The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is not a gritty real life drama set in a council flat in the British midlands despite (a) being a British film and (b) featuring Bill Nighy. No, it is a stylised, slightly surreal film about a group of British pensioners who are inveigled to take out a long term residence in a hotel in Jaipur in the belief that it is a retirement home. The hotel itself is, of course, run down but quite astonishing - Indian Raj architecture of the highest order, run by a slightly crazy young man with a great vision for the future.
The film is full of cliches - the Indian call centre; the man returning to his childhood home; the racist old woman who hates black doctors; the mismatched couple; a couple of old imposters looking for romance... We have Delhi Belly; we have the exorbitant club serving pink gins; we have elephants on the street and mystic healers. Every shot shows bustle; bright markets; temples or the contrast of the shabby but peaceful courtyard in the hotel. There's an overbearing Indian mother; a family of untouchables; a heavy dose of the class system and glorious sunsets.
But the cliches are welcome friends. There is nothing challenging in the film - just a vast travelogue enticing the viewer to come to Jaipur at the first opportunity. Most of the stories end well - sometimes improbably but it doesn't matter. There is no pretence that this is real life - just two hours of pure fun, laughs, comedy and sadness mixed in together. It's colourful and vibrant. It provokes the odd thought without being too demanding.
The cast is to die for. Dame Judi Dench, Dame Maggie Smith, Penelope Wilton, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel... All delivering epic performances. There are various separate and interlinked story lines to maintain interest over the two hours - whilst having just enough going on in the backgrounds of the perfectly constructed shots to make this worth watching a second or third time.
on 17 April 2012
I enjoyed this movie a lot. It has an outstanding cast with some of the greats of British cinema such as Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Tom Wilkinson. There are also some great supporting actors like Penelope Wilton and Ronald Pickup but as usual Bill Nighy steals the show.
The rather far-fetched story revolves around a group of people in their advancing years who for various reasons, decide to move from the UK to a run down former hotel in India. An enthusiastic but slightly incompetent local young man, played by Dev Patel, runs the hotel.
We see the back-stories of each of the main characters and see how they cope with living in a new continent. There is a predictable quota of amusing and touching moments and you always feel you are in safe hands with the cast of familiar faces.
The ending is predictably neat and tidy and you should leave the cinema with a smile on your face, as I'm sure the makers intended.
on 6 April 2012
I thought I wanted to be on a Greek island with 2 friends, plenty of wine listening to Abba music, now I know what I really want is to stay in the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel with a bunch of wrinklies like me. One of the best films I have seen and can't wait for the DVD to be released so I can watch it over and over again. It just proved there is a lot of life in us golden oldies and any film with Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith and Judi Dench plus other REAL British actors can't fail to be a success.
on 20 May 2012
I read the book "These Foolish Things" before I knew anything about "the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel". I accompanied my wife to see the film, and enjoyed it, as a film, but the book is SO much better, (as is often the case). Large chunks of the book, and one of the main characters, do not make it to the screen version, but I look forward to rereading the book, now that I know which actors are playing which characters.
on 21 June 2013
The film opens up by giving us quick and witty introductions of the main characters. For one reason or another, they are opting to go live at the Marigold Hotel in India. They are the first guests of this Indian entrepreneur Sonny Kapoor (Dev Patel,) in a Hotel that has more character than convenience. Once in India and over the culture shock, our group start to adapt at different rates. Evelyn Greenslade (Judi Dench) keeps an on-line blog about the events which adds some first person narration to the tale.
In India, the scenes switch back and forth to the various guests' activities which intersect at times, similar to many indie movie scripts. During this time we get to know the characters much deeper and see them change in a nation of contrast of old traditions and the modern era. The film touches on the caste system and prearranged marriages which are common themes in Bollywood films also.
The acting and script were top notch. The film contain the right amount of comedy, drama, and even romance to make for a delightful tale. Dev Patel, whose acting ability I thought was undeveloped in "Slum Dog Millionaire" takes it up a notch with this all-star cast. Kudos to Maggie Smith who managed to play a difficult character with perfection.
PARENTAL GUIDE: 1 quick totally unnecessary f-bomb with an accent, sexual references, minor back nudity.
on 29 March 2012
Set to be a classic, this film highlights every aspect of senior citizenry, and not all of the most flattering kind.
It is a glorious, eye-wateringly colourful film, made with honesty and sympathy for characters - to use the horrid phrase - past their sell-by date.
If I have a small criticism; the characters when they are not stereotypical, border on the cartoon. Having said that it is not enough to lose it a single star-in fact, it makes them not less human, but more!
It is a masterpiece of cinema, for all ages and genders: can't wait to view it on DVD!
on 3 April 2012
This movie makes you feel good and it made me laugh out loud, many times, which is no mean feat. It's not edge of your seat gripping or a cinematic tour de force, it's a life affirming, funny, well written, poignant film that portrays older people taking risks and making the most of their lives.
The film should be celebrated for what it is, not denigrated because it shares certain parallels with other films. Bill Nighy and Maggie Smith are both excellent, as is Dev Patel. A good buy!
When this movie first came out, my best friend highly recommended it to me; however, it didn't really seem like something I would find that interesting so I ignored her advice until now. Prior to watching this film, I had absolutely no idea what the film was actually about apart from the fact that it was something to do with old British people in India, though I had heard that it's funny so I gave it a shot.
This movie is about a group of British retirees who jet off to India to stay at the Marigold Hotel in an attempt to 'outsource old age'. None of them are particularly impressed with the hotel which had in fact been photoshopped in the brochure, some even less pleased than others, but as time goes on, they all grow and develop and learn to love India.
This film is described as a 'British Comedy-Drama', though I have to say that I didn't find it that funny. Sure, it was amusing, and there were moments that made me chuckle, but nothing really hilarious. The first third of the film is quite amusing as you get to know each of the individual characters and their personalities, but as the film progressed it started to lose the humour and become more about the drama. Personally, I didn't think that there was much of a 'plot', as such, but the character development was interesting to watch.
There is an absolutely brilliant array of talented actors in this film, so I had quite high expectations right from the onset and they certainly did not disappoint. The acting was phenomenal and I loved that they were all British. Dev Patel's indian accent was funny, but accurate and his character is certainly the most loveable of them all. Dame Maggie Smith is an absolutely incredible actress and is one of my favourites. Her character probably underwent the biggest transformation and it really showed that Dame Smith can act just about any character superbly. The other characters included Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson and countless other British actors.
This was a lovely movie, but, it just wasn't exciting enough for me. The acting was superb and the concept was great and I would highly recommend it but it just isn't the sort of movie that floats my boat (which is surprising because I haven't said that about any movie in a long, long time). This film will probably appeal to those who know a lot about either British or Indian traditions, because this film is primarily about the clashing, or coming together, of the two cultures. I liked the portrayal of British and Indian culture and this was the best bit for me. I have never been to India myself; however, I think that they gave a pretty decent portrayal of the vibrant Indian culture. There was lots of hustle and bustle and it was exactly how I imagine India to be. The characters are pretty stereotypical British, old retirees; however, they all react in very different ways to India and their surroundings. All in all, I wasn't expecting anything brilliant and I, personally, didn't really relate to this film at all; however, I can still see that it is a great film that many others will enjoy.
on 6 March 2012
Went to see it this afternoon! just got home! totaly wonderful! I am worn out! best film I have seen in years! so full of joy! so full of laughs! so full of colour! so full of life! Have a day off and treat yourself! have just put my name down for the DVD!
on 6 May 2012
Love British films so on that premise I went to watch The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
The film was poignant, sweet, beautiful, sad, thoughtful, wry, and funny. The enjoyment is dependent on the viewer's disposition as well as how well the film is made; personally, I thought the film was very well done - nothing out of the ordinary, the storylines have been done countless other times as one reviewer mentioned but it has been done rather nicely and there is something that everyone can relate to in the film.
Maggie Smith was just excellent - loved the manner in which her character developed but then again,Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy and the rest were all superb too. They do a fantastic job; I cried a little as well as laughed so hard watching the movie in some scenes, my sides hurt!
In short, buy the film and watch it and make your own mind up.
I can say that I have watched movies that have been given a less than stellar review and found them to be rather nice movies; reviews are subjective and what someone else loathes you may love and vice versa.....I do recommend this film if you have previously also enjoyed Slumdog Millionaire, Love Actually, Billy Elliott, Caledar Girls, and the like. A nice way to spend a couple of hours of entertainment alone or with friends. Enjoy :)))