At one point, a female zombie chases Kunal Khemu, with a romantic Bollywood score playing in the background, and they end up running around trees through the scene. Go Goa Gone is that kind of a madcap movie. Crackling with superb dialogue and fine performances from the lead actors, this is non-stop entertainment from start to end. It is also proof that thoroughly enjoyable films can be made without making the assumption that the audience's IQ level is in the lower 20s.
The plot is basic - three friends go to Goa and get stranded on an island full of zombies. It is the skilled execution of this idea that stands out in the film. The writers have clearly attempted to write a screenplay where every scene comes from an original place. They avoid the trap of referencing or copying popular Hollywood movies of the genre like Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead. This results in some truly hilarious scenes. The opening scene itself sets the tone. The bachelor pad they share is plunged in darkness because the power is off. Bunny - the third friend - stumbles on his way to the fusebox, and you hear some gnashing and gnawing noises. Khemu lights his ligther, and in the fading light you see an almost zombie like face, only to discover it is Bunny's face covered in pizza. Or take Vir Das's ridiculous plan to avoid being eaten by zombies by pretending to be one of them. This is a hoot, as he imitates them apparently successfully, until he sees a familiar face amongst the zombies, and forgets the part he is playing.
The humor is fresh, irreverent, and low-brow without being tasteless. So you have abuses in every other line and open references to sex, but neither is for effect or for titillation. It is the kind of conversation you can easily imagine three close friends having, and flows naturally through the film. Kunal Khemu, Vir Das, and Anand Tiwari as the three buddies are excellent. They share a genuine camaraderie, and an identifiable one, much like the trio from Delhi Belly. Kunal Khemu in particular is outstanding, pulling off some of the best lines in the film with elan. Saif Ali Khan's character is one for the galleries, and boy does it work.
The real heroes are undoubtedly the director duo of Krishna DK and Raj Nidimoru. To follow up a layered film like Shor in the City with an outlandish zomcom one like Go Goa Gone requires both guts and skill in equal measure. Their films are smart, intelligent, and honest. And they have walked the line of no compromise, never letting Bollywood's trappings influence the kind of cinema they make. We could do with more of them.
There are times when the film gets a little obvious, especially in introducing the idea of zombies to the audience. No doubt with the intention of ensuring that a lot of people in India who have not seen or heard about the concept are not alienated. But this is a rare blip. The fact is, this is a small film with a big heart, It doesn't matter what kind of a movie goer you are - the intelligent well informed one, or the mainstream Bollywood lover. The film's appeal cuts across typecasts. So go watch.