The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Reviews
Adapted from Deborah Moggach's 2004 novel titled These Foolish Things, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel follows the path of seven retirees, each daringly confronting something that prevents them from being truly happy and accepting what could be the best adventure of their life; being elderly.
Where some may crave adventure, some connection, some assistance, some independence, some freedom and some a place where they are not seen as a live-in babysitter, being old should be a chance to achieve everything that daily life ever prevented you from doing.
Recently widowed Evelyn (Judy Dench) has always been a doormat housewife, but after having an insensitive conversation with a script reading call center operator, she decides to confront the voice on the other end of the phone, no matter where they be.
High court judge Graham (Tom Wilkinson) makes a snap decision to step down from the bench and return to place of his greatest happiness, his childhood home in India.
Unhappily married Jean (Penelope Wilton) and her downtrodden husband Douglas (Bill Nighy) are in the lurch after a bad family investment and need to find suitable retirement accommodations within a reasonable price bracket.
Tired of staying in each night and ordering take-out with the grandchildren, Madge (Celia Imrie) wants to go out on the prowl for yet another new husband in fresh waters.
Desperate-to-be-needed Norman (Ronald Pickup) refuses to give up on the idea of companionship, even if he has exhausted every dating agency in Britain.
While xenophobic retired housekeeper Muriel (Maggie Smith) is in need of an urgent hip operation but the waiting list is six months long.
The lives of these seven British retirees become intertwined as they "outsource" their golden years to a less expensive and seemingly exotic Jaipur, India. Each enticed by the visionary promise of a luscious late-years lifestyle to the stunning Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
A shambles upon landing, the promised airport pick-up doesn't arrive and the travelers squeezes into a jam-packed local bus and arrival at the hotel is no improvement. Dusty, Roach-infested, lacking doors and telephones The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for 'the elderly and beautiful' has deteriorated to merely a shell of its former self, haphazardly managed by Sonny, (Dev Patel) the enthusiastic but impractical young son of its late owner.
Sonny's mantra (a Kipling's quote) is simple "everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right, then it's not the end". Although the new environment is far below expected par, each guest responds in a different way. While some embrace the light and colour of India's immersive culture, some hide from its chaotic hustle and bustle, but none can resist its life awakening essence and the positive influence it has on their lives.
Funny, bittersweet and uplifting, this wonderfully dry and delightful film crackles in the tropical heat of which it's set. The performances delivered, as you would expected from its veteran line-up are rich and believable and punctuated with a myriad of cleaver and snappy one-lines.
A particular favorite by smith is her response when told there is a six month wait for her operation 'I can't plan that far ahead; I can't even buy green bananas' and Wilton's response to the question how many husbands have you had "what, Including my own?".
The Verdict: As secrets are revealed, self-esteem is earned and destinies are altered, this mature audience movie is as exciting as tuc-tuc ride through rush hour. The story line possibilities are as spicy as the local cuisine, and although quelled to little more than mild indigestion, the mind is free to explore which path would you take?
Published: The Queanbeyan Age
Date of Publication: 30/03/2012
It felt much like an Act I. I know there is a follow-up already out, so that is next in the queue to see where these older, but not worn out, folks head next.