Watch it for the spirit and the commentary
Film: The Zoya Factor
Director: Abhishek Sharma
Writer: Anuja Chauhan/ Story, Pradhuman Singh- Neha Rakesh Sharma/ Screenplay
Cast: Sonam K Ahuja, Dulquer Salmaan
There was a time till the late 90s when filmmakers shied away from launching or releasing a film during the shradh period because it was considered ominous to start anything new during this period; as a result, it was mostly the B grade films struggling for a release that grabbed the opportunity. Most of these films did not generate business and therefore the exhibitors preferred to re-run blockbusters of superstars during this phase. The audience loved watching these old hits in the cinema halls for two weeks and so everybody was happy.
Sometime in the year 2000 all this changed, there were too many releases and too much at stake to indulge in old theories and so the new generation, aided by technology eclipsed shradh out of their dictionary and began celebrating movies uninterrupted. Not surprising that there are three important releases this week – Prasthanam, Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas and Abhishek Sharma’s The Zoya Factor co-incidentally addressing the superstition factor.
Actually The ZoyaFactor is about cricket and cricket knowingly or unknowingly is about everything related to destiny/luck and superstition even though our hero, captain of the team, Nikhil Khoda/ Dulquer Salmaan is a pragmatic, hardworking sportsman and far from superstitious. Not his team though, so one morning when Nikhil asks copy writer Zoya Solanki/ Sonam Kapoor to join them at the breakfast table and the team wins the match, everyone believes it is Zoya who brought them luck!
The subject is cricket centric so you get to watch the game on ground and also witness the anxieties and the pressures the team experiences off the ground. It is a story of projection, so we witness the power play of the sponsors, the politics of advertising agencies. Based on author Anuja Chauhan’s book by the same title released a few years ago, all the characters are detailed. Sanjay Kapoor plays a retired army officer bonding with his neighbors and concerned about their love stories.
Mention must be made of few special scenes…When the captain gatecrashes into Sanjay Kapoor’s party and the way everyone reacts to him…When Sonam attired in the Devi costume emerges out of the lotus to bless Nikhil and the climax match when the crowd awaits outside Zoya’s home are all hilarious!
Deliciously written with perfect punch lines and super pace, the humor keeps you engaged throughout the film. There’s nothing remotely negative about the film except an exaggerated fashion statement by Sonam Kapoor here and there which can be overlooked considering Kapoor is a diva!
Sanjay Kapoor is well cast as Zoya’s father and Sikander Kher as Zoya’s squabbling brother. Sonam Kapoor embraces the spirit of Zoya in a tailor-made role but it is the utterly charming Dulquer Salmaan who wins your heart.
Salmaan proves that he is his superstar father Mamooty’s son, is effective and earnest all the way and producers Pooja & Aarti prove that they are the flag bearers of their father’s banner Adlabs. I recommend The Zoya Factor to all cricket and romance lovers. Watch it for the delicious commentary and the spirit of the film.
I rate The Zoya Factor 3.5 stars.