'The Zoya Factor' Review: Dulquer hits sixer, patchy-performance by Sonam
Halves can only take you so far. Anything that loses rhythm midway is bound to bring along disappointment, as it reaches conclusion. This stands true for the Abhishek Sharma-directorial The Zoya Factor, starring Dulquer Salmaan and Sonam Kapoor, whose half-baked writing and execution oscillates from being fun and engaging to unsatisfactory, rather frequently. Here's our take on the film.
Despite her benign efforts to ignore the sport, Zoya Solanki (Sonam), a young woman clumsily trying to save her job as a junior copywriter at an advertising firm, is greeted by cricket everywhere she goes - at workplace, at ad shoots, and even back at home. Ironically, she was also born on the same day when India lifted its first World Cup in 1983.
In what begins as a harmless attempt at 'bonding' with clients- in this case, players of the national cricket team, Zoya is soon identified as a 'secret weapon' or lucky charm for the team. She just has breakfast with the team, and voila - guess who's the winner. Reluctantly though, she also becomes the Indian team's 'lucky mascot' for the 2011 Cricket World Cup.
To be fair to the film's cast and crew - full marks for a brilliantly staged first half of the film. The initial one hour is thoroughly fun and genuinely engaging. But wait for it, we are yet to talk about what comes after.
Inconsistencies in dialog delivery notwithstanding, Sonam carries the flamboyant Zoya with as much grace, as it would be sensible to expect from the actress. On the other hand, the dashing Dulquer Salmaan, as the fictitious cricket team's captain, Nikhil Khoda, hits the ball out of the park. His performance is equal parts passionate and memorable. We sincerely wish to see more of him.
The film also heavily rests on the shoulders of its amazing support cast. Sanjay Kapoor as Zoya's father looks in fine form. Other noteworthy performances come from Angad Bedi and Sikander Kher. Sonam's daddy Anil Kapoor also shows up for a cameo as an actor.
Right as you return from that interval break, you feel that you might have entered the wrong auditorium. We say so because what was till now served as a fun and interesting build-up is ruined by a slow, boring, and overly dramatic second half. Furthermore, the climax of the film is so plain and predictable, that all of it feels quite unsatisfactory.
Sure it doesn't deliver as much as it builds up in the first half, The Zoya Factor still comes off as a breezy watch one could see and forget over the course of the same weekend. Otherwise, if you are on a tight budget, or crave for only high-quality cinema, wait longer because Bollywood's plans seem dicey in that department. Final verdict: 2.5/5 stars.