‘The Zoya Factor’ Movie Review: Dulquer Salmaan-Sonam Kapoor’s cricket film gets clean bowled!
Fox Star Studios, Pooja Shetty, Aarrti Shetty
Dulquer Salmaan, Sonam Kapoor, Sanjay Kapoor, Angad Bedi, Sikander Kher, Udit Arora, Abhilash Chaudhary, Jashan Singh Kohli, Gandharv Dewan, Abhishek Madrecha, Manu Rishi, Pooja Bhamrrah, Koel Purie, Sachin Deshpande, Anil Kapoor
Bollywood Bubble Rating
What’s It About:
Sonam Kapoor’s life sucks in every possible way. While on one side her Boss wants to fire her, she miraculous lands an assignment to shoot a Pepsi ad campaign with the Indian cricket team. Despite hating cricket, she ends up going for the campaign where she meets the Indian cricket captain, Dulquer Salmaan. Not only is she head over heels for him, but she miraculous makes him also fall in love with her. Because of this, she ends up sharing breakfast with the cricket team one morning before the match and tells all how lucky she has been since childhood for cricket. The rest of the cricketers apart from Dulquer Salmaan believe her and now want her to be a lucky mascot to the team. Will Sonam Kapoor end up being the lucky charm that the Indian team needs to come out of their string of defeats? Or will Dulquer Salmaan’s hard work help the team lift the World Cup? Well, you will have to watch the movie for that.
Dulquer Salmaan. Yes, the man is not just hot in the literal sense, but a charm to watch on the silver screen. His acting skills prove that he is flawless even when it comes to speaking in Hindi. He has this uncanny likeability about himself which makes the character of the Indian cricket team’s captain stand out from the rest.
Sikander Kher, as the caring, funny yet troublesome elder brother to Sonam Kapoor is back in good form. His camaraderie with Sonam Kapoor and their dad, Sanjay Kapoor is praiseworthy. Good to see Sikander Kher finally making some worthy use of the immense potential that she showed when he has just entered Bollywood almost 12 years back.
Angad Bedi as the antagonist, who is trying to sabotage India’s victory at the cricket world cup, has also done a commendable job.
The film’s music and background score is another likeable thing. The songs haven’t been promoted that well, but the music by Shankar Ehsaan Loy is decent. Not to forget, the background score of the film, given by Indrajit Sharma
and Parikshit Sharma, which is also hummable as you watch along.
Lastly, the commentators on the cricket field were outstanding. One of the two commentators was trying to bring in the humour of Navjot Singh Sindhu, and his punches were, at times, the funniest PJs you would have heard in a long time. ‘Ball dono fielders ke beech se aise nikal gayi jaise Dhoom ka John Abraham‘ and ‘Jitni derr mein India run bana raha hai, lagta hai utni derr mein to Aadhar card ban jata’ are some such dialogues which will make you guffaw in your seats.
Well, everything else is pretty much unbearable.
Make no mistake, this is no sports film, forget about it being a film on cricket. On the contrary, it makes a mockery out of cricket.
To begin with, Sonam Kapoor is still harping in on the same hangover of the bubbly girl next door, who will always be forgiven for her childish and kiddish behaviour. Well, Sonam you’ve done a ‘Neerja’ and an ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga’ where you proved that you’re not just ‘Khoobsurat’. Please get back to doing such characters.
The love story between Sonam Kapoor and Dulquer Salmaan is so rushed you will end up feeling how was this girl complaining about being unlucky just 30 seconds back! Now, she’s dating the Indian cricket captain. Wow!
The direction by Abhishek Sharma is sloppy as he tries to get in the chick flick feel for the screen but fails miserably. It seems, writer Anuja Chauhan has had a lot of influence when the screenplay was being written, which is why the movie also feels a lot like you’re reading a book, where the central character (Sonam Kapoor) pops out from time to time and talks to the audience directly.
The chroma scenes look not that authentic. Not that I was expecting a ‘Baahubali‘ sort of VFX, but this was pretty shoddy job done.
The worst thing about this film is cricket. Indian audiences might forgive you as a filmmaker for taking any cinematic liberties for fiction, but when you do it with cricket (India’s favourite religion) you are totally messing it up. To be fair, the book was written around 2006-2007 and published in 2008. At that time, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh were the rising stars of Indian cricket and there were speculations that both were after the same girl. There were also speculations that both are not in good talking terms as one was picked as the team’s captain over the other. These things come out good in the book, as it was set in that period. However, in the movie, the time period is totally uncertain. If you’re setting up the film in 2010-2011 right before the world cup in India, then there was no mention of the same anywhere throughout the movie. Plus, there were numerous factual errors in the chronology of the events in cricket around that time. Totally unforgivable, as a die-hard cricket fan. If you’re making a film which ends at the 2011 cricket world cup, you could have at least made sure that sporting event factually right.
Moving on (SPOILERS), you’ve tried to show Dulquer Salmaan as the image of righteousness and Angad Bedi as a wrong-doer. But when the going goes tough for Dulquer, he too resorts to doing it the wrong way. For example, when he gets Angad Bedi run out in the World Cup final. Rather than closing the movie with the two never having resolved their issues, you could have taken the path usually taken by filmmakers – made Angad’s character realise his mistake and get him closure with Dulquer. Angad should have been made to realise that the sport is above everyone else. No individual star is above cricket. Well, that’s all the spoilers you’re going to get from me.
Also, as a cricket-loving nation, we know that cricketers believe in luck, but to say that they consider luck above their blood, sweat, hard work is something too cruel to say about them. ‘The Zoya Factor’ in a slightly subliminal way tries to portray that about the Indian cricketers.
Don’t waste your money on this film. Better watch Dulquer Salmaan’s debut Bollywood film ‘Karwaan’ if you want to see more of him. I’m going with 1.5 stars for ‘The Zoya Factor’.
The film has enough buzz and will, therefore, make it through the weekend smoothly. However, come Monday, the movie’s collections should see a drastic drop considering the negative word-of-mouth.