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Gurinder Chadha's IAWA is like Ugly Betty with Asian people

April 26, 2010 04:56:40 PM IST
Bollywood Trade News Network
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Gurinder Chadha's IT'S A WONDERFUL AFTERLIFE, that released in the UK this week and will release in India on May 7th is already making news for it's leading man Sendhil Ramamurthy's debut on the Indian screen. Gurinder however, spoke at length about another integral character in the movie- Goldy Notay!

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 At the heart of the movie lies a love story, and one that takes a while to come to the boil. Actress Goldy Notay brings Roopi, who's unlucky in love, to life on screen. "I'd seen Goldy on stage, and on TV, and she's very good at comedy and very empathetic" explains Chadha. "She's got a chubby face, but her body is really svelte-like, and she looked really pretty and svelte when I met her for the movie. In fact, I was really worried that it wouldn't work. I had to ask her to look less presentable. So she put on weight, wore bad clothes, kept her hair unkempt".

Chadha laughs. "Goldy's husband loved it. He's an Italian chef and for the first time in their married life she was eating all his pasta and food and not moaning. And of course she got an enormous bust, which he loved!" The writer-director goes on to note that Roopi's size is an important factor in the film. "You just have to look all those magazines, and all these poor girls with eating disorders, to see how unacceptable it is for someone to be overweight. That's true for all girls. It was therefore important to have a love story with a girl who doesn't necessarily lose weight in the movie. As the story progresses Roopi just gets healthier."

CHECK OUT: BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM shaped Gurinder Chadha's IAWA!

"Roopi's in a bit of lacklustre stage of her life," begins Notay. "Her father passed away recently and had a relationship that was sabotaged by her ex-boyfriend. And she has a very determined mum, who wants to find her a suitable match, because Roopi thinks she's not going to have that happily ever after ending, and no knight in shining armour moment that a lot of women want to experience.

"But her mum thinks that's not an option and poor Roopi follows whatever crazy idea her mum has, whether it's speed dating, or going to the Sikh temple to try and meet someone. She doesn't throw herself in with exuberance and vigour, but she loves her mum, and there is an understanding."

"The story almost feels a bit like Ugly Betty with Asian people," continues Notay, "and then with spirits and a wedding scene with a huge food fight! It's got a lot of different genres, and yet there's this pulsating heart in the middle of the movie, and that really comes from Roopi and her mum, Mrs. Sethi."

IT'S A WONDERFUL AFTERLIFE releases in India on May 7. It's an Indian Films- Studio18 release.