The most impressive aspect of Go Goa Gone, the “zom-com” directed by Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK, may be its utter disdain for heroics. Even its ostensible hero – Saif Ali Khan, whose star wattage lit up the film’s promos, plays a blonde Russian named Boris (he calls himself Barees) – isn’t so much the centre of the film as part of an ensemble. This isn’t just the instance of a big hero opting to inhabit a juicy character role, the way Khan did in Omkara, or an attention-grabbing guest role or special appearance. Here, he’s literally one the gang, playing a part that clocks up less screen time than his costars. (He appears fairly late in the film, and then vanishes for a long stretch.) If all actors were to divide their careers between lucrative junk like Race 2 and small passion projects like this one, the local multiplex would be a happier place to visit.
The second most impressive aspect of Go Goa Gone may be that it knows what it wants to do – clear a low bar – and does it pretty well, with a jaunty tone (the film opens with a Chiranjeevi music video based on Michael Jackson’s Thriller) and cheerfully foul-mouthed one-liners. The story is about a couple of joint-loving slackers – Luv (Vir Das) and Hardik (Kunal Khemu, who’s excellent; he really should do more comedy) – and their earnest roommate Bunny (Anand Tiwari) who go in search of an underground rave party in Goa and end up being chased by zombies. (They’re joined by the shapely Luna, played by Puja Gupta.) Go Goa Gone has nothing on its mind but laughs, so the portions that attempt to evoke an emotional response feel forced. And after a while, there’s a sense of sameness – even at 110 minutes, the film feels overlong. But there’s always a joke around the corner, like a boob-shaped squeeze toy or a boat named Tatinic or the sight gag involving an insane running-around-trees moment . The third most impressive aspect of Go Goa Gone? It may just be the most tongue-in-cheek anti-drugs PSA ever.
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