Ditz The Way:
Rating: Two stars
The Anuja Chauhan book had an idea begging to be turned into a romcom, but The Zoya Factor, directed by Abhishek Sharma is a bland, mostly unfunny film, in which even the romance lacks fizz.
The eponymous Zoya, daughter of a Delhi armyman (Sanjay Kapoor), is supposedly a loser, who is bad at her job, dumped by her boring, balding dentist boyfriend, nicknamed Jhadoo (broom) by her brother (Sikander Kher), is played by Sonam K. Ahuja, who cannot bring herself to be unstylish even if the role demanded it. The two men in her family are crazy about cricket, but Zoya is indifferent to the game, though not to the attractive captain Nikhil Khoda (Dulquer Salmaan), whom she watches, moonstruck, in a chocolate commercial on TV (one the many product placements in the film).
After she wrecks an ad shoot with a star (real-life dad, Anil Kapoor, doing a cameo), her female=bitchy boss (Koel Purie) sends her to Sri Lanka for a cola shoot with the Indian cricketers. The team is going through a low period, and there is internal rivalry between Nikhil and Robin Rawal (Angad Bedi), who wants to be captain. Nikhil and Zoya have the mandatory meet cute and romance is in the air, though it is not quite clear why he is attracted to this ditzy female, except that the rules of most romcoms dictate the most unlikely candidate (the klutzy female, the nerdy guy) wins the love sweepstakes.
Zoya was born on the day India won the first cricket World Cup (in 1983), so her father believes she is lucky for the team. When she does happen to have breakfast with the demoralized team, they win the match, the bails miraculously stay on the wickets, easy catches are dropped. Two of the most vocal cricketers are superstitious to begin with, and insist the match was won by Zoya’s luck. This annoys Nikhil, who thinks the hard work his team has put in is being disregarded, and is even angrier when the cricket officials actually sign up Zoya for a fat sum to attend all matches and help the team win. In a cricket-crazy country, Zoya is quickly elevated to goddess status, and she struts around wearing guru-like red robes.
There was potential for satire here, that doesn’t quite come off, the romance is tepid and the cricket scenes are shot indifferently. One of the crucial ingredients of a Bollywood romcom—good music—is missing too. The gimmick of Sonam Kapoor, speaking to the audience does not work, since she and the lines lack Fleabag-style dry wit, so it is left to Dulquer Salmaan to salvage the film with his easy charm, though his character remains underwritten and treated as generic Prince Charming.