Mon, 10 May 2010 13:22:35 GMT

'It's A Wonderful Afterlife': Exasperating!

In Gurinder Chadha's 'It's A Wonderful Afterlife', ghouls rise from the dead and mess around with ladles of curries and gravies in what could easily be termed the messiest climax of desi-gone-ballistic cinema.


‘It’s a Wonderful Afterlife’

Review

By the time the masala curries, chutneys, gravies and other acidic edibles begin to fall across a singing-dancing gathering of NRIs at a big fat Punjabi wedding, the plot is too far gone to be called eccentric or even bizarre.

'It's A Wonderful Afterlife' is one of those films that should not have happened. It is way too strained in concept and far too outlandish in execution. It doesn't hold the audiences' interest beyond the first 10 minutes when we see the benignly murderous Mrs.Sethi (Shabana Azmi) surrounded by ghosts of the people she killed because they wouldn't let their kin be married to her overweight daughter.

The ghosts in this half-baked attempt to combine spook with satire spend the film's entire playing time counselling and cajoling the harassed Mrs.Sethi.

Beyond a point, watching the murder victims with the murder weapons permanently in place begins to get tedious and nauseous. For how long can we watch a man with chicken curry bursting out of his intestines? Or a woman with rolling-pin sticking out of her head? The ghosts try to be funny...They are just exasperating.

Make no mistake. This film has great redemptive qualities. But the romantic lead, Sendhil Ramamurthy, is certainly not one of them. After the hype about making the ladies swoon, Sendhil turns out to be pretty much a ramp-walker on camera adding precious little to a badly-written part.

On the other hand, Goldy Notay as the fat girl with no marriage prospects fills up the screen with her affectionate warmth.

It's Shabana Azmi who finally adds spark to this film. Infusing an intuitive candour to her eccentric larger-than-life character, Shabana lifts almost every sagging scene.

(Continued)
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