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|Index||12 reviews in total|
This film was more slapstick than horror, but it also had charm. I don't believe this film was meant to be a serious comment on the British Asian way of life, just a wry look at the lengths this mother would go to in order to secure a husband for her daughter. The characters were engaging, making me want to know what was going to happen to them all, and I never yawned once, which is a good barometer of an entertaining film in my opinion. Some scenes had me wanting to jump up and join in, while another was an obvious homage to a 70's horror movie, but with an amusing twist. If you want cerebral,don't bother, but if you want to have a laugh, go for it.
I cannot believe that I have just come back from watching this film at the cinema, and the best thing about going was watching the film trailers before the actual film started. This is categorised as a "comedy horror"....it wasn't funny, and it would not scare my 5 year old nephew. The scary part was how bad the acting was and the storyline. The film concept did not work and it felt like a lot of the attempted jokes were too forced. The director attempted to make a film that would appeal to everyone but ended up as a huge disaster and did not have the fundamentals of being a good film. The director has made other hit films such as Bend It Like Beckham and Bride and Predajice and they were much more entertaining to watch. It was very surprised that such a highly rated directer managed to make such a mess of this film and I cannot think of one memorable part of the film that would encourage me to recommend it to others.
Let me start with the end, which is the end credits Stayin Alive with
Punjabi Remixed and the bloopers in the movie that are running with it.
Its like two best worlds coming together!! Only Bally Sagoo could have
pulled this off!! I really like Gurinder Chaddha movies since Bend It
like Beckham, the whole Punjabi touch to the movie that she gets, the
wedding season and the all the food that comes with it which is like
what Punjabis die for (or work for). In this movie, you had all the
elements put in place, you have good music, wedding, punjabi style the
whole NRI culture based out of London. The other added elements that
make it a dark comedy, but surely not scary.
Overall with all the elements are placed the only thing is it NOT a typical romance film with some really funny moments.
Granted the expectations were high because of Shabana Azmi but then
again, what can one expect from Gurinder Chaddha. With the exception of
her segment in 'Paris, Je T'Aime', I haven't been impressed by any of
her work. That said, 'It's a Wonderful Afterlife' isn't that bad. I
prefer it over the boring 'Bride and Brejudice'.
The minus points are that Chaddha relies on too many Indian British clichés which have been done to death in many other films. I thought Azmi would have more screen time but was disappointed in that respect. The title is misleading. The story had so much potential but Chaddha messes it up. I didn't find the sequences with the ghosts to be amusing.
Now the plus is that most of the jokes work. I was laughing out loud especially at the sequences with Sally Hawkins. The 'Carrie' homage, though out of place, had me laughing out loud. I thought Shabana Azmi was great with what she was given. she's mostly let down by the poor script. Goldy Notay is quite likable. Sendhil Ramamurthy is limited to playing the typical love interest. Zoe Wanamaker is wasted. Sally Hawkins is a scene stealer.
Overall, I didn't mind 'It's a Wonderful Afterlife' for a one-time-watch. It made me laugh even though it could have easily been a much better movie.
One of the funniest movies in a while! The director gets the whole
Indians abroad thing to absolute perfection. One felt like one had met
everyone on screen before! All the actors except Shabhana Azmi were
really good. OK...the actor who plays her daughter wasn't brilliant
either but at least she wasn't full of herself. The plot itself was
rather cute and the editing is very well done. Only issue with it is
that the target audience is rather limited. You need to either be an
Indian living abroad or know enough Indians living abroad to get most
of the jokes. The whole thing is not to be taken seriously for even a
moment of course!
This one gives Bend it like Beckham a serious run for its money.
Unfairly slated Ealing-style slapstick comedy. Obviously fun to make,
with familiar faces and heart-warming family drama, along the lines of
"OMG what is Mum doing now?", as she tries to solve her daughter's
seemingly non-existent marriage prospects. Along the way, the audience
bops along to Indian remixes of popular western disco and pop, and
wonders how an unlikely murderer will meet their fate. The plot is
unsophisticated yet gripping. The dialog is natural, with gags, but the
film's undeniable humour comes from the same loving, awkward moments
that drive it's story. I can't see anyone walking out of this movie,
unless they don't wish to be entertained.
It's a Wonderful Afterlife (2010) is not a work-of-art, not a beautifully made film. But it does not try to be. It is a funny murder-love-story with falling down moments, with familiar actors having a blast making ridiculous comedy. If you want a horror show, or a logical plot, then it may let you down. But for laughs, and for a screenful of some of our most popular actors (with new faces too), it will tickle you. Nothing much to complain about here, if you love life.
Certainly not as bad as other reviews have made out. I knew nothing about the film in advance but had an expectation of a humorous horror. That's what I got. I didn't expect an Oscar winner, or something taxing with multiple subplots, or some subtext relating to Bolshevik Russia - and I wasn't disappointed in this. In terms of horror, comedy, crime thriller, love story, family relationships and everything else thrown into the film I found most aspects were topped by other films. None of these bits rose above the others and none stood out as particularly good. It was therefore a bit mellow and so a pretty simple watch. Some pop stars these days are raved about but I really wouldn't have them as anything other than background music at a dinner party. This warranted a bit more attention than a background film whilst I potter about the house, although I was occasionally tempted to grab a cup of tea and check my phone for emails/messages without pausing it. I am sure was not the wish of the director/producer. However, there was enough to hold me for the whole film. I thought the presentation and acting was as expected with the whole thing being slightly above average - hence the 6/10.
While I understand the Indian masala films usually involve having
everything including the kitchen sink thrown into the plot, which will
have enough room for the story to combine romance, mystery, drama,
comedy, song and dance all together for possibly something for everyone
to enjoy, It's a Wonderful Afterlife somehow had all these ingredients
coming together, but felt a little too contrived at mixing everything
up and gelling them all nicely, especially since it had a trailer
that's not quite accurate, and it seemed more like a typical 3 hour
film rather than its 100 minute duration.
Gurinder Chadha's more famous for her directorial breakthrough Bend It Like Beckham, which arguably introduced Kieira Knightley to the world, and here she combines an ensemble with the likes of Jimi Mistry, Sally Hawkins and the Indian actors Sanjeev Bhaskar, Shaheen Khan, Adlyn Ross and Ash Varrez in a film that started like an investigative drama with a potential serial killer on the loose in the Southall district of London, the policeman D S Murthy (Sendhil Ramamurthy) who had been transferred in for investigative work in his own community to sniff out details of the suspects, Roopi (Goldy Notay) and her mother Mrs Sethi (Shabana Azmi) who is desperate for the former to get married with much of her rejection based on her plumpish looks, Roopi's best friend Linda (Hawkins) who finds her inner Indian self and is somewhat of a self-taught spiritual guru, and the list goes on.
At best, the plot and its subplots were extremely scattered, and somehow it seemed that Chadha didn't manage to find common ground for all of them to coexist, with each plot line threatening to upstage and distract one from others. Prime to everything hinged on Mrs Sethi's rather protective quest to look for a potential husband for her daughter Roopi, and how the former's dealing with rejection led to an eventual five spirits tagging along with her, who through her guilty conscious is the only one able to see them all. The cat is let out of the bag early, and it's somehow not so much of a mystery other than a zany comedy to have these friendly ghouls make jokes at every opportunity.
The romantic leads of Sendhil Ramamurthy and Goldy Notay also lacked believable chemistry though the rushed romance didn't help their cause since the detective also had to juggle an ulterior motive, while that between Jimy Mistry and Sally Hawkins went down the road to explore how some people groove to the beat of other cultures since they're not at home with their own. Sally Hawkins though had a single major scene which mimicked a horror film where a woman scorned unleashes hell on earth during her own party, probably a comedic highlight of the film that defied all logic and pushed the film toward absurdity.
I had enjoyed Gurinder Chadha's works such as Bride and Prejudice, and Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging, but somehow this entry into her filmography seemed like a step back. Let's how she finds her groove back pretty soon with a stronger and more coherent story rather than leaving things scattered around.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was really excited about going to see It's A Wonderful Afterlife
because Gurinder Chadha is the director and she has directed two of my
favourite films - Angues, Thongs and Perfect Snogging and also Bride
and Prejudice. I had also seen plenty of the film on TV and it looked
like a fun film - I was right! The film is set in London but is all
about Indians. It's a really weird storyline but that's what made it so
funny and unique. Basically, an old woman called Mrs Sethi (Shabana
Azmi) wants to commit suicide because she is a widow but she won't do
it until her daughter Roopi (Goldy Notay) is married. Anyone who gets
in her way gets killed in lots of funny and gruesome ways. Right at the
start of the film, she stuffs a man so much by feeding him curry that
he explodes and therefore prompting curry to fly about everywhere. I
told you it was weird! The murder brings the police in to things and
the officer assigned to the case is called Murthy (Sendhil Ramamurthy).
He happens to be a close friend of Mrs Sethi and her daughter. Also
involved is Linda, renamed Galani (Sally Hawkins), who wears Indian
clothes, has an Indian fiancée (Jimi Mistry) and insists that she is
It is a set-up for lots of funny things to happen. There are quite a lot of fat jokes which get old after a while and also a lot of slapstick that sometimes is really hilarious and sometimes isn't. There are also lots of people slipping over on curry which is so silly it's really quite funny. The ending is especially hilarious but I won't spoil it for you! The script overall is really funny and original. There is a happy ending with a wedding as in a lot of Gurinder Chadha's films but the way it gets to the end is really original. All of the cast are really good as well and deliver their lines perfectly, especially Shabana Azmi who is really super. The film also looks really good but the cheap gore and exploding curry looks a bit out of place.
In many ways this is a typical romance film with some really funny moments. However, there are plenty of unique ideas in here and some great humorous moments that will make it worth seeing, especially if you like the director's other films.
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.
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