TRYING INTENSELY HARD, ‘THE ZOYA FACTOR’ MANAGES TO STRIKE A CHORD

Rating: 3/5
Director Abhishek Sharma puts across a story that hardly serves a purpose, but is entertaining for sure

It’s quite obvious that when the director of Parmanu: The Story Of Pokhran brings something, you look for it. But expecting the same quality and strength from this is probably asking for too much. The genre is totally different, so is the approach..The trailer of The Zoya Factor didn’t garner much positivity but the film rises above. Keeping you interested in parts, the overall impact is of a time-pass entertainer. It is one of those films which you can watch while casually munching on your popcorns with family and friends, and smile after it has ended. That too, not with crass logic. You are wanting for more and more of course, and at one point, the film ends, but when you think of it, you’ve had reasonably good time.

the zoya factor, hindi, film, review, 2019
Director Abhishek Sharma and author of the novel Anuja Chauhan (image source: indiatv.com)
PLOT

The story revolves around the life of Zoya Solanki (Sonam Kapoor Ahuja), an ad agent. One fine day, she stumbles onto limelight on being considered as the lucky charm for the Indian National Men’s Cricket Team. But not everyone agrees to the notion, including the team’s captain Nikhil Khoda (Dulquer Salman)

Read ‘Prassthanam’ Movie Review Here 

STORY/SCREENPLAY/GENERAL

Based on the eponymous novel by Anuja Chauhan, the story has been adapted for screen by Neha Rakesh Sharma and Pradhuman Singh. The main idea emphasizes on the beliefs of a large section of Indian society on luck and superstitions; with stories of cricketers being untouched with this. The adaptation has no problems as such and the film does keep you onto it with it’s inherent freshness.

the zoya factor, review, hindi, film, 2019
Scenes from the film (image source: malayalamanorama.com)

The film in almost its entire fabric asks you to suspend your disbelief. That’s given. You can’t expect reality. But the way film is positioned, it does its job well.

There are scenes that appear just for the sake of increasing the run time to a satisfactory level, and they don’t serve any point in the larger scheme of things, especially in the second half. Also, the film seems far too stretched here and you’ve already predicted the climax just 5 mins into the post interval time. Those who have read the novel, would probably connect more with the situations than those who haven’t.

But there are scenes which are indeed lovable. The first time Nikhil comes to Zoya’s house- the scene is directed nicely. On the other hand the match scenes don’t seem real. And because it doesn’t seem real, the film doesn’t look real. Also, there are only 7 players of the team who are shown except for very few (can be counted on fingers) where more than 7 appear on screen. The film in the second half is more coiled than smooth, taking you away from the feel.

PERFORMANCE

Dulquer Salman is in effortless ease as an actor, but not as a cricketer. As an actor, he says a lot through his eyes than actually with dialogues. Winning hearts with Karwaan in 2018, he is sure to give you a good time in theaters this time as well. He is very very good. Not only does he look handsome, he exudes warmth for himself.

Sonam Kapoor Ahuja is good, but also plastic in many cases. A lot of the film relies on her. She does a satisfactory job but could have done much better. She does fine job in some portions of the film though, but overall the effect is superficial.

Sanjay Kapoor is good and brings in a certain sense of excitement towards the film. Angad Bedi in a strong supporting role is powerful and he has some defining moments in the film. Sikandar Kher is equally good in a role that seems to be written only for him.

Watch the trailer:

Manu Rishi has a small but strong role. And he does his job impression ably. The other actors cast in the roles of cricketers are good too, and do the needful.

OTHER TECHNICALITIES

Music by Shankar Ehsaan Loy works for the film and only for the film. Once you come out of the theaters, you won’t remember a single track. But that’s okay as long as they aid the storytelling. But you do expect more from the trio. Background score by Indrajit Sharma and Parikshit Sharma is okay, but could be better to give the film a tone that could have brought more connect.

Manoj Lobo’s cinematography is by the strict line; nothing less, nothing more. The film is is good enough to watch to, but don’t expect high values from this department. Production design is good. It’s a vivacious film adding up to the flavor of the story.

The standard of editing by Utsav Bhagat is the best that could be probably achieved. In a film that doesn’t provide much chance to shine on the editing table, you can’t blame the editor actually. The film has a simple structure and caters to the casual viewer in you.

The film could be so much more. It could have said something that mattered. And even if it didn’t, it could have stayed an out-an-out entertainer. It does so her and there. But loses momentum when it mattered the most. Predictability is what the film suffers at the most.

Rochak Saxena

Rochak Saxena a Mass Media Teacher, former journalist at DNA and an ardent lover of Hindi films - literally. The blog derives its name from the popular term ‘Willing Suspension of Disbelief’, most commonly used in the world of literature and cinema. Meaning to immerse yourself in an unreal world (where you know what you see on screen is fake) with a self-proclaimed/declared belief/wish to consider it real, the willing world becomes magical. It’s the same magic every Friday that drives Rochak to share things in the perspective that it needs to be observed with. Every film is different. And the difference needs to be cherished.

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