The best thing about Go Goa Gone is that it doesn’t take itself seriously. The worst thing about Go Goa Gone is that it doesn’t take itself seriously. It’s an amusing zombie-killing roller-coaster ride which could have been little more of a thriller. Thriller... that Michael Jackson video which made the dead-men-walking step an international rage.
Director duo Raj and DK, who made the brilliant Shor In the City, take such a light-handed approach to what is touted as Bollywood’s first zombie movie (Ramsay bhailogs, don’t take this personally) that there is never really a deep scare as such. Sure you want the people alive to not die at the hands of the evil dead but you cared for Bill Murray so much more in those 10 minutes of Zombieland.
The film takes off with the banal banter of three Mumbai roommates who are into sex, drugs and pizzas. Not necessarily in that order. And not necessarily involving all three. And while they will head to Goa in a car, the spirit here is less Dil Chahta Hai and more Delhi Belly. And not just because Vir Das is one of the three guys. He is Luv who’s just been dumped in love and Kunal Khemu is Hardik who takes his name seriously and the two would join Bunny (Anand Tiwari) on his Goa work trip.
A girl named Luna (Puja Gupta) would scoot into their lives there and they would all trip Slowly slowly to the psychedelia on a nearby island where red capsules would turn the rave party into a bloodfest next morning. Cue for blood-spraying head-drilling heart-chomping moments of zombied mayhem. To be repeated every reel till the end credits.
The directors, also the writers of Go Goa Gone along with Sita Menon, are extra expository about the rules of the zombie game. They use the “What do we know? What have we learnt?” device — shown early in the film on a Steve Jobs poster — to constantly bring the audience up to speed. And that makes the otherwise short film feel that much longer. But there’s a lot of style and panache in the way the film’s shot and treated, often giving you the feel of a first-person shooter game.
Of the three guys and the girl, Kunal’s the pick of the lot. His Hardik is funny, witty and sharp and has the right kind of edge for a zom com like Go Goa Gone. Vir Das has more screen time but some of his jokes and lines are too stand-up in feel for a big-screen impact. Anand is earnest, while Puja is too flat for comfort. Her dialogue delivery that is.
The piece de resistance of the film is, of course, Saif Ali Khan with his blonde hair, leather wear and Delhiwaala Russian burr. His zombie-killing no-nonsense Boris (say: Bariss) is howlarious and gives the laid-back film its much-needed momentum every time he appears, all guns blazing.
Go Goa Gone’s first images are sourced from the Telugu film Donga where Chiranjeevi had done the MJ, in the exact same red leather jacket, playing the zombie and going Goli maar maar maar. And one of the film’s last scenes –– which too should be a runaway hit on YouTube –– has Kunal Khemu dancing around trees with a zombie! There’s something about lands of the living dead that make us laugh and be scared at the same time. This one scores in one and that’s not that bad a start for our zom zom. Now get more dead people to kill, will ya? Nom nom!