A movie about adult Indian men who will forever remain adolescents
It’s not hard to imagine the one-liner that led to Go Goa Gone being green lit—three dim-witted, white-collar zombies go to a rave party in Goa where they meet real zombies, but are fortunately rescued by a blond-haired member of the Russian drug mafia who is named Boris (Saif Ali Khan) but is actually from Delhi.
The resulting movie, by Krishna D.K. and Raj Nidimoru, doesn’t expand the one-liner too much. The three cerebrally challenged cogs in the corporate wheel are self-styled-casanova Hardik (Kunal Khemu), eternally romantic Luv (Vir Das), and balance sheet-focused Bunny (Anand Tiwari). The room-mates get sucked into the adventure of a lifetime when they leave behind their pigsty digs in Mumbai and go looking for drugs and women at a rave party in Goa.
They wake up the morning after to be greeted by ravenous undead people and run for their lives in the company of Luna (Puja Gupta), whom Luv first meets in a swimming pool right after he loses his trunks. Luna is named thus only so that the movie’s dialogue writers (Khemu and Sita Menon translated the English lines by the film-makers, with inputs from Raja Sen) could throw in a dig about “riding a Luna".
You get the drift: This is a movie about adult Indian men who will forever remain adolescents, made by two men with an intimate understanding of this population sub-group. The incredibly funny and sharply observed dialogue keeps in perfect step with the intelligence levels of the sexually repressed man-boys. The casual sexism, ignorance, irreverence and inability to concentrate on any event beyond a minute are all in keeping with the insular, Facebook-addicted generation that the movie both targets as well as sends up.
The directors first came to notice with Flavors (2004), an ensemble story targeting the experiences of Indians in America. Their subsequent films 99 and Shor in the City established their joint ear for conversational dialogue, adeptness at slacker comedy and ability to create easy-going, identifiable and likable characters. However, some of their stories have an unfinished feel to them. Characters once set up don’t go anywhere.
Go Goa Gone occasionally assumes the sluggish pace of one of its zombies and moves determinedly in the direction of zombie-movie predictability, but the hilarious repartee is never far behind. The film-makers and dialogue writers belt out one side-splitter after another, delivered with élan by the boys, especially the superb Khemu, who converts a mundane line like “What happened at the client meeting? Who cares?" into backbencher gold.