Film review: Go Goa Gone

Deepa Deosthalee

Zombie is a term often "figuratively applied to describe a hypnotised person bereft of consciousness and self-awareness, yet ambulant and able to respond to surrounding stimuli”, according to Wikipedia.

Film Review: Go Goa Gone
Image: YouTube still (Eros Now)

The latter part of this definition fits two of the three protagonists of Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK’s hilarious Go Goa Gone more accurately than the ‘real’ zombies who show up later in the film.

Hardik (Kunal Khemu) and Luv (Vir Das)––named thus for obvious reasons although how their parents could’ve been that foresighted one doesn’t know––are content drifting through life in a haze of lust, liquor and pot in no particular order and utterly incompetent at practical living. Including say, picking up the remote to switch channels when a Southern horror song featuring Chiranjeevi in a red suit, green eyes and manic thrusts is playing on television. 

Their third roommate, Bunny (Anand Tiwari, the show-stealer) is an idiot, hence continues to tolerate these slackers and even allows them to con him into a sojourn in Goa where he’s supposed to go on work. Before this, Hardik has lost his job and Luv his girlfriend. The trip to Goa is meant to heal their souls, ergo a rave party on a deserted island is in order. Bunny is dragged along as usual and while the boys do encounter pretty girls, their poor run of luck continues. The next morning the three young men wake up to find themselves surrounded by strange figures ambling about in dazed slow-mo, blood oozing from their mouths and eyes turned inwards.

The horror genre in Hindi has scarcely gone beyond the Ramsay brothers’ variety of Purana Mandir’s and Bandh Darwaza’s (Rajkumar Kohli’s Jaani Dushman also comes to mind), very different in origin from these drug-addled westerners––many of the zombies are white and the source of their ghastly transformation is an incandescent new drug gone horribly wrong. It’s funny how Raj and DK take the trouble to explain this foreign import to Indian audiences through elimination––they aren’t conventional ghosts, or chudails (since their feet aren’t turned backward), so they must be a new variety namely, zombies.

Somewhere along the way a half-Russian, half-desi mafioso named Borees (Saif Ali Khan) joins the gang with his peroxide hair, random accent and an assortment of zombie-hunting ammo. Saif has a blast hamming up the psycho don, but the action and the laughs are still centred on the three boys and the lone girl Luna (Puja Gupta, indifferent like most Miss India’s) who has survived the previous night’s carnage.

There isn’t much by way of plot or characterisation but because the screenplay and dialogues stay consistently loony and tangential––there’s an unusual take on the ‘running around trees’ formula and even a bizarre conversation with God––you go with the ride even when it starts dragging in places. Banking on excellent performances for most part (the chemistry between the boys is crucial), Go Goa Gone is a trippy little gem that would have been scintillating if it were a tad tighter. 

Deepa Deosthalee is a film critic and a regular contributor to Cinemascope column. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and does not reflect the views of More of Deepa's work can be found on her site Film Impressions.

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