make the stadium portions look convincing and they succeed in some places.
Sonam Kapoor is in her element as she plays Zoya, a character that’s clueless about what’s happening in the world and has a perpetual dumb expression. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that it’s a tailor-made role for Sonam where she’s not even required to act and she seamlessly fits into Zoya’s shoes. Between wearing stylish clothes and looking good onscreen, I seriously wonder when Movie makers would start writing intelligent characters for this Kapoor scion. She did prove her mettle with Neerja, so it’s not that acting isn’t in her genes. Guess it’ll take a few more movies to get there.
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Image source : Koimoi
Surprisingly, Sonam and Dulquer as a new onscreen pair have quite a sizzling chemistry. However, their romance gets a hasty treatment, bracketed as ‘love at first sight’. At some points, the Movie reminds of you Sushant Singh Rajput’s MS Dhoni: The Untold Story for the way a cricket team’s captain is shown falling for a girl who hates the sport and is ready to walk that extra mile for her.

Among the supporting cast, Angad Bedi as the bad guy of the team has a strong screen presence but gets a half-baked role with little for him to do. Sikander Kher as Zoya’s brother Zorawar delivers some clever comic punches. A 45-second cameo by Anil Kapoor doesn’t go unnoticed. The running cricket commentary by two men -- specially the one doing it in Navjot Singh Sidhu’s style -- keeps the laughs coming.
For a high-on-cricket film, the director and writers have tried hard to make the stadium portions look convincing and they succeed in some places. The players give glimpses of Indian cricketers like Shikhar Dhawan, Harbhajan Singh, Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli, and you instantly draw comparisons. The scenes where the entire crowd in the stadium is shown chanting slogans ‘Zo Zo Zoya’ looks a bit too much. Even the TV sports journalists have been made to look like funny caricatures as they report animatedly in high-pitched voices.

Brand integration is one thing that this Movie has in abundance. From Nerolac paints, Cadbury Dairy Milk to Orilite Cement and Pepsi, they get such frequent mentions in the Movie that Sonam might have had a FOMO for her fashion label and her husband’s shoe line couldn’t make it to this list.
The Zoya Factor’s music isn’t forgettable but could have been better. Lucky Charm at the beginning sets the bar so high that Shankar-Ehsan-Loy themselves would have struggled to keep the momentum going. Tracks like Kaash and Maheroo do register in your mind.

On the whole, the film doesn’t ask you to apply your brains. If you are a cricket fan and enjoy chick flicks, Sonam’s over-the-top act and Dulquer’s good looks will hold your attention. A good watch with your friends where the fun lasts only till the Movie does.