It's A Wonderful Afterlife review

From the Bhangra-fied A-Team theme tune to the ropey English accent sported by cameoing T4 Welshman Steve Jones, the spirit of uneasy fusion dogs Gurinder (Bend It Like Beckham) Chadha’s latest. An Ealing farce served Indian style, it features a homicidal matriarch (Shabana Azmi) who offs anyone damaging pudgy daughter Goldy Notay’s chances of marriage, only to find their ghosts (including Goodness, Gracious Me’s Sanjeev Bhaskar) sticking around, Frighteners-style, to put things right. Problem is, the device really doesn’t work. Badly whited up and given only weight-related putdowns and korma puns to work with, the spooks overcrowd every scene like awkward panto extras, killing the laughs stone dead.

Though an inspired, curry-spattered Carrie homage raises a smile, the plot’s paper thin, the performances precariously broad and the message (“Even fat people can find happiness!”) really sticks in the throat – especially after 100 minutes of plus-size gags.


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