It’s a Wonderful Afterlife is a 2010 British comedy film directed by Gurinder Chadha. The screenplay centres on an Indian mother whose obsession with marrying off her daughter leads her into the realm of serial murder. It was filmed primarily in English, with some Hindi and Punjabi dialogue. The title is a reference to Chadha’s personal attachment to Frank Capra’s film It’s a Wonderful Life. Chadha also co-produced the film, and co-wrote the screenplay with her husband and producing partner, Paul Mayeda Berges. The lead role is played by newcomer Goldy Notay, joining Shabana Azmi, Shaheen Khan, Sendhil Ramamurthy and Sally Hawkins in the cast.
Mrs Sethi (Shabana Azmi) is a widow living in Southall who wants to marry off her only daughter, for she is alone and unhappy. Her daughter, Roopi, (Goldy Notay) is a little plump and opinionated. Mrs Sethi finds that all her matchmaking efforts are rudely rejected. She avenges this behaviour toward her daughter by murdering the failed dates using her culinary skills. A police hunt begins for a serial murderer using a killer curry.
Mrs Sethi does not feel guilty until the spirits of her victims come back to haunt her. They are unable to reincarnate until their murderer dies. Mrs Sethi must kill herself to free the spirits, but vows to get her daughter married first.
The spirits realise that helping Roopi find a suitable husband before the police catch Mrs Sethi is in their best interests, and everyone begins to work together. Meanwhile, Roopi catches the eye of the young Sergeant investigating the case.
Shabana Azmi as Mrs Sethi
Goldy Notay as Roopi
Sendhil Ramamurthy as Raj (D.S. Murthy)
Sally Hawkins as Linda/Gitali
Zoë Wanamaker as Mrs Goldsmith
Sanjeev Bhaskar as The Curry Man
Catherine Balavage as Waitress
Shaheen Khan as Manjeet Kahl/The Kebab Woman
Adlyn Ross as Mrs Chakra/The Rolling Pin Woman
Ash Varrez as Mr Chakra/The Naan Man
Mark Addy as D.I. Smythe
Preeya Kalidas as Karishma
Jimi Mistry as Dev
Ray Panthaki as Jazz