News, Previews|March 18, 2010 11:41 pm

It’s a Wonderful Afterlife: First Look

Gurinder Chadda, known for its previous movie, Bend it Like Beckham and her experimental work, is again back with another experimental work in her upcoming film, ‘It’s a Wonderful Afterlife’. However this is little more out there than her previous films.

Like her earlier movies, the movie is set in West London and follows Mrs. Sethi, a Punjabi mother, seeking a groom for her daughter, Roopie (played by Goldy Notay), who is slightly overweight. Her best Linda (Sally Hawkins) is a new age nut and just obsessed with Indian culture. To complicate things, a string of bizarre murders involving poisonous curries and chapati dough disturbs the quiet neighborhood. Soon, it is revealed that the murderer is none other than sweet Mrs. Sethi, using her culinary gifts to bump off anyone who dares to spurn Roopy or make fun of her figure. Soon Mrs. Sethi finds herself haunted by the ghosts of her victims, she decides to help them find peace by killing herself, but not until after she sees Roopy happily married.

In between, a very handsome Detective Sergeant Murthy (played by Sendhil Ramamurthy), a friend of the family, comes in the case. He starts investigation by suspecting Roopy as a potential criminal. Here comes some indifferent romance and a flurry of musical montages.

The movie is meant to be not taken seriously, which would be fine if it had some moments of real wit and invention in lieu of its mean-spirited fat-bashing and aggressive sentimentality. Shot at London’s Ealing Studios, the widescreen-lensed picture looks colorful and scrumptious and some musical elements are upbeat but dropped too quickly to become infectious.