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Its a Wonderful Afterlife – movie review

A killer comedy by Gurinder Chadha


Its a Wonderful Afterlife, movie review

Finding the perfect son-in-law can be murder. Its a Wonderful Afterlife touches this delicate subject…

My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Shaun of the Dead meet in this charming and fun comedy romp about an Indian mother taking her obsession with marriage into frighteningly funny territory. The film is a humorous account of a London-based Punjabi mother’s desperate measures to get her fat daughter married to a tall, dark and handsome hunk.

Directed by one of UK’s most respected film makers Gurinder Chadha, who made Bhaji On the Beach, Bend it Like Beckham and Bride and Prejudice this latest film – Its a Wonderful Afterlife is also being released in its dubbed Hindi version as Hai Marjawaan!

Mrs Sethi (Shabana Azmi), a widow living in Southall in the UK, can’t bear the thought of her daughter being alone and unhappy. Her daughter, Roopi (Goldy Notay) is a little plump and opinionated. Roopi is a little bit overweight and not so beautiful and has a broken engagement behind her.

People in the community have been really mean about this girl and the mother can’t take it anymore. But Roopi would make a great wife for some lucky man, if only she were given a chance.

When Mrs Sethi finds that all her matchmaking efforts to find a suitor for Roopi fail and when she feels the rudeness of families who refuse her daughter, she takes matters into her own hands by murdering all the failed dates. She uses some novel methods like killer curry, the poisoned laddoos and even deadly naans.
Suddenly a police hunt begins for a serial murderer who cooks a killer curry.

Mrs Sethi doesn’t feel too guilty until the spirits of her victims come back to haunt her as they can’t be reincarnated until their murderer dies. Mrs Sethi has no problem killing herself – she’ll get to see her dead husband again – but how can she go before her daughter is married?

The spirits realize that helping Mrs Sethi’s daughter find a suitable husband before the police catch her is their only chance for a wonderful afterlife and everyone begins to work together.

Meanwhile, Roopi catches the eye of the young and handsome Sergeant D I Murthy (Sendhil Ramamurthy) investigating the case.

It’s a big bloody wedding and a comic feast which takes the phrase ‘I could murder a curry’ to hysterical new heights.

The film – Its a Wonderful Afterlife is a comedy which uses satirical humour, depicting life amongst the Asian community in Britain.

Cast of Its a Wonderful Afterlife:
Shabana Azmi – Mrs. Sethi
Goldy Notay – Roopi
Sendhil Ramamurthy – Raj (D.I. Murthy)
Sally Hawkins – Linda /Geetali
Jimi Mistry – Dev
Zoë Wanamaker – Mrs. Goldsmith
Sanjeev Bhaskar as the Curry Man
Shaheen Khan – the Kebab Woman
Adlyn Ross as the Rolling Pin Woman
Ash Varrez as the Naan Man
Mark Addy – D.I. Smythe
Ray Panthaki – Jazz

Credits & Crew of Its a Wonderful Afterlife:
Banner – Indian Films, Studio 18
Directed by Gurinder Chadha
Produced by Sharan Kapoor
Written by Paul Mayeda Berges, Gurinder Chadha
Cinematography Dick Pope
Editing by Oral Nottie Ottey
Music on Sony Music India
Its a Wonderful Afterlife, movie review