GO GOA GONE
Eros International and Illuminati Films’ Go Goa Gone (A) is a comedy zombie film. Hardik (Kunal Khemu), Luv (Vir Das) and Bunny (Anand Tiwari) go to an island for a rave party. Luv, who has just had a heartbreak, meets Luna (Puja Gupta) who has come with her friends for the party organised by the mafia. There’s a new drug on sale at the party attended by more than a thousand people. All those who consume the drug die. They soon become zombies – dead people who come alive because a small part of their brain continues to function. Luckily, Hardik, Luv and Bunny don’t take the drug and are, therefore, alive. The zombies move slowly and prey on living creatures including human beings and so the three friends find themselves being chased by the zombies. The trio manages to trace Luna whose friends have also since turned zombies. The four are now aware that one can also become a zombie if one is bitten by a zombie.
Even as the four are trying to escape from the island, they realise that the boat in which the trio had come has been taken away by Ariana with whom Hardik had spent the first night on the island and who has now turned into a zombie. Help comes in the form of Boris (Saif Ali Khan) and his accomplice, Nikolai (Ross Bucharn). Boris and Nikolai know how to eliminate zombies by shooting them in the head or puncturing the head with a knife.
However, it is not very simple because there are more than a thousand zombies to be dealt with. In between, Boris and Nikolai go on a secret mission, leaving the four friends safely in a bungalow.
But are the four actually safe? Do the zombies reach the bungalow? Where do Boris and Nikolai go to? Do they return? Why does Bunny get separated from Hardik, Luv and Luna? Does Bunny die when the zombies reach him? What happens to Hardik, Luv and Luna? And what happens to Boris and Nikolai?
Raj Nidimoru, Krishna D.K. and Sita Menon have penned a story which is quite unusual because although it is a horror story, there is comedy which goes hand-in-hand with the horror show. Also, the Hindi cinema-going audience is introduced to the concept of zombies through this film since the first Hindi zombie film, Rise Of The Zombie, was a non-star-cast non-starter. The screenplay, penned by the trio, is interesting upto a point but becomes very repetitive after a point of time as the drama then deals with zombies following the six people alive and the group of six trying to eliminate them while keeping themselves safe. Interestingly, the zombies have, for some strange and unexplained reason, been shown to not be chasing Boris too often.
The jokes between Hardik, Luv and Bunny and also between the trio and Boris are interesting and funny but not at all hilarious because of which the audience would smile or laugh at places but never guffaw. Also, several of the jokes are so class-appealing that only the city-based youngsters will follow them. Of course, there is some thrill element but its impact is greatly reduced when scenes become repetitive. Fans of Saif Ali Khan are bound to feel disappointed since Boris (the character Saif plays) does nothing more than killing the zombies, right from the beginning till the end. Climax is quite childish. Dialogues, penned by Kunal Khemu and Sita Menon (additional dialogues by Raja Daipayan Sen), are very good and go well with the mood of the film although it must be added, they hold appeal mainly for the city-based youngsters.
Kunal Khemu acts freely and ably and does complete justice to his role. His sense of comedy is lovely. Vir Das is also very good with his poker-faced comedy. His facial expressions and comic sense of timing are excellent. Anand Tiwari performs beautifully, using his expressions and body language to the hilt. Puja Gupta is suitably glamorous and does a fairly nice job. Saif Ali Khan is effective and evokes laughter at some places but his role is uni-dimensional and all that he is doing throughout the film is killing the zombies. This will disappoint his fans. Ross Bucharn doesn’t really get to act but his imposing personality makes the character of Nikolai, which he plays, believable. Abhishek Kapoor, Pitobash Tripathi, Minal Thakur, Suparn Verma, Larrisa Bonesi, Krishna D.K., Jasleen Gill, Anuradha Sharma, Nagaraju Jalli, Avinash Serrao and the rest lend the desired support.
Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K.’s direction is good although their script and narrative style would appeal mainly to the city-bred youngsters. Sachin-Jigar’s music is very nice. The ‘Slowly slowly’ song is already a hit amongst the youth. The other songs are also appealing. Lyrics, written by Priya Panchal and Amitabh Bhattacharya, are youth-centric and match the mood of the film. Adil Shaikh’s choreography is fair. Sachin-Jigar’s background score is effective. Camerawork (by Dan Macarthur and Lukasz Pruchnik) is very nice. Piranha Stunts and Anthony Stone’s actions and stunt scenes are exciting. Arindam S. Ghatak’s editing is sharp.
On the whole, Go Goa Gone has the novelty factor going in its favour but it lacks universal appeal. It entertains upto a point but becomes repetitive thereafter. It can hope to do well only in the big cities and the premium multiplexes but that may not be enough to recover costs. Its business in smaller cities and towns will be below the mark.