Director: Gurinder Chadha
Writer: Gurinder Chadha/Paul Mayeda Burges
Producers: Sharan Kapoor
Starring: Shabana Azmi/Sally Hawkins/Sendhil Ramamurthy/Zoe Wanamaker
Duration: 100 minutes
Mrs Sethi, a widow, can’t bear the thought of her only daughter being alone and unhappy. Okay, she’s a little plump and opinionated… but she would make a great wife for some lucky man, if only she were given a chance. When Mrs Sethi can no longer stomach the rudeness of families who refuse her daughter, she takes matters into her own hands with the only way she knows… 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 are unable to 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 beloved 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!
It might be a Wonderful Afterlife but it was even better when the movie ended. The story was basic and average and it didn’t really hit you from the start. Sure the movie started off all good and well but when the spirits appeared, there were one or two funny scenes but it started becoming boring after a while and before you knew it, it started to drag on for too long. The characters weren’t really well written and you just simply didn’t care what happened to them. The acting wasn’t good either as the actors could have done a little better in playing as their characters, although the actors who played the spirits were amusing from time to time. The writing is hit-and-miss because even though there were some okay scenes in the movie, sometimes it could drag on for too long. The directing isn’t really bad and the script wasn’t either but the movie just felt too rushed and unnecessary. There were quite a few scenes you could have taken out and you wouldn’t have missed anything from the story.
It was good for the first half an hour however, slowly but surely, it started to become tedious and boring. The acting wasn’t bad but I have seen miles better from some of the cast such as Sendhil Ramamurthy, who plays Mohinder in Heroes. However, Sally Hawkins was great as Linda and she really lit up the movie. The movie’s humour felt like it was trying to force itself to be funny too many times and, I admit, there were times when I laughed a little at the movie but there were some scenes that felt way too forced when it came to the humour department. There was one scene that just felt totally thrown in and random, I can’t say much without spoiling the movie but you’ll know what I mean if you decide to watch the movie, the scene involves Sally Hawkins. I was also disappointed with the fact that Preeya Kalidas, better known as Amira in Eastenders, was only in the movie for ten seconds. They should have used her more in the movie, as she is a great actress. Overall, if you want a movie that’s hysterical, don’t choose this one but if you want a comedy that is mildly entertaining, doesn’t take itself seriously and will kill time, then this is perfect.
Neither here or there, It’s a Wonderful Afterlife doesn’t really make an impact from the start and remains like that all the way through the movie. It’s a little bit funny but it’s not the best comedy movie I’ve seen.
Reviewed by Dazz Camponi