Monday, December 22, 2014

The Dead 2, The Zombies Invade Mumbai

Also known as "The Dead 2: India," the Ford Brothers (Howard J. and Jonathan) have followed up their zombie hit, "The Dead" with a similar film.  In 2010, The Ford brothers went to Burkina Faso to film a most ominous zombie apocalypse movie.  Virtually every scene had zombies pursuing the protagonists, usually just a few feet away.  In the end....Africa lost.  In 2013, "The Dead 2" takes us to India and into the slums of Mumbai.  Even without the undead, this is a scary setting.  Like much of Africa, Mumbai's slums suffer as the world has failed them.  Perhaps part of the horror in these two films derives in the fact that the wealthiest nations have ignored the third world in all but superficial ways.  We don't admit to ourselves that we believe a life in the third world is not worth as much as our own...but if we take a cold hard look at our psyches....well...the truth might horrify us.
As the film begins, Rajiv returns to India on a ship from Somalia.  News reports out of Africa are confusing, as for no reason, the entire population is falling victim to cannibalism.  Rajiv has been bit, and in short order, he will die and then return.  The zombie outbreak is quick in and near Mumbai.  Nicholas (Joseph Millison, pictured above) is 300 miles away fixing wind turbines.  Atop one of these windmill structures, he sees the outbreak hit in very eerie fashion.  Knowing something is wrong he contacts his office in Mumbai only to find out the city is being overrun by biting mobs.  Uh oh, his pregnant girlfriend, an Indian from a very traditional Hindu family, lives on the outskirts of the slums.  As Mumbai gets deader by the minute, Nicholas starts a trek to enter Mumbai, it's slums, to rescue Ishani (Meenu Mishra).
The trek will prove harrowing.  The nearer to Mumbai he gets, the more dense the population....and the deader the population.  Nicholas befriends a ten year old boy, Javed (Anand Krishna Goyal), who serves as his guide.  We are treated to both their back stories, which hammer home some noble themes.  Nicholas is determined to reach Ishani, as years ago he abandoned his pregnant girlfriend resulting in the death of his child.  With a chance for redemption, Nicholas' determination just might lead him through a zombie horde of biblical proportion.  On Ishani's end, her very Hindu dad is disgusted by his daughter, who he believes has disgraced the family name.  Oh yes, holed up in their house is Ishani's mom, who has been bitten.  Will the pending apocalypse reunite this family, torn apart by dishonor?
Like the first "The Dead" movie, the zombies are ominous.  Every time Nicholas stops moving, the undead appear just a few feet away.  I won't spoil the ending, but I will say that as Nicholas nears Mumbai, he makes some hard decisions that will change him forever.  Whatever kind of jerk Nicholas was 10 years ago, he is committed to save his girlfriend and their unborn child.  Even if he does reach them, will he then be able to get out of Mumbai and India?  The Ford Brothers have done it again, taking the zombie apocalypse to regions that may me undergoing their own apocalypse without the undead thrown in.  Both these films are exhausting, with endings that ignite new questions about how we in western civilization view our brothers and sisters in the third world.  

1 comment:

  1. I have always been intrigued about The Dead and, after reading your fine review, will endeavor to do so. Thanks Christopher, I truly enjoy reading your analysis every time.