How far can luck take you when it comes to life's important decisions? While most of you might say, not too far, the film The Zoya Factor tells you a different story. Based on Anuja Chauhan’s book by the same name, the film is an entertaining rom-com with a zingy first half and a slow second half. Sonam Kapoor plays Zoya, who is chirpy, beautiful and considers herself the least lucky girl in the world (but she brings luck to the Indian cricket team). Zoya works with an ad agency called AWB as a junior copywriter. The lucky-unlucky girl falls in love with Indian cricket team captain Nikhil Khoda (played by Dulquer Salman), who only believes in hard work. What follows is a mad chase between two questions, whether you should believe in luck/destiny or work your ass off to achieve what you want in life?
1. Of course, the movie had to start with everything about cricket.
2. Shah Rukh Khan's voice in the background tells you the basics of the game. Do NOT miss this if you're a cricket novice.
3. "Dengue, Malaria se bhi badi bimari hai cricket," Shah Rukh Khan goes on telling us what cricket means to India.
4. Didn't they find anything else to compare with cricket? People die because of these diseases.
5. Then comes the title track. Okay, it is animated and as relatable as it can get.
6. The track lists all the superstitions that we've believed in at one point or the other.
7. Oh yes, we just can't let go of some age-old beliefs. "Billi rasta kaat gayi" (my mother still believes in it). Sneezing before deciding on something important is a bad omen. Yes, that too.
8. It's 1983, India wins the World Cup. Too much cricket happening in the beginning. Can we please move ahead?
9. A baby girl is born. Sanjay Kapoor is the dad and he declares that she is lucky for everyone. Why?
10. Just because she is born on June 25, 1983, the same day India won the World Cup. That's weird.
11. Was I born on an important day? Wish I was. I would have been lucky too! Moving on...
8. Enters Nikhil Khoda aka Dulquer Salman aka Virat Kohli (yes, I think he is playing Kohli). Wow, he is as hot as he looked in the trailers!
9. Tall, dark and handsome, oh, beard too. Checks all the boxes! And brownie points for fluent Hindi.
10. He is the captain of the Indian Cricket team, and he is being criticised for some decisions that didn't go well with the board.
11. They are calling him the captain cool. Oh, he is playing Dhoni.
12. The captain is having an important discussion with the team. Sounds super complicated. Some real cricket moments.
13. Damn! Should have brushed up on cricket vocabulary.
14. Enters Zoya Singh Solanki aka Sonam Kapoor Ahuja.
15. Pretty face, curly hair, fashion game strong and accessories on point. Yeah, that's classic Sonam.
16. She is watching a Cadbury ad that features the cricketer Nikhil Khoda (fantcising about being the woman in the ad sitting beside Khoda). Sweet.
17. Suddenly, now we're introduced to her brother Zoravar (Sikander Ker). Okay, she belongs to an army family and lives with dad and bro.
18. He is teasing her 'coz she is going to meet her 'loser' dentist boyfriend. Wait, why is he calling her jhadu?
19. Oh, I get it.
20. Sanjay Kapoor is cribbing about electricity because India is playing and he's missing the match.
21. "There are four TVs in the house, kisi pe bhi dekh lo." Woah! Isn't that too many televisions for three people?
22. Wow, that house is lavish.
23. Enters the dentist. Yeah, Zoya your brother is right!
24. He is not even smiling. Dump him already, Zoya!
25. Oh wait, is he dumping her? Yes he is! But is he treating her cavity? Thank god, he is!
26. Sonam is slurring at an important meeting.
27. Enters Koel Puri aka Monita, who runs AWB, an ad agency. Ooooh, she looks like a badass boss.
28. Anil Kapoor is also here? Am I going to see the whole Kapoor clan in this movie?
29. Sonam fails at pitching. Why couldn't she tell her boss about anesthesia?
30. No boyfriend and she is probably going to lose her job, she declares herself as an unlucky person. No dude, you are just having a bad day.
31. The board meeting is happening, Sonam is on her phone (trying to save face, probably).
32. The boss is giving her another project, a big one.
33. Oh, now I get why she is so lucky.
34. Sonam lands up in Sri Lanka with her two colleagues for the big project (Pepsi ad with the Indian cricket team).
34. Zoya behaves like a 10-year-old as firecrackers burst.
35. Nikhil meets Zoya. She is dancing on the street and causing pollution with firecrackers. Will someone remind her about the environment, please?
36. He smiles. Is he finding that cute?
37. Oh, that's the whole cricket team. Wait, is he the real Ravindra Jadeja? Oh no, can't be. He is an actor. Wow, what resemblance!
38. Zoya meets Nikhil in the lift. Is he going to flirt with her?
39. Damn, I was right. She meets the team and every cricketer is gawking at her. Do cricketers behave like this in real life too?
40. Angad Bedi in the house! So damn handsome he is.
41. But he is throwing his weight around. Is he the senior-most cricketer. Let me guess...he could be Virendra Sehwag, who didn't get to be the captain.
42. Or, he could be the villain. Cooking up controversies.
43. Zoya and Nikhil meet again. "Zoya, right?" Okay bro, sharpen your memory. This is the third time you are asking her name.
44. At the breakfast table, Zoya blurts her secret of being a lucky charm. If she eats breakfast with them, they'll win every match. Who can even believe that?
45. Where is this movie heading? How will they take this plot ahead?
46. Oh, they believe her! Seriously??
47. Nikhil and Zoya are flirting even more. That blush, that smile and romance is blooming at the breakfast table.
48. And she is on the field, and the team is playing.
49. Run out being declared as no-ball just because Zoya is on the field and had breakfast with the team. That's super unreal.
50. That cricket commentary is superb. "Stump wicket se aise chipka jaise Deepika se Ranveer." Can't get over this. These commentators are sure going to leave a mark.
51. Hence proved, she is lucky.
52. The board is trying to get her to be the lucky mascot. Wait, they are offering her money?
53.. Is it even legal to do this? Yes, they are offering her crores. Her dad is pissed. C'mon girl, don't even think. Take it! Give a resignation and start your own company!
54. C'mon, just do it! Oh wait, she cannot romance Nikhil if she takes it. And of course, Nikhil had to call at this time.
55. And she said NO! I would have taken it for sure.
56. Ek ke baad ek song. Is there any way left to show some romance? Is she not going to take the offer ever?
57. Zoya's luck gets her another big project and she is going for the World Cup.
58. Oh c'mon, who gets to be this lucky? She meets Nikhil again and now some more songs. Will they every fight? Why are they so perfect? Such a Mills & Boons kind of romance. And, why is everybody always chomping on an apple?
59. Can't handle this over the top romance. And here comes the villian. Thank God he is interfering.
60. They are finally fighting. Dump the guy, Zoya. There is still time, accept the offer. Finally, she does. The plot is getting interesting but the second half of the movie is super slow.
61. Okay, it's turning too predictable now. Where are those puns? The writing has lost all the zing.
62. Well, a predictable ending. But it was entertaining. Watch it for the commentators, people! They deserve all the love!
The Zoya Factor is an entertaining Bollywood flick. Nevertheless, the plot could have been crisper. In all the din, the film is trying to communicate that luck has nothing to do with hard work. But I have to say, Anuja Chauhan did a great favour to Bollywood by allowing them to turn her book into a movie. 'Coz it's not too often that we get to see a rom-com that is heroine-led. Leave your brains at home, the movie is pure entertainment. Also, buy your popcorn buckets before the movie begins.
I rate this movie 3.5/5.
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