Rise of the Zombie: Hindi Film Review

By Sayan Roy Chowdhury / WBRINN

Rise of the Zombie Wallpaper: Luke Kenny, Ashwin Mushran and Kirti Kulhari
Luke Kenny, Ashwin Mushran and Kirti Kulhari

Kolkata, Apr 7, 2013 (Washington Bangla Radio): When a bug bites you and you start transforming, do not always expect to become a superhero. You can turn into a deadly zombie instead, as in the story of ‘Rise of the Zombie’, the first Indian movie of the genre.

Directed jointly by Luke Kenny and Devaki Singh, the film portrays the origins of zombies - dead people returning by curse or disease who kill the living turning them into monsters as well. Devaki Singh also becomes the first female co-director of a zombie film with this release.

Rise of the Zombie Poster: Devaki Singh
Devaki Singh

Neil Parker (Luke Kenny) in the story is an adventurous wildlife photographer traveling deep into thick tropical jungles. His personal relationships suffer, his sweetheart Vinny (Kirti Kulhari) and he eventually breaking up. With a gloomy heart Neil sets out for the dark impenetrable forests of Uttarkhand.

A bug byte starts his transformation. First his skin gets sore and rots. Insects and small reptiles become his choice food. He eventually becomes a ravenous cannibal in the plot, and goes to great lengths for the taste of human flesh, causing much bloodshed.

The film gets stuck here and becomes repetitive. It attempts to move to a climax but falls short of any resolution, and makes sure the audience gets that the real action is in store for a sequel.

The script is slow with the transformation dragging on. However, a few sequences can cause nightmares, more due to grossness than horror thrills.

There are a great many unexplained things in the plot, but who cares? After all the subject and genre itself are in the realm of the supernatural.

One wonders what it would have been like if a happy and lively guy with a lot of promise had turned into a zombie. That probably would have increased the shock value.

Luke Kenny grabs most of the screen time in this spooky film and he carries his zombie avatar well with the help of appropriate stylization by make-up artist Ritu Janjani. Kirti Kulhari delivers a commendable performance as the girlfriend. But it is the outstanding cinematography that captures the deep tropical forests of India that impresses the most.

'Rise of the Zombie' is a technical sensation. Exceptional sound engineering makes the film genuinely spookey. Tight editing adds to the ambiance, in spite of nothing really happening in parts of the film.

Luke Kenny and Boomarang Band
Luke Kenny with Boomarang Band Members

Ace musicians and performers namely Suraj Jagan, Aditi Singh Sharma, Luke Kenny, Caralisa Monteiro, Arfaaz & Anuraag and Ankur Tewari have contributed lyrically, vocally and musically to the film. Mizoram's leading rock band, Boomerang, have also composed and sung the song a rock song for the film. Grammy award winning Indian-born composer Biddu has re-mastered his own track 'Aao Na' from the 80's for the film. The soundtrack also features a Swedish song by Sofia Jannok of the same nationality to graciously have her track to be used in the film.

It is disappointing that the makers are more interested in making more money from sequels than providing a logical conclusion (as far as possible in a zombie film) in the first of what is likely to become a movie franchise. Selections from 'Rise of the Zombie' could easily have been shown in the next installment in flashbacks, including the flashbacks in the first film of the series itself.

Watch the Official Trailer for "The Rise of the Zombie" Supernatural Horror Thriller Bollywood Film

Presented by: BSI Entertainment & Kenny Media
Produced by: Kenny Media
Directed by: Devaki Singh & Luke Kenny
Written by: Devaki Singh
Cast: Luke Kenny, Kirti Kulhari, Ashwin Mushran, Benjamin Gilani