Shorn off the evil dead

Published: 12th May 2013 08:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th May 2013 08:14 AM   |  A+A-


Did we really think an Indian zom-com would be free of Hollywood influences? No. The directors are quite open about lifting scenes off the likes of Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead. For starters, it’s pretty obvious where the idea for the film came in, when a group of six people go trekking across an island off Goa, after an outbreak of zombieitis.

Then, someone decides they can escape the wrath of the flesh-eaters by pretending to be zombies themselves. The directors avoid charges of plagiarism by making the character remark, “I’ve seen it in some film.” Now, my expectations were really low, and the film was less lame than I was prepared for. As a friend of mine puts it, that’s the most you could hope for from a film that stars Kunal Khemu and Vir Das, supported by Saif Ali Khan and a bazooka. I did laugh more often than I’d hoped to .

But the humour depends almost entirely on timing, and a lot of it would be lost on those who have seen the trailer, or read reviews before going to the film itself. ‘Go Goa Gone’ begins like a staple yuppie movie - two young men are smoking up, while a third is being responsible.

We know already that most of the film will have the junkies coaxing the responsible boy to lighten up. They all appear to work in the same office, and we’re enlightened about all the ways in which Hardik (Kunal Khemu) and Luv (Vir Das) break the rules. With the two eventually needing a break from the decadence of their lives, they pile on to Bunny (Anand Tiwari), who’s being sent to Goa to make a presentation. So they meet girls - Luna (Puja Gupta), apparently a Facebook friend of Luv’s, though she comes across as a stalker - and do drugs - courtesy the Russian mafia, represented by Boris (Saif Ali Khan). And then, they encounter zombies. The film tries so hard to be funny that there’s no real scare element. And since the humour is largely borrowed from other movies, it isn’t particularly hilarious.

Thankfully, the film isn’t as gruesome as it could have been. But, while the first half zips through, the second goes about as slowly as the zombies themselves. There are times when the jokes get so lowbrow, one can only roll one’s eyes. And then, there is an in-joke, with Soha Ali Khan making a guest appearance. However, both Vir Das and Kunal Khemu rise to the occasion, with decent timing and expressions, and Anand Tiwari is endearingly funny as the drip on the trip. The film ends with the predictable promise of a sequel, and one wonders whether the directors will gather up enough original material to hold that one up.


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