IT’S A WONDERFUL AFTERLIFE – Sundance Movie Review
IT’S A WONDERFUL AFTERLIFE is the new movie from Gurinder Chadha, who is best know for her previous film, Bend it Like Beckham. This one however is a little more out there than her previous films. It had some fun moments and as Gurinder Chadha said when she introduced the film at Sundance, if you’re willing to go with it you’ll enjoy it, but it’s not a movie for everyone. I would put it more in the vein of The Mistress of Spices.
It’s a Wonderful Afterlife is set in West London and follows Mrs. Sethi, a Punjabi mother looking to marry her daughter, Roopie (Goldy Notay), who is aging rapidly. To complicate things, a string of bizarre murders involving poisonous curries and chapati dough disturbs the quiet neighborhood. In comes the very handsome Detective Sergeant Murthy (Sendhil Ramamurthy), a friend of the family who is put on the case. Next ensues a screwball comedy that involves supernatural elements such as ghosts, murder, and weddings.
When I went in to see It’s a Wonderful Afterlife, I wasn’t really sure what the story was about, but needless to say, I was surprised. It’s a Wonderful Afterlife has so many different comedic elements and really doesn’t take itself too seriously. Between the ghosts, who are literally actors with white make-up on them (and some of the skin falling off their faces, which ends up being pretty gross) and a Carrie-like scene at a engagement party, you are definitely in for a nutty ride.
I didn’t love It’s a Wonderful Afterlife as much as I would have liked to, I had a few issues with the story and wasn’t expecting the tone to be the way it was, but there were some funny moments and overall, like Gurinder Chadha said, you’ve just got to go with it and mostly suspend disbelief.
A few things I did enjoy were first of all the ghosts, their look is so fake (again actors with white make-up) that it just not only is funny, but it sets the tone for the film.
The Carrie moment was pretty hilarious, but I don’t want to give to much away, because it’s really something that you have to see to enjoy.
As for the actors, I thought they all did a pretty good job. Sally Hawkins who plays Roopie’s quirky friend, stole the show, she is just hilarious.
I also really enjoyed Sendhil Ramamurthy, whom I had only seen in NBC’s Heroes so far. I think ladies might be in for a treat with him on screen.
Overall, It’s a Wonderful Afterlife definitely has an original story and is not really like any movie you usually see. If you feel like enjoying yourself, and watching a movie that’s pretty out there, then I think you might want to give it a shot.