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ITS A WONDERFUL AFTERLIFE - Movie Review : Sorry to see Shabana Azmi in this awful movie. (Review by Bobby Sing)
08 May, 2010 | Movie Reviews / 2010 Releases

First of all let’s talk about the inspiration angle behind the title of the movie, “Its A Wonderful Afterlife”. Gurinder Chadha, the director, undoubtedly thought of this name to take advantage of the huge popularity of an Old English Classic called “Its A Wonderful Life” featuring James Stewart. The Black & White gem released in 1946 is considered to be one of Top 100 All Time Movies, directed by the renowned director, Frank Capra. Incidentally the story of this Capra gem also revolves around a person who becomes a spirit after his death and then meets an angel, who shows him how people loved him while he was living and now how he is being missed by everyone after his death.

Taking hints from the title and the film, it seems Gurinder got an idea to write a script, moving around some spirits and a concerned mother worried about the marriage of her overage obese daughter. As a mandatory clause, the mother had to be from a punjabi family in order to incorporate all the essential north Indian elements into the screenplay, as required by the famous Gurinder Chadha trademark. Now before the release of the movie, every little news and details about it looked nice and cool since the main theme sounded interesting and had much scope of including all those emotions, comedy and drama, mixed with bhangra beats playing at the background. But after watching the whole movie, you are just left with only one expression on the face, which goes like “What is this?”……. Is this really a Gurinder Chadha movie, who gave us “Bhaji On the Beach” and “Bend It Like Beckham”?  or She has just made this project to show some losses in her current balance sheet.
Strictly speaking, after her below average “Bride & Prejudice” which was a big disaster, this is another completely unexpected, silly and awful dud delivered by the director, who once had a good name in both parts of the world due to her highly entertaining and successful films. The movie is a big letdown, right from the word go, when you are made to witness some highly absurd sequences displaying few serial murders happening in England. The murders are illogically related with eating Indian food and the manner in which the people die is definitely not hilarious from any angle. What’s more irritating is that all these murdered people become spirits in the exact condition as they were in their last moments. So we have 5 highly annoying ghosts walking with Shabana Azmi throughout the movie, which never comes out to be comical in any way. Further as a disgusting torture, one of the five ghosts even has an open stomach with all the intestines and internal stuff falling out of it every time he walks. (Just imagine!)
Now talking about my first hand experience in the theater, quite understandably, most of the fellow audiences were not able to suffer it anymore and they walked out of the hall even before the interval saying nasty things about the movie. Still few of us remained seated may be due to the reputed brand name of Gurinder Chadha. But the director never bounced back till the end. Moreover the second half even came with another strange and irrational sequence depicting some sort of cult powers possessed by a soon to be married girl. This particular part was undeniably one of the most disastrous and weirdest thought put in by a director ever.
So, as all the expectations from the movie were being shattered badly left and right, I was just sitting on my seat in a lazy posture, thinking about, why Shabana Azmi had to be there in this terrible project and what she may have imagined while signing the movie, after reading the final draft of the script.
Returning to the review, the movie has been worked upon some poor content, which has nothing in the name of entertainment or style. The characters are weird, the script is unreasonable and the narration is quite awful which looks like a B-C grade movie from the west. Thus, due to my dreadful experience with the film, I frankly don’t feel like writing anything more about its direction, performances, screenplay, music or cinematography. But I really want to request Shabana Azmi, to please don’t waste your precious efforts and valuable time in such intolerable projects. In straight words, the movie doesn’t deserve to be there in your resume at all as it’s a big black spot on the name of another masterpiece with a similar title.
May be it’s a clear example of A Creative Block being faced by the famous director and may she return back with a bang soon. But as far as her “It’s a Wonderful AfterLife” is concerned, it’s one of the worst movies I have ever seen.
Rating : 0.5 / 5  (And that’s too only for the efforts put in by Shabana Azmi)

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08 May 2010 / Comment ( 0 )
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