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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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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.

1313 comments| 669 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
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.
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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.
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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!
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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.
22 comments| 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
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!
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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!
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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.
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on 28 February 2012
All adults (regardless of age) will appreciate this film. If you've been on a different planet recently and haven't seen the numerous TV adverts - It is about a bunch of retirees looking for an alternative retirement by emigrating to India and residing in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the elderly and beautiful. The whole film is hilariously funny and really tells it like it is. It also highlights the fact of how people of pension age are treated in England in comparison with India. The cast is full of strong characters. Maggie Smith's character in need of a hip replacement delivers some corkers with her cockney accent, and another classic moment is when Judi Dench teaches the Indian call centre a thing or two! There is just one laugh after another with all the characters. What a great story! Well written and produced. Don't miss it!
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on 27 March 2012
This film really is a breath of originality, as it stands out so far above the current rash of GCI 3D monsters & sequels. The plot is a simple one, yet the film moves along at a good pace, and still leaves time for each character to develop. The cast is wonderful: Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Penelope Wilton, Celia Imrie, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy. Also starring is Dev Patel who plays Sonny,(manager of the hotel in the title), a real scene-stealer with his delightful enthusiasm and optimism. The film features a group of elderly (or "ready for the scrap heap",depending on your attitude)English people who decide to live abroad, in sunny India to enjoy their remaining years in tranquility. Well, things don't quite work out exactly as shown on the hotel brochure. They arrive to find Mumbai teeming with people,animals,tuk-tuks,cows,dogs. And plenty of new sights, smells and tastes all completely foreign. This is part of the beauty of the film: it is packed with colour, activity and life, yet still the focus remains the characters in their new surroundings. How each new arrival copes with India is interesting to see. Some dive straight into the crowded markets and temples, others remain in their hotel room with a book. There is a lesson in there somewhere, but it is delivered in a lovely non-preachy way. This film has joy, sadness, and a warm heart. Definitely one to watch when you feel life is getting you down. This will lift your spirits very nicely, I am certain.
0Comment| 36 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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