Exclusive Interview: It's A Wonderful Afterlife Director Gurinder Chadha
The Sundance Film Festival is the kind of place where even the lightest comedies are a little twisted. While Gurinder Chadha made her debut at the festival eight years ago with the frothy soccer comedy Bend it Like Beckham, she was back this year with the darkly funny ghost comedy It's A Wonderful Afterlife, about a woman whose matchmaking efforts for her daughter lead to murder.
Set in the same London-based Indian diaspora as Beckham, It's A Wonderful Afterlife stars Shabana Azmi as a mother who strikes back against all the people who were even mean about her daughter Roopi by murdering them. Soon, though, she's haunted by the ghosts, and in order for them to go to heaven, they must team up to find her daughter a suitable match. All of this leads to a lavish Indian-style wedding reception at which Roopi's friend Linda (Sally Hawkins) takes Carrie-style revenge on the no-good man she's chosen to marry. Yes, I promise it makes sense in context.
I caught up with Chadha at Sundance to talk about balancing the silly and the dark in her film, how she decided to fit a Carrie homage into her film, and what's up with the Frank Capra reference of the title. It's A Wonderful Afterlife hasn't yet been picked up for U.S. distribution, but we'll let you know when it does. In the meantime, check out the interview below.
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