Zoya (Sonam) was born on the day India won its World Cup in ’83 and her family thinks she is lucky for cricket. She’s the lucky charm in her father and brother’s gully cricket and smaller matches. Until, by a strange quirk of fate, the Indian cricket team (everyone except captain Nikhil Khoda) is convinced that whenever she eats with them, they’ll win. They want her to accompany them for the World Cup.
In the midst of all this, Sonam’s fourth-wall-breaking Zoya makes self-aware observations about her love life and professional life that are falling apart as well. Not to forget the most important thing for any half-decent rom-com (apart from it having a woman at the centre of the story, thank you very much) — the ridiculously charming male lead. Dulquer Salmaan as Nikhil Khoda, even if a bit odd at first and looking slightly out of place, grows into that role in front of our eyes admirably. He’s just got this look about him, earnest but also like he was born to stand in front of a camera and look simply superb.
Most parts of the film don’t have the high-budget gloss of Aisha and Veere Di Wedding, but The Zoya Factor thankfully never crosses over to cringe territory. Sonam Kapoor understands her own strengths and limitations, and this self-awareness must play a large part in the scripts she chooses to work with. The Zoya Factor channels her strengths — her amazing sense of style (even at the cost of making her look unconvincing as a middle-class woman), this go-get-it-girl attitude that seems to be a part of her personality, and the urban, Indian, working woman who wants to have it all. Who will break open a bottle of beer at the end of a long day; will convince us that she speaks for us, the women watching the film, when Dulquer lifts his shirt to show off his six-pack abs.
The Zoya Factor is not groundbreaking ‘cinema’ nor does it want to be. It aims to deliver a decent enough rom-com and that it does, mostly. Some parts of the cricket matches in the film felt really long (especially considering we know that things can never go that wrong in this film). There are also casual quips on religion, not as fervent as PK, but they’re there nonetheless. And, when Zoya’s brother Zorawar (Sikander Kher, son of actor and BJP leader Kirron Kher) tells her that the same people who worship her will burn her to death in the middle of the road in the name of religion if something goes wrong, it rings unusually forceful and strong. Nikhil the captain, too, must convince his teammates that they can win without luck. But, with hard work. While also convincing Zoya of his liking for her.
Otherwise, it’s your regular meet-cute, oops-here-comes-an-obstacle and there’s your happy-ending, kind of romantic comedy. It’s just you staring at good looking people in great clothes, getting what they want out of life. Their romance is not always 100% convincing. But, it’s sweet, and there’s even a Aisha-esque ending sequence where Dulquer under a balcony and Sonam in the balcony, profess their love.
The Zoya Factor review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.