The Best Exotic Marigold HotelCultureCinemaMovie reviews
A very optimistic entrepreneur, now in charge of a dilapidated hotel, adds the words ‘best’ and ‘exotic’ to the once simply named Marigold Hotel… Sonny, played by Dev Patel, makes it his life ambition to make a success out of himself and hopefully out of the hotel too. Cue six very different characters, who chose to opt out of the rat race in England. They travel to India and book into the new-look Marigold hotel for a new beginning.
Along for the ride is racist Muriel (Maggie Smith), temperamental couple Douglas and Jean (Bill Nighy and Penelope Wilton), widower Evelyn (Judi Dench), sex-mad Madge (Celia Imrie) and high-court judge Graham (Tom Wilkinson).
Each character has their own personal reasons for being in India and director John Madden attempts to explore these but, with so many leading parts Madden seems to forget everyone, and we end up focusing a lot of our attention on Graham’s story. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as Wilkinson delivers a flawless performance as a middle-aged man who finally wants to face his past. Advertised as the ’feel good movie of the year’, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel does exactly what it says on the tin. It is thoroughly entertaining throughout and Dev Patel fits in nicely as the eccentric Indian boy who wants to make his mother proud, as well as fulfill his dreams of becoming a successful hotel’s manager.
Nicely shot, with a backdrop of the bustling and colourful urban India and a script that brings out the best of British acting talent, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel may be lost on many of the younger generation, with the comedy and turning points in the plot geared towards the more mature audience.
Having said that, I’m in my early twenties, and I enjoyed watching the film unfold, with the characters rediscovering themselves and as they find out what their future life holds. A highlight of the film was the presence of Bill Nighy, who gave the film that extra bit of class, greatly contributing to its ’feel-good’ factor.
Watch the trailer for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (12a) here: