Zombie films are my bread and butter. I mean who wouldn’t enjoy a nice little zombie movie keeping you on the edge of your seat. But there are only two ways to explore the genre(or so we have seen). Either go the route of a thriller with films like Dawn Of The Dead or Army Of The Dead, or go the route of finding comedy in the otherwise horror genre with films like Go Goa Gone or Shawn Of The Dead. So one such marathi film which released yesterday falls in the latter category. The film is Zombivli, a clever word play of Zombies in Dombivali. I got a chance to watch it last evening in a theatre and here are my thoughts on it.
Story & Screenplay
Zombivli follows the story of people turning into zombies after falling sick under inexplicable circumstances. Will a small group of survivors be able to fight on for long? The story has all the ingredients to be a lip smacking ZomCom. The interesting bit was the screenplay. When you are tackling with a ZomCom(Zombie Comedy) you must be aware of balancing out both the genres. And the writing does just that for most parts. There is little to no buildup as the action begins straight from a hospital where several infected people seem to be acting weirdly. Cut to the introduction of a few of the characters and the world around them which takes a few minutes off from the runtime. But the film peaks 40 odd minutes into it when the actual zombie outbreak begins. The humour intregrated is outstanding and it found me laughing hysterically in more places than one. There are several On The Run sequences which are fun to watch and rest assured they will keep you on the edge on your seat especially in the first hour. Come the second hour, things begin to slow down a bit. There are still enough moments to keep you invested including the characters trying to crack the mystery. I liked how they linked the entire episode to water(the seeds of which were sown in the first hour). But the high of the first half was missing including a slightly underwhelming final act. But overall, the screenplay works for most parts.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are hilariously as well as thoughtful and they instantly make an impact. The class divide represented through the dialogues are very well showcased. The music is outstanding but the BGM is even better. It is pulsating and keeps you on your toes(and it did help with the surround sound as I watched it in a theatre). It was the BGM which was keeping you invested through the second half as well. I enjoyed the art direction and makeup for the zombies as well. Director Aditya Sarpotdar has done a tremendous job considering he was shouldering the responsibility of directing the first Marathi from the Zombie genre. He manages to hold your attention throughout.
The performances are pretty good here. Janaki Pathak as Anjali does a fabulous job here particularly in the second hour. Trupti Khamkar as Malati(you may remember her from many TVF shows) is wonderful here with a good sense of comic timing. Vaidehi Parashurami as Seema is fantastic and she is able to balance out comedy with drama effortlessly. Lalit Prabhakar as Vishwas has a towering screen presence and he is quite brilliant throughout the film. But it is Amey Wagh as Sudhir who is probably the pick of the actors for me. Watch him in a brilliantly written scene where he shows the picture of a god to ward off the zombies or the terrific police station sequence where he says ‘English film nahi dekhte kya(Don’t you watch English films)?’ on being asked what are zombies. He will make you laugh like crazy and yet there is this seriousness to his character towards the end. Outstanding is the word.
Zombivli is a hilariously thrilling ZomCom which is well worth your time. Not too novel but an appreciable effort overall. Available in a theatre near you.