Go Goa Gone: Film Review
Saif Ali Khan, Vir Das, Kunal Khemu, Pooja Gupta, Anand Tiwari
Raj Nidimoru, Krishna DK
Saif Ali Khan stars in the Indian rom-com which sees a group of friends stuck in a zombie-infested vacation spot.
More romance and comedy, and less bloody mayhem, would have served Go Goa Gone. But since the film is being hyped as India’s first zombie rom-com, it looks like the undead will be hanging around for a while.
Go Goa Gone’s charming young cast and fresh premise has driven the film to earn positive word of mouth among urban audiences in India and overseas, suggesting lively returns for producer and costar Saif Ali Khan and co-producer-distributor Eros International.
Recalling 2011’s equally foul-mouthed and drug-addled (but superior) comedy hit Delhi Belly, Go Goa Gone also finds three hip young dudes in the throes of a quarterlife crisis, facing extreme situations with more derring-do than smarts.
Vir Das (who costarred in Delhi Belly) appears here as Luv, a heartsick young cubicle-dweller who is dumped by his girlfriend and vows to start living life on the wild side.
Luv and his pothead best friend, Hardik (Kunal Khemu), persuade their uptight roommate, Bunny (Anand Tiwari), to take them to Goa — a coastal getaway known around the world for its easy drugs, loose morals and thriving electronic dance scene.
Co-directors Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK (Shor in the City, 99) have chosen their cast well. Das exhibits deft comic timing and a winning vulnerability, and Khemu aces the role of Hardik, a handsome rake constantly on the prowl. Khan puts on a questionable Russian accent and dyes his hair blonde for his role as Boris, a gangster who moonlights as a zombie killer. “I keel dead people!” he snarls.
The film starts out promisingly, and its soundtrack is infectious, but Nidimoru and DK’s screenplay fizzles out halfway through, failing to flesh out a budding love story between Luv and a pretty young partygoer (Pooja Gupta).
What ultimately proves deadly for the film is the directors’ decision to devote half of the running time to endless shots of zombies — all young Westerners, apparently chosen in a casting dragnet at Panaji’s budget hotels.
They lurch around in the sunshine by the dozens, wearing sarongs, dreadlocks and Fitch t-shirts soaked in fake blood. Die, already!
Opened: May 10, 2013 (Eros International)
Production companies: Eros International, Illuminati Films, D2R Films
Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Vir Das, Kunal Khemu, Pooja Gupta, Anand Tiwari
Directors: Raj Nidimoru, Krishna DK
Screenwriters: Raj Nidimoru, Krishna DK, Sita Menon
Producers: Saif Ali Khan, Sunil Lulla, Dinesh Vijan
Executive producer: Anuradha Sharma
Directors of photography: Dan Macarthur, Lukasz Pruchnik
Production designer: Clara Alvarez
Costume designers: Nital Ganatra
Makeup designers: Sean Genders, Tom Luhtala
Editor: Arindam Ghatak
Unrated, 110 minutes