It’s A Wonderful Afterlife-at Sundance Film Fest

Britain-based Indian filmmaker Gurinder Chadha’s latest movie It’s A Wonderful Afterlife has been selected as opening film at the Sundance Film Festival starting Jan 21.

[ReviewAZON asin=”B000TLTCUO” display=”inlinepost”]Britain-based Indian filmmaker Gurinder Chadha’s latest movie “It’s A Wonderful Afterlife” has been selected as the opening film at the Sundance Film Festival starting Jan 21. The director says that it her “best work” so far.

“I think ‘It’s A Wonderful Afterlife’ is my best work to date,” Chadha told IANS.

“My film ‘What’s Cooking?’ had been premiered at Sundance in 2000. So in a way it’s a homecoming, and that too with a film that in many ways takes me back to my warm intimate family values of ‘Bend It Like Beckham’. I shot in the same Indian-centric localities of London,” she added.

Chadha is set for the release of “It’s A Wonderful Afterlife”, which she says comes close to “Bend It Like Beckham” in terms of mood, temperament and characterisation.

The film, which is a backhanded compliment to the timeless American director Frank Capra, will have a dubbed Hindi version, despite the fact that her “Bride & Prejudice” was ruined in translation.

“This time I think a Hindi version of ‘It’s A Wonderful Afterlife’ is required. The film is about ghosts and reincarnation. These themes are hot favourites among Indians. We’re looking for a good title for the Hindi version. Audiences in Hindi may not get the Capra reference in the English title,” she said.

Chadha had a whale of a time shooting with Shabana Azmi for “It’s A Wonderful Afterlife”.

“She put on so much weight she was unrecognizable on the streets of London. Often ladies would come up to her and ask, ‘But aren’t you Shabana Azmi?’ I took her to a Punjabi baby shower to meet all these women, so she’d get a hang of her Punjabi-Londoner character. Shabana is dead-on in the film,” she said.

To add to the complexities Shabana had to talk to ghosts in the film.

“No one can see these ghosts, not even Shabana. But she had to pretend that she could. Sometimes in the middle of a shot, I’d walk up to her and ask, ‘What are you doing?’ And she’d delight me by retorting, ‘I really don’t know’. Shooting this film was great fun.”

Now Chadha hopes watching the film would be as entertaining.

Subhash K. Jha

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