‘The Zoya Factor’ is a mish-mash of a chick-flick, a cricket film, a rom-com and an apparent commentary on India’s obsession with superstitions. In between it is all levels of ridiculousness and boredom.
Zoya Solanki (Sonam Kapoor Ahuja) is considered to be lucky for cricket, since her birth co-incided with India’s 1983 World Cup Victory, at least according to her father (Sanjay Kapoor). She is a copywriter at an ad agency where her boss despises her, she is dumped by an average-looking dentist boyfriend. Basically, her apparent luck is doing her no good. In an effort to prove herself as an asset to her boss, she is sent off to Sri Lanka to shoot a crucial ad campaign with the Indian Cricket Team. As fortune may favour or maybe, oblige, she runs into the Indian skipper, Nikhil Khoda (Dulquer Salmaan). Nikhil believes that success is a result of hard work and not luck. He is frustrated with his team’s dependencies on their superstitions than their abilities. A chance breakfast with Zoya in the morning turns a scheduled cricket match in favour of the team. The team starts believing the presence of Zoya around them as their lucky charm. And the charade continues.
Inspired by Anuja Chauhan’s 2008 novel, the screenplay and story fail to commit to a singular engaging sub-plot. The love-track between Zoya and Nikhil is particularly unconvincing and forced. That’s partially because Zoya’s character is devoid of intellect and sanity which makes her an uninteresting prospect for any man blessed with average sensibility. Also, one is never fully convinced of the conflict between Nikhil and Robin (Angad Bedi), which appears as a token reference to the simmering real-life tension between Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. The cricketing portions shown involve the most ineffective use of VFX ever. The dynamics between Zoya and her family too never feel relatable. Her father and brother are perpetually chugging down bottles of beer, everytime they appear on-screen. Technically, the only engaging aspects include the witty cricket commentary that runs in the background during the cricket matches.
Speaking of the performances, ‘TZF’ marks Sonam’s weakest act till date. In an effort to replicate her ‘Khoobsurat’ performance, the actress breaks the fourth wall and mouths dialogues as if she is appearing in an infomercial. It’s only the charm and earnestness of Dulquer that makes you coast along the film’s lazy run. He truly makes Nikhil seem like he has walked straight out of a fairytale.
At less than two hours and thirty minutes, one is undecided if ‘The Zoya Factor’ serves as an insult to Indian cricket or to Dulquer’s filmography.