Bend it Like Beckham is a classic that put all associated with it on the global frame map and I loved Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging, one of the first films I reviewed.
It’s a Wonderful Afterlife took a few moments to come to life but turned out to be funny and original. Surprisingly it gives more than a nod to Bollywood in that it’s a true, modern, Indian film albeit minus the need to put every film genre in one film. Luckily for us this has comedy, a little romance, a few crimes and a lot of warmth.
It reminds me more of East is East rather than a Gurinder Chadha comedic masterpiece in that there are some poignant sad moments. The story begins with one of the few non-Indian characters investigating the 3 murder cases in Little India so brings in a dashing detective from Kent to immerse himself into the community and find the hidden secrets.
The stars of the show are Mrs Sethi (Shabana Azmi) a recently widowed mother of two desperate to see her daughter, Roopi (Goldy Notay, apparently in SATC 2) happily married before she too joins her husband. Roopi is still getting over a broken heart and is no mood for a new relationship but clearly hasn’t counted on the 4 spirits of the murder victims floating around that only Mrs Sethi can see.
Add Roopi’s best friend Linda, recently back from a long trip to India with a new found spiritual awareness to the mix and hilarity is assured.
One of the sprits is played by Sanjeev Bhaskar, as of course no British India film can be made without his talent for comical expressions but the whole cast, including Jimi Mistry, is pretty fantastic and clearly had a good time making this imaginative film, as is testified by the must see out-takes in the closing credits.
7½/10 Smile factor 8½/10