It's A Wonderful Afterlife

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Two years ago, a British film called ‘Three and Out’ asked us to sympathise with a tube driver on the search for suicides to aid his retirement plans. With Gurinder Chadha’s amateurish and awkward latest, a similar ‘big ask’ applies. Set among the lower-middle-class Asian communityof  Southall, it sees Shabana Azmi as the apparently benevolent Mrs Sethi, a widow desperate for her slightly tubby daughter (Goldy Notay) to tie the knot. As the knock-backs mount up so do the corpses, as Mrs Sethi tracks down and kills all those who rebuff her marriage requests, only for her victims to return as slapstick apparitions. Despite sympathetic performances from the two leads, the idea of producing a one-for-the-mums romcom dashed with brutal slayings and trashy gore is baffling. Sally Hawkins provides light relief as The Dippy Best Friend whose story culminates in a spurious ‘Carrie’ reference, but otherwise, pickings are slim.

By: David Jenkins

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