It’s A Wonderful Afterlife – Review
Posted by Vivek on October 11, 2010 | 1 Comment
It’s A Wonderful Afterlife – Not Quite There
Director: Gurinder Chadha. Cast: Shabana Azmi, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Shaheen Khan, Jimmy Mistry.
Giving up her love affair with Bollywood, Gurinder Chadha returns to her British and South Hall roots with It’s A Wonderful Afterlife.
The food centric, comedy murder drama (it indeed has all of those), starts out with a lot of promise. Boasting of a stellar actor cast, it brings “desis” from three regions of the globe, all together. There is Shabana Azmi from Bollywood, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Jimmy Mistry and Shaheen Khan, amongst others from UK and Sendhil Ramamurthy from the US.
The film begins with a series of murders happening in the primarily South Asian area of South Hall and the common theme among all the victims is their South Asian ethnicity and the fact that the murderer has used food, as the weapon of choice.
Enter a South Asian cop who is asked to integrate and investigate the community. To add to the drama, all the victims seem to have a common link and all of them are also floating around as ghosts since they cannot seem to get salvation.
To add to this is a South Asian mother trying desperately to get her daughter married.
The comic moments in all of this is definitely there, but somehow the film meanders and loses itself. The thread which joins all of these seemingly unrelated sub plots, is not able to weave a very compelling story. So while the film does have its classic, Gurinder Chadha hallmark moments, it is not able to quite catch the attention of the audience as a seamless film.
In fact it almost seems like a rushed comedy that is missing the train, and is trying hard, sometimes too hard, to get to the station. Add to that talented actors such as Sanjeev and Jimmy have been wasted.
There are fine performances from the two female characters, Goldy Notay and Sally Hawkins. Sendhil Ramamurthy has a strong screen persona .Where the film really falls flat is in the scripting.
The predictability of the scenes unfolding make the audience believe that almost the entire movie has been seen before, in bits and pieces, in other movies.
Overall, not entirely avoidable, but certainly not one that will create an uproar at the box office.