4.5 Excellent

Bollywood filmmakers have often borrowed (and I don’t mean copied) ideas from the West but most of them make a mess. Few most successful ventures in this regard in recent times are Rakesh Roshan’s Koi Mil Gaya and Krrish and Abhinay Deo’s Delhi Belly. These films might have got the basic idea from the west but the script on the whole was original and most importantly, damn interesting and entertaining. Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK’s Go Goa Gone can now be safely added to the list. One of the first zombie films of Bollywood, Go Goa Gone is a roller-coaster and fun ride from start to finish. If the trailers made you laugh, the film will make you go ROFL!

The story of the movie: Luv (Vir Das) and Hardik (Kunal Khemu) are good for nothing dopeheads who stay with their focused-in-life buddy Bunny (Anand Tiwari) in Mumbai. One day, Hardik gets fired from his job while Vir gets dumped by his girlfriend. Feeling low, they tag along with Bunny to Goa where he’s going for a presentation. In Goa, Luv comes across Luna (Puja Gupta) who invites him to a rave party on a remote island. However, all hell breaks loose as some party goers turn into zombies mysteriously. The four friends meanwhile find it difficult to get back to the mainland. Enter Boris (Saif Ali Khan), a ‘Russian’ druglord who’s determined to get out of the island and save the friends too.

The major strength of Go Goa Gone is its terrific and watertight writing. The conversations are funny but most importantly, straight out-of-life. One forgets that one is watching movie actors since the characters, their problems and dialogues are so real and convincing. The film rests on an interesting premise too and talented director duo Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK doesn’t let the tempo fall even for a moment. From first scene to the last, the film is laced with entertaining moments and one-liners. The concept of zombies, moreover, is explained in a crisp and simple manner which again is praiseworthy as many viewers might not be aware about the same.

The first half is without complaints but the second hour does get a little sluggish at places. Also, it’s surprising how no one thinks of checking whether their cell phones are working. But thankfully, the film soon picks up, more so towards the last 15 minutes. This is the juncture when humour element dips and the film tends to get slightly serious as the characters actually face eminent danger from the zombies. Here, one can’t help but empathize with the friends and one feels exhilarated when they get out of the mess. A few twists and turns are added at this point which works well. The final scene of the film is damn impressive too!

Although every actor has put forward its best, it’s Kunal Khemu who comes out as the best performer of the film! He had the advantage of an immensely smart and funny character and he plays it with aplomb! There are scenes where he simply overshadows all, including Saif (especially when he’s asked the capital of Uganda). This is no easy feat and simply reaffirms that he’s one of the best actors we have around. Great going and hope to see him in many more well-made films!

Vir Das is effortless and manages to successfully leave a mark. Anand Tiwari gives a great performance and raises lot of laughs too. Puja Gupta is sizzling hot and has a great screen presence. More than FALTU, it’s in Go Goa Gone that she gets to showcase her acting talent. One of the best things about the film is also that there are no romantic tracks and interestingly, in FALTU too, Puja didn’t hook up with its lead actor, Jackky Bhagnani. Ross Bucharn (as Nikolai) provides able support. Suparn Verma (Hardik’s boss) and the actors who play Priyanka and her boyfriend did a good job. Soha Ali Khan’s special appearance was a great surprise. Special mention also goes to all actors who played zombies…great work!

And lastly, Saif Ali Khan was quite impressive as the ‘Russian’ gangster and effectively raises laughs with his accent and one-liners. It was a treat to see him holding guns and shooting zombies as if it’s a cakewalk! The beauty of his performance was that he lets other overpower him at places and yet, he’s able to maintain a strong position! Hats off!

Sachin-Jigar’s music is catchy with ‘Slowly Slowly’ and ‘Babaji Ki Booty’ being the pick of the lot. The songs are most relegated to the background and don’t hamper the narrative. The duo’s background music is impressive too. Dan Macarthur and Lukasz Pruchnik’s cinematography is flawless. Action is appealing although it gets bit gory. VFX and make-up go a long way in making the zombies look scary and convincing.

Kunal Khemu, Sita Menon and Raja Daipayan Sen’s dialogues are one of the strengths of the film. An absolute delight, in short! Raj Nidimoru, Krishna DK and Sita Menon’s story-screenplay is brilliant and quite witty. And as said before, they don’t attempt to make a clone of any zombie film from the west and succeed in making the film stand out. Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK’s direction, finally, is simply fantastic. The duo doesn’t overdo things – from expletives to bloodshed to drug and sex scenes – nothing is added just for the heck of it. Rather, these components are smartly incorporated and the results are there to see. Technically, both are well-versed which is evident with the manner in which certain scenes that have come out so well. Be it 99 or Shor In The City or now Go Goa Gone, Raj and Krishna have never disappointed. Hope they continue with their dream run forever!

On the whole, Go Goa Gone is a laugh-a-minute riot. It is also one of those rare films which make you expect the moon from its trailers and yet, the final product exceeds your expectations! The performances are brilliant, characters are impressive and the writing and execution is outstanding. If you are one of those one who are very choosy when it comes to watching films, then don’t forget to watch Go Goa Gone. After all, it’s easily the best films of the year so far! And please don’t wait for the TV release as the shameless muting of expletives and blurring of smoking scenes will kill the experience. Rather, go for it in theatres and have a BLAST!