It isn't too hard for us Indians to emulate almost everything from the West. After all, what works there inevitably has got to work here too, no? So while we strut about borrowing every rom-com, action, sci-fi, drama out there, comes the new sensation that's almost being done to death there in the West by now - Zombies!
With Abhay Deol's Rock The Shaadi getting shelved and Go Goa Gone more than a month away from its release, Luke Kenny's directorial debut Rise Of The Zombie turns out to be India's first in the Zombie genre. But does it flag off the Zombie culture in style? Let's find out.
First part of the trilogy, Rise Of Zombie true to its title is all about the rise of the zombie. Neil Parker (Luke Kenny) is a wildlife photographer who likes to live like a nomad, moving from jungle to jungle clicking pictures sans any contacts from the outer world. However, unable to keep up with his lifestyle, his girlfriend Vinny (Kirti Kulhari) calls it quits on their serious relationship. Lovelorn and jilted, Neil takes off once again to the wilderness in Uttarakhand. There while capturing the creatures of mother-nature, gets bitten by a bug and what follows is his road to hell.
There can't be a more fresh start in Bollywood and Luke Kenny takes full advantage of it by promoting his film as a blood spewing gore horror fest. However, what he doesn't put in the promos is the endless romantic saga that keeps running in flashbacks every five minutes. The romance track overshadows even the main plot after a point what with all the flashbacks and love songs. How Neil turning into a zombie has anything to do with his heart being broken has no justification whatsoever.
So, our very first zombie appears more a heartbroken rockstar (courtesy all the rock music playing in the background and a love gone sour track running in parallel) than a scary and spooky monster. He starts off by preying on ants and lizards, not quite the goriness you expect. But as the film graduates from being boring to sleep inducing, even the tastes of the zombie rises from insects to people. But by then you are already bored of the monsters incessant hunger pangs.
On the up sides, the film is a mere 90 minutes so sitting through it does seem possible. Luke also tries making up for his bad script sense by raising the technical aspects. Full marks on the make-up department for the transformation of Luke's character into a zombie gets brilliantly handled. Even the sound work in the spooky portions deserves a mention. The cinematography too is impressive.
Luke Kenny is impressive as a zombie but not quite as a normal human for there he falters in his act. Kirti Kulhari is average at best. Benjamin Gilani hams his way through most of his scenes but you cannot blame him too for the renowned actor doesn't get a well fleshed out part.
Rise Of The Zombie, in short, is nothing but a wasted opportunity. If for a good script, the film could've worked well with the masses.