Review: ‘It’s a Wonderful Afterlife’ is a hysterical black comedy

Updated: May 07, 2010, 16:15 PM IST

Spicezee Bureau

If you are looking forward to catch Gurinder Chadha’s ‘It’s a Wonderful Afterlife’, do not expect it to be like ‘Bend It Like Beckham’. Starring Shabana Azmi, Goldy Notay, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Sendhil Ramamurthy and Sally Hawkins, ‘It’s a Wonderful Afterlife’ ends up as a big disappointment.

The movie opens with Mrs Sethi (Shabana Azmi), a widow, who is hell bent in marrying off her overweight daughter (Goldy Notay) to an eligible NRI boy. Mrs Sethi wants her daughter to be happily married so that she can die in peace. However, she cannot stand the cheek of families, who blankly refuse her daughter, only to be killed by her killer curry. This unleashes the hunt for the serial killer in town. Meanwhile, Mrs Sethi’s woes increase manifold, when she learns that her daughter’s best friend (Sally Hawkins) is marrying Jimmi Mistry – an Indian. And above all, a young and handsome cop (Sendhil Ramamurthy) doing frequent rounds of her house, adds to Mrs Sethi’s misery.

Unlike Lady Macbeth, our Mrs Sethi does not suffer from any guilt pangs, until the spirits of her victims return and start haunting her. The spirits seek reincarnation, something that takes place only when their murderer gets killed. Well here is a twist, Mrs Sethi won’t mind killing herself and reunite with her dead husband only if she gets a nice groom for her overweight daughter. Well, in order to enter a wonderful afterlife, the spirits help Mrs Sethi in her mission – the film is quite funny and borders on black comedy!

Hitherto, the story looks quite interesting but when it translates on screen, ‘It’s a Wonderful Afterlife’ falls flat, courtesy its half-baked storyline and insipid execution of what could have been one wild, hysterical comedy.

Talking about performances, Shabana Azmi looks nice, Goldy Notay is natural, Sendhil Ramamurthy is quite okay, Sally Hawkins is superb and Jimi Mistry is passable. The music is peppy and enjoyable.

Final word, ‘It’s a Wonderful Afterlife’ is not all that wonderful!

Ratings: Two cheers for this one!