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The Zoya Factor: 2019 Bollywood Romantic Comedy

Zoya Factor: 2019 Bollywood Rom-Com Film

Movie Name: The Zoya Factor
Directed by: Abhishek Sharma
Starring: Sonam Kapoor, Dulquer Salmaan, Sanjay Kapoor, Sikander Kher, Saurabh Shukla, Rahul Khanna, Shoaib Ahmed, R. Bhakti Klein, Angad Bedi
Genre: Drama, Romance, Comedy, Sport
Release Date: 20 September, 2019
Running Time: 134  Minutes
Rating:

Based Anuja Chauhan’s novel, Zoya Factor is a rom-com about Zoya, an advertising agent and her relationship with the captain of team India, Nikhil Khoda.

The Zoya Factor is an upcoming Indian Hindi-language romantic drama film, starring Sonam Kapoor and Dulquer Salmaan. It is directed by Abhishek Sharma and produced by Pooja Shetty Deora. The film is a light adaptation of Anuja Chauhan’s 2008 novel The Zoya Factor, and follows the story of a girl, Zoya Solanki, who becomes a lucky charm for the Indian Cricket team during the 2011 Cricket World Cup.

The release date of the film was pushed twice due to the 2019 Cricket World Cup. It is finally scheduled to be theatrically released in India on 20 September 2019.

Zoya Factor: Plot

The story revolves around a Rajput girl, Zoya Solanki, an executive in an advertising agency. She ends up becoming a lucky charm for the Indian Cricket team during the 2011 Cricket World Cup. Nikhil Khoda (Dulquer) play the Indian Cricket Team captain and Zoya’s love interest.

Movie Production:

In an interview, director Abhishek Sharma described the film to Mumbai Mirror as “Cricket woven into a rom-com and touching on superstition and luck.”

Initially the release date as 5 April 2019 was announced for the film, which was advanced to 14 June 2019, for a release during the 2019 Cricket World Cup. But finally, it is slated to release on 20 September, post the Cricket World Cup. In February, to promote the movie, Sonam Kapoor changed her social media handles to her character’s name, ‘Zoya Singh Solanki’. A first look poster giving the release date of the film was released on 23 May. Release of the Sonam Kapoor – Dulquer Salmaan starrer movie postponed from June to September 20.

Movie Trailer:

#Teaser

#Trailer Launch

Movie Review:

When luck is on your side, nothing can go wrong. But it is hard to say what will work as a ‘lucky charm’ for The Zoya Factor. An adaptation of Anuja Chauhan’s novel by the same name, The Zoya Factor, starring Sonam Kapoor and Dulquer Salmaan as lead characters, explores a world that is unreal yet director Abhishek Sharma makes it believable. Though the central premise of the film is thin, it’s the feel good factor that holds your attention. Since it’s a novel adapted for the big screen, you pretty much know what’s going to happen next, but Abhishek has adds quite a few elements that keep you hooked.

For instance, the script incorporates timely and hilarious puns about Ranveer Singh being head over heels in love with Deepika Padukone and the nepotism debate in Bollywood. The references to films such as Dhoom and Baahubali or Amitabh Bachchan’s game show Kaun Banega Crorepati crack you up.

The film starts with Zoya Solanki (Sonam Kapoor) being born on the day when India won the cricket World Cup in 1983 and is labelled a ‘gift from cricket gods’ by her father (Sanjay Kapoor). Though considered a lucky charm who can make teams win ‘tosses and matches’ merely by sharing a breakfast with them, Zoya’s personal and professional life is a sob story. She is caught between dating losers and having a deadbeat job as a junior copywriter in an ad agency.

This middle-class Rajput girl from an army household gets an opportunity of a lifetime to work with the Indian cricket team for a shoot. The starstruck Zoya meets the hunk of the team Nikhil Khoda (Dulquer Salmaan), who believes ‘luck has no role to play in success; it’s only an excuse to failure’ and immediate connection is forged.

Things change when Zoya gains currency as a lucky charm and the entire team starts counting on her to win the game. Even the the cricket board offers her a whopping amount to be the lucky mascot for the team. In a fix between dating the team’s captain and her dilemma to take or leave the offer, Zoya goes through a tsunami of emotions.

Dulquer Salmaan, son of legendary actor Mammootty and a heartthrob in Malayalam cinema, delivers a pitch-perfect performance, and is clearly the star of the film. He stands out in every possible way and you register his absence when he is missing on the screen. He’s the team’s skipper who doubles up as a chef and biker when not playing on the field.

Sonam Kapoor is in her element as she plays Zoya, a character that’s clueless about what’s happening in the world and has a perpetual dumb expression. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that it’s a tailor-made role for Sonam where she’s not even required to act and she seamlessly fits into Zoya’s shoes. Between wearing stylish clothes and looking good onscreen, I seriously wonder when filmmakers would start writing intelligent characters for this Kapoor scion. She did prove her mettle with Neerja, so it’s not that acting isn’t in her genes. Guess it’ll take a few more movies to get there.

Surprisingly, Sonam and Dulquer as a new onscreen pair have quite a sizzling chemistry. However, their romance gets a hasty treatment, bracketed as ‘love at first sight’. At some points, the film reminds of you Sushant Singh Rajput’s MS Dhoni: The Untold Story for the way a cricket team’s captain is shown falling for a girl who hates the sport and is ready to walk that extra mile for her.

Among the supporting cast, Angad Bedi as the bad guy of the team has a strong screen presence but gets a half-baked role with little for him to do. Sikander Kher as Zoya’s brother Zorawar delivers some clever comic punches. A 45-second cameo by Anil Kapoor doesn’t go unnoticed. The running cricket commentary by two men — specially the one doing it in Navjot Singh Sidhu’s style — keeps the laughs coming.

For a high-on-cricket film, the director and writers have tried hard to make the stadium portions look convincing and they succeed in some places. The players give glimpses of Indian cricketers like Shikhar Dhawan, Harbhajan Singh, Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli, and you instantly draw comparisons. The scenes where the entire crowd in the stadium is shown chanting slogans ‘Zo Zo Zoya’ looks a bit too much. Even the TV sports journalists have been made to look like funny caricatures as they report animatedly in high-pitched voices.

Brand integration is one thing that this film has in abundance. From Nerolac paints, Cadbury Dairy Milk to Orilite Cement and Pepsi, they get such frequent mentions in the film that Sonam might have had a FOMO for her fashion label and her husband’s shoe line couldn’t make it to this list.

The Zoya Factor’s music isn’t forgettable but could have been better. Lucky Charm at the beginning sets the bar so high that Shankar-Ehsan-Loy themselves would have struggled to keep the momentum going. Tracks like Kaash and Maheroo do register in your mind.

On the whole, the film doesn’t ask you to apply your brains. If you are a cricket fan and enjoy chick flicks, Sonam’s over-the-top act and Dulquer’s good looks will hold your attention. A good watch with your friends where the fun lasts only till the film does.

Zoya Factor Movie Songs:

Song Title: Lucky Charm
Singers: Raghuvir Yadav, Shankar Mahadevan
Music: Shankar – Ehsaan – Loy
Lyrics: Amitabh Bhattacharya

Song Title: Kaash
Singers: Arijit Singh, Alyssa Mendonsa
Music: Shankar – Ehsaan – Loy
Lyrics: Amitabh Bhattacharya

Song Title: Pepsi Ki Kasam
Singers: Benny Dayal
Music: Shankar – Ehsaan – Loy
Lyrics: Amitabh Bhattacharya

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