There are two things that India and its citizens are completely crazy about – Bollywood and cricket. What do you get when you mix the two? A very likeable film, it turns out.

Casting Sonam Kapoor as the lead in The Zoya Factor was a no-brainer but Dulquer Salmaan as Indian skipper, Nikhil Khoda is fantastic. He’s the right amount of aloof, charming and macho that the film needs. 

When Anuja Chauhan’s novel of the same name came out in 2008, it was a novelty in the Indian light-reads market. It wasn’t the usual trash that is dished out by former IIT aspirants and nor was it an intellectual foray into the world of political culture that we are used to from renowned Indian authors. It was fun, peppy and exactly the kind of stuff you’d expect from a woman who gave the world the iconic slogan, ‘yeh dil maange more’.

In what is a rare instance, the movie does justice to the book and doesn’t deviate too much from it. The supporting cast is strong – Sikander Kher and Sanjay Kapoor as Zoya’s brother and father respectively are a charm to behold on screen. Angad Bedi makes you hate him halfway through the movie but then again, that’s his job as the antagonist.

However, the true stars of the movie are Neha Sharma, Pradhuman Singh and Anuja Chauhan who’ve written the screenplay. The script is riddled with hilarious puns and one-liners that do not fail to make you laugh. Sonam Kapoor as the eponymous Zoya is lovely – she is on home turf now as the bubbly, clumsy girl a la Aisha. Except for this time around her comic timing is on point.

The film deals with the nature of cricket and superstition in a brilliant manner. At one point, Zoya tells Nikhil that “doodh jaldi peene se chhati mai baal ug te hai“. Then we see, Zoya shooting for a commercial dressed as a devi – cricket bat and pads and all. It’s not entirely unimaginable a scene in today’s India. When Zoya walks off from the set of the said commercial, the circus cast in the background show exactly what the country can become when it comes to cricket and belief. Zoya’s character growth is beautifully portrayed and we see her reach for deeper and redder hues in the second half of the film with special preference given to garments that have her name embroidered on them.

Of course, the film also has its annoying moments especially because of the numerous brand plug-ins that tend to be a little irksome. From Nerolac to ASICS (there is a damn song called Pepsi Ki Kasam), the movie has it all. The Zoya Factor isn’t an astounding movie but it is Bollywood through and through – a film that has its heart in the right place and doesn’t fail to make you smile.