“A feel good movie for the grown and beautiful”
I recently saw “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and I thought it was great. Before the lights dimmed in the theatre I had to laugh because I noticed out of the 20 people in the theatre I was by far the youngest by a good 20 years or so 🙂
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a film where the stories of 7 British retirees cross paths on a trip to India. Directed by John Madden (and not the one who makes the football games) did a fantastic job with the cast as all the characters were a perfect fit for their roles and made a comedy that features all emotions across the board.
Judi Greenslade (played by Judi Dench) is a widow that’s still trying to deal with the loss of her husband. She makes the trip to India to get away from England and the stress of trying to sell her flat, and unbeknownst to her new friends is searching for a job to support herself. As the story continues she falls in love in India, finds a job, and even becomes fond of a traveling companion.
Muriel Donnelly (Maggie Smith) is a cantankerous old woman that’s alone and is extremely bitter. If being cantankerous, old, lonely, and bitter isn’t enough, she’s also a racist. She’s lured out to India by her desire to go through with an operation that would relinquish her hip pain. Her time in India softens her up to enjoy her new habitat and takes a new outlook on life after being befriended by her fellow travelers and her Indian caretaker.
Doug & Jean Ainslie (Bill Nighy & Penelope Wilton) are a married couple who’s troubles are financial and marital. Marital because of her unwillingness to be open to new things and financially after they invested all of their money in their daughters company only for it to sink. Doug is quite open to the India expedition and winds up taking in a new experience everyday (and even did handyman work for a day, which he was ecstatic about). His wife on the other hand was not so open, sitting at the hotel reading books waiting for whichever of the travelers would return from their daily rounds first. Doug becomes good friends with Judi to the chagrin of his wife and ends up finding true happiness towards the end of the film in her companionship.
Madge Hardcastle (Celia Imrie) is a retiree looking for a man who knows how to have a good time. She finds while in India that sometimes it’s easier to just adapt to your surroundings. She assists lonely traveler Norman Cousins (Simon Pickup) in finding a companion who’s as equally energetic and single as he is 🙂 That ladies and gentleman leaves us with Graham Dashwood (Tom Wilkinson).
Graham’s story is probably the most intricate out of everyone’s in the film. A retired judge, Graham appears to be going to India to get away from it all. But in secret, he is looking for a long lost love from many years ago. While Doug is growing fond of Judi his wife Jean begins to take a liking to the judge. That is until she finds out that his long lost love is a gentleman by the name of Raj. For the duration of the trip the retired travelers also discover that Graham was hiding a heart condition as well, which ends up causing his demise.
So with a group of British retirees that set sail to India, what better actor would come to mind to play a youthful, energetic, extremely funny hotel host? The always positive Sonny Kapoor (Dev Patel) balanced the movie with his comical gestures, quick wit, and never-ending positivity . While working full time to make his dream of restoring the hotel into a retirement resort come to life, he’s balancing a girlfriend with an overprotective older brother and a mother who he can never please.
The film is a beautiful balance between youthful exuberance and old British wit that comes together to make “a feel good” movie for the summer. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel touches all the senses while challenging the viewer to implement lessons learned in the film to their own lives. It’s definitely a film geared towards a more mature audience, but it’s broad enough to where everyone can enjoy.