‘The Zoya Factor’ review: When we can laugh at both our serious obsessions; cricket and superstition
The storyline of ‘The Zoya Factor’ is thin but interesting and seeks to address a very strong tendency of superstition in our society and of human mind too
Sonam Kapoor, though an average actor, has dared to choose off-beat stories and even roles and thus has carved out a place for herself. The Zoya factor is another of such low cost, 'hat ke' film. Based on a book by Anuja Chauhan, the film is entertaining though slow at times.
The storyline is thin, but interesting and seeks to address a very strong tendency in our society and of human mind too.
We tend to believe that a person or a thing is lucky/unlucky for us. This tendency gets stronger with superstition and blind faith. While, the fact remains that its primarily our talent, perseverance and hard work which brings success. And the game of success and failures is a natural cycle in anyone’s professional/personal life. The thing that matters is how intensely we live and feel.
The film is mediocre as far as film making is concerned but makes an important statement in the present social context when people are lynched or killed on the suspicion of practising black magic or witchcraft.
It is a strange and regressive streak in our society that while talking about development, we have constantly been becoming all the more superstitious. Unfortunately, the streak is more prominent in the youths today.
Zoya Factor addresses that. How a person who is a ‘lucky charm’ for Indian cricket team turns into a chudail or daayan or even desh-drohi when she makes it clear that she doesn't believe in this superstition. The story is told simply without creating much tension, but thoughts naturally turn back to those ghastly incidents in our country when people were killed or beaten to death because they either chose to speak against superstitions or they were rumoured to be practising black magic.
The story takes two things we like most- cricket and faith. And treading lightly on a sensitive path, the film humorously comments on both; the politics and business of cricket cashing on the blind faith of people. In between runs a love story too. And portraying all this, the film plays up brand advertisements rather loudly.
Another element which Hindi films use rather frequently these days is that instead of a narrator or a commentator, an actor talks directly to the audience, which at times comes across as a rather interesting style of narration. Although the film has Shah Rukh Khan as the ‘official’ commentator.
Dulquer Salmaan as a brooding hard-working captain of the cricket team looks stylish. Sonam Kapoor is as usual in her chirpy, bubbly girl avatar. Angad Bedi and Abhilash Chaudhary leave an impression.
Director Abhishek Sharma should be appreciated for making a light movie on such a sensitive topic. This is how, gradually, the mindsets of people can be influenced, if not changed. Music by Shankar Ehsaan Loy is not much to talk about.
The film should be watched for its light-hearted, humorous take on a serious issue.