Customer Review

598 of 607 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming, 27 Mar 2012
This review is from: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (DVD + Digital Copy) (DVD)
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.

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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 6 Apr 2012 10:25:30 BDT
A. Roberton says:
What an excellent review of a film that stirred you deep inside - lovely. A definite buy when the DVD hits the shops (internet).

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Apr 2012 11:47:52 BDT
Last edited by the author on 8 Apr 2012 11:49:24 BDT
mo brown says:
we were all geared up to see the long awaited film at our local cinema, even checked the dates/times. only to find to our disapointment that it had been taken off a day earlier for a children's film, and it was before half term... cant wait to buy this dvd. such great seasoned actors. for a change.

Posted on 25 Apr 2012 04:58:55 BDT
Ekka says:
Amusing to review a film rich in cliches with cliches. Nothing challenging? Quite a few challenging "adult themes" in the version I saw: death, homosexuality and extreme poverty for a start.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Apr 2012 13:12:58 BDT
Last edited by the author on 26 Apr 2012 04:34:41 BDT
I'm afraid if you think homosexuality is challenging you need to get with the program. It's been pretty mainstream for quite a few years now.

At the risk of introducing spoilers - which I tried hard to avoid in my review - yes it does have moments of sadness. But the death came after the judge (Graham) had fulfilled his dying wish to meet his long lost Indian lover. His death was inevitable, peaceful and led to a glorious Indian funeral where everyone was happy. And there is poverty, too. But not the kind of grim realistic poverty you get in Ken Loach films or Slumdog Millionaire - it's large, happy families who make friends with the difficult White woman (Muriel), in the process curing her of her lifelong racism.

As I said, it provokes the odd thought but nothing too demanding.

Posted on 30 May 2012 13:32:16 BDT
Lizzie says:
What a great, detailed review. Was told by a friend to 'go and see it'. Cannot wait to get the dvd. Thank you.

Posted on 24 Jun 2012 11:25:28 BDT
JLR says:
Saw this in the cinema when it first appeared, and for me MisterHobgoblin's review is spot on. The film has everything: laughter, tears, you name it, and the cliches are there only to give us a heightened view of the world in which it's set, which is what all art does. Can't wait to buy the DVD and watch it two, three...ten times.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jul 2012 14:20:19 BDT
Jinty says:
Great review. First time ever I ticked the helpful box. Brilliant film and spot on review.

Posted on 7 Aug 2012 09:25:12 BDT
E. Lloyd says:
This is the first time I have ever commented on a review but I wanted to say what a fabulous review I thought it was. I love this film and you have described it brilliantly. Well done and thank you for putting in this level of effort.

Posted on 18 Sep 2012 12:45:52 BDT
Last edited by the author on 18 Sep 2012 12:51:06 BDT
henry says:
An excellent review. Also recommended by our friends in Warsaw, Poland. It is a pity that this superb film was shown weeks ago in Cracow (also Poland :-) only in a so called "film festival" movie house rather than in the mainstreem, mass audience, chain "multiplex". The "mass audience" will not even know what they missed. Will organize a private show for some local friends so have just ordered a Blu-Ray edition. Again, many thanks for your text.

Posted on 23 Jan 2013 21:51:40 GMT
I absolutely agree with views already expressed about the wonderfully detailed review you have given us. Thank you so much.
I am just about to buy the DVD on the strength of your review...
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