The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Reviews
John Madden's movie follows the story of a group of British retirees who decide to move to India, searching for a more exotic, cheaper, yet luxurious place to live. Attracted by the advertisements of the Marigold Hotel, they all get one way tickets to India, but soon realize that nothing is as they initially expected. Confronted with the realities, their past, their own relationship problems and last, but not least, with a most ambitious young hotel entrepreneur, the British retirees have to re-discover their lives. Smoothly paced, partially melancholic and with glimpses of sharply written humor, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a trip worth being seen if not for the story, then for the presence of Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy and Ronald Pickup. All of them are a proof that even if the story is completely clichéd and predictable, if given some acting space actors like them are capable of changing a movie for the better.
In conclusion, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is far from being anything special, but yet it remains to deliver a formidable home video entertainment. A blend of splendid acting, drama, feel-good moments, good humor and melancholy, it offers a crow-pleasing content that would certainly touch you.
Each actor has excellent scenes, though my favorites are Maggie Smith as the stereotypically racist outsider who is sent to India pretty much against her will so she can have an operation, and Tom Wilkinson as a judge who grew up and fell in love with a man in India 40 years ago and has now come back for the first time in search of him.
Dev Patel is also great as the optimistic yet unlucky owner of the titular hotel, who spends most of the film trying to convince his mother to let him marry the woman he loves and keep the hotel open.
The overarching plot isn't all that spectacular - old people movie to India to a sort of retirement home / hotel hybrid and they make friends with each other, sort out their problems with themselves and each other, and find love and other pleasures. Much of the second half is very predictable and a lot of things seem way too convenient, but it's a nice treat to enjoy a couple hours of some of our favorite older British defy ageism and show they're still on top of their game. The direction and production are lighthearted and modest, and it all feels like a nice little adventure.
I might not have been shocked or learned a whole lot, but I certainly had a smile on my face the whole way through.