It’s not easy being Indian cinema’s second zombie film, and the very first zombie romantic-comedy. Go Goa Gone comes bearing a lot of weight on its shoulders. As amongst the very first, it certainly doesn’t disappoint, but as a film, it’s close to being atrociously unfunny and borderline boring.
A film like Go Goa Gone is primarily aimed towards the multiplex audience that if not in a theatre, then at home, have probably been exposed to some Hollywood produced zombie film (or the highly popular Shaun of the Dead) at one time or another. Whereas the West has pretty much reached the peak of the zombie culture with films, games, TV series, and everything else conceivable, Indian cinema is just testing the waters. Herein lays the problem that is clearly evident in the case of Go Goa Gone. It tries to walk a very thin line trying to either be more of a Zombie 101 film or one that takes its audience to be smart and knowing and thus skipping the basics of the whole zombie culture. In doing so, it unfortunately falls flat on its face, or worse, is eaten alive by the living dead.
The most irritating factor of the film is the humour. Not only are the best scenes in the trailers, but the jokes are so juvenile that the film would have sounded a lot funnier if the cast consisted of teenagers rather than the late 20-somethings portrayed by Vir Das, Kunal Khemu, Puja Gupta, and Anand Tiwari who get stuck on an island swarming with zombies. So, if you find Vir Das calling his “nuts” as “gotiyan” funny or an obvious joke associated with Kunal’s screen name Hardik, then maybe you will find the film a lot funnier than I did. Moreover, a number of jokes rely heavily on the use of curse words, and adult men using curse words just isn’t funny anymore.
Another aspect of the film is that it takes almost half the film for our three heroes to realize that they are up against zombies. These are men of the new age, who spend considerable time smoking up and watching TV, so I find it very hard to believe that they do not know what a zombie is when they see one. As a result of this, what we get is a Zombie 101 lesson where everything about a zombie is explained at one point of the film or another.
Predictability it the key downfall of Go Goa Gone because the second half of the film is simply situation after situation of the three heroes along with the damsel in distress ending up around zombies and then trying to get out of the situation with the Russian accented Boris, played by Saif Ali Khan, jumping in every now and then to save them. While Saif’s accent is funny at times, eventually that too becomes a drag and begins to lose its charm as the end draws near.
The film tries to be original, obviously taking inspiration from prior zombie films, but I longed for some slightly out of the box thinking even if it was copied. Throughout the entire film we have Luv (Vir Das) and Hardik (Kunal Khemu) trying their luck with Luna (Puja Gupta). What would have made the film special was if they could have taken slight inspiration from The Goonies and have the underdog Bunny (Anand Tiwari) steal a kiss from Luna, and trust me there were ample opportunities.
Unfortunately, the film sticks to the obvious most of the time, except for maybe when the story gets stupid. I could accept that the party goers turn into zombies when they consume a special drug, but it’s hard for me to fathom that the way to stop them is by simply spraying cocaine on them, because the one drug is having a reaction with the earlier drug.
The ending is probably the most horrifying aspect of Go Goa Gone, that is, it ends on a notion of a sequel.