What a wonderful celebration of life The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is! A group of British retirees, desperately trying to find meaning in life as they grow old, travel to India to stay in the luxurious Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Problem is, the advertising brochures presented a “future vision” rather than the actual state of the hotel and the guests are initially very disappointed. However, as events unfold, the charm of India begins to work its magic on their hearts – at least for most of them.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a charming piece of comedy drama that explores friendship, ageing, relationship, hope, regret, racism, guilt and romance. That list might seem heavy. But Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, and Maggie Smith lead a wonderful cast who bring their long experience in the movies to deliver some richly nuanced characters and great one-liners. But the comedy is woven around deep attitudes about life and what is really important. Dev Patel, who played the older Jamal in Slumdog Millionnaire, gives a standout performance as the manager of the hotel.
The cinematography is superb and brings the vividness of India to life on the screen. (I know this because I happened to be sitting next to an Indian woman who spent the first 26 years of her life there. At the end of the movie, she sat back in her chair and exclaimed, ‘That brought back so many memories!’) The script is witty and fast moving and, while I found it got a little bogged down in the middle, overall was well paced with little predictability.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a delightful cinema experience and is worth seeing on the big screen to appreciate the Indian cityscape. Don’t miss this joyful movie!
mild themes, sexual references and coarse language