Bestselling books made into movies always come with the risk of comparison. There have been colossal successes (Harry Potter) and massive failures (Percy Jackson). But any person who has watched the Harry Potter series will vouch that the books were far better. Unfortunately, The Zoya Factor falls into the Percy Jackson category.
I remember reading The Zoya Factor during my grad days. It was a laugh riot and Anuja Chauhan ended up vying for my favourite author spot along with Dan Brown. (They share that position now😊)
The Zoya Factor is about a cricket hating advertising executive, Zoya (Sonam Kapoor) becoming a lucky charm for the Indian team and her clash with the captain Nikhil (Dulquer Salman). Nikhil does not want Zoya to steal the team’s thunder while Zoya thinks he is just being mean. In these circumstances, they somehow fall in love. Added to the mix is the star batsman (Angad Bedi) whose uncle is the Chief Selector and the politics they play. The premise brims with interesting possibilities but when did having the right ingredients ensure a tasty dish. And the lack of a good cook is what The Zoya Factor suffers from exactly.
A big mistake is the casting of the lead pair. Dulquer rocks as the suave and confident captain and Sonam sheds her fashionista persona and is lovable in her girl next door role. You expect sparks and chemistry when they come together but that never happens. Like the Deccan Chargers team in the inaugural IPL season.
The screenplay is weak, and the watching experience feels tedious. Considering the director is Abhishek Sharma (Tere Bin Laden, Parmanu) it comes as a bit of a surprise. The songs too are ordinary and only slow down an already slower movie. Characters like Monita, Nilo, Vishal and the Chief Selector are reduced to mere caricatures and this is another mistake as most of the fun happens when Zoya is around them.
Finally, this was how I felt - The book was a T20 rollercoaster while the movie was a pointless and drab ODI with the occasional spurt of excitement. The movie is available to watch on Netflix.
P.S. – Angad Bedi is the son of legendary Indian spinner Bishen Singh Bedi.