It's A Wonderful Afterlife Review

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Indian mother Mrs Sethi's (Azmi) obsession with marrying off her daughter turns murderous.


For many, Gurinder Chadha’s follow-up to the likable Angus, Thongs And Perfect Snogging will seem a bizarre leap into oblivion, a silly, Carry On-style comedy in which Southall residents are murdered with naan bread and curry, culminating in an excruciating Carrie homage at an Indian wedding. But among the airborne poppadoms and exploding daal, there’s an endearing human drama, largely due to to the terrific Shabana Azmi as a protective mother who kills to protect her ugly-duckling daughter, Roopie (Goldy Notay).

The jokes are awful, the slapstick sometimes unbearable, but, weirdly, it works, if you go with the flow. There’s a lot to enjoy in the mother-daughter dynamic, plus, in the absence of a new Bridget Jones, Roopie’s desperate yearning for a fairy-tale romance is, in among the flying savouries, really rather sweet.

With jokes that routinely miss the mark and cringeworthy slapstick, this black comedy farce shouldn't work. Somehow, though, it does.