Critic’s Rating: 3.5/5
Story: Born on the same day that India won the 1983 cricket World Cup, Zoya is considered by her family to be a lucky charm when it comes to winning matches, albeit gully cricket. But when the Indian cricket management want to sign her on as a lucky mascot for the present team, Zoya finds herself in a fix.
Review: Zoya (Sonam Kapoor), a junior copy writer in an ad agency is sent on an ad photo shoot with the Indian cricket team. When a love struck Zoya meets Nikhil Khoda (Dulquer Salmaan), captain of the Indian cricket team, they hit it off instantly. But soon, she has the entire team eating out of her hands because she lets out her ‘luck factor’ story over breakfast with them. And incidentally, the underperforming team even win the next couple of matches. And they have their lucky charm to thank for it.
While Nihkil relies solely on self-belief and hard work, his team is increasingly drawn towards Zoya as their lucky charm — something that Nikhil strongly dissuades them from believing in. Matters come to a head when Zoya and Nikhil start dating, but the team management wants her on board as the team’s lucky mascot.
In his second Hindi movie outing, Dulquer Salmaan exudes oodles of charm as Nikhil. If in his Bollywood debut ‘Karwaan’ we saw him as the understated, almost nerdy (and very likeable) Avinash, in ‘The Zoya Factor’ Dulquer goes all out with his hunky, romantic avatar as Nikhil. From being playful to intense, Dulquer steals the show as he is absolutely brilliant in his portrayal.
Sonam Kapoor as a goofy junior copy writer fits into her role like a glove. In between dating losers and trying to save her flailing career, Sonam’s comic timing as Zoya is on the ball through most of the film. And together, Sonam and Dulquer’s chemistry works its magic and grows on you.
Director Abhishek Sharma gives us a light-hearted romantic comedy that hits all the right notes from the word go. An adaptation of Anuja Chauhan’s novel by the same name, the vibe here is breezy and feel-good. Even some of the improbable moments are dealt with amusingly well. Anil Kapoor in a cameo steals the moment with that one fleeting scene. The supporting cast with Sanjay Kapoor as Zoya’s father, Angad Bedi as Robin, another key player in the team, score well. Sikander Kher as Zoya’s brother pulls off some fine comic moments in the film. Special mention for the running cricket commentary which is absolutely howlarious. The pleasant soundtrack by Shankar Ehsaan Loy and the background score add their zing to the mood.
The Zoya Factor is a fun, frothy film that pits superstitions versus strategy and self-belief versus luck. And delightfully uses India’s cricket craze to deliver a thoroughly enjoyable, entertaining film (AGENCY).