The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – Review

September 21, 2012

Summary: the moral of the story – age is not a factor when it comes to fall in love, to enjoy your life or to bring out the best in you. The movie is a masterpiece which teaches us to be our best and live life to the fullest.

The movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is set in India. It’s the story about a group of old men and women with a love for life. The movie is a landmark for director Madden and also for the great group of British legends.

The story is a great mix of comedy, romance and high-voltage drama. Impressed with the advertisement, seven old Britishers, living on their pension, decide to spend the rest of their lives in the retirement home for the old at Jaipur. The group includes Judy Dench (Evelyn), a housewife who realizes the monetary debt she has to live with after her husband’s death; Tom Wilkinson as Graham, a retired judge of the High Court, whose not only motto was to stay at the Hotel during his visit to India, but also a deep dark secret that he was holding close to his heart; couple Douglas and Jean played by Bill Nighy and Penelope Wilton respectively, who lost their retirement benefits trying to start up an internet company for their daughter; Madge (Celia Imrie), an ageing beauty who is still on the lookout for a rich husband; Norman (Ronald Pickup) who is looking for THE girl who wouldn’t call him dirty and old; and Muriel (Maggie Smith) is a fussy xenophobic ex-housekeeper, who has decide to get her hip operated in India knowing that the same would be shelved in Britain. Other than the fantastic seven, we also have Dev Patel as Sonny Kapoor, who plays the role of the manager of the Marigold Hotel.

They are greeted by surprise as they enter the hotel. Not all was as exotic as advertised. What was advertised as the dream hotel from the British Raj, the hotel was far from being complete. The rooms are incomplete and most of them do not have any telephone and some of the rooms are already inhabited by pigeons. To make matters worse, they encounter the ever-day-dreaming manager Sonny and his mother (played by Lillete Dubey). However, they decide to stay. Only Norman is not disturbed by the ruckus around him as he is hell bent of finding a girlfriend and nothing could stop him.

There are some funny moments in the movie. For example when Norman is seen reading the Kama Sutra with utmost dedication; it reminds us of the fact that the old have a thing or two about sex as well. However the movie deals with the emotional turmoil of every character. The most notable is Judy Dench, who is vulnerable and stoic at the same time and does not back away from trying new ways to seek happiness. Her chemistry with Bill Nighy is noteworthy and one of the most memorable moments of the movie is when the couple roams around the streets of Jaipur in a motorbike.

All the characters have done a noteworthy job in this movie. However, the one actor that stands out is Penelope Wilton, who essays the character of an old woman dying to be listened to but lacks attention and audience is a class apart.

The movie, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, is a movie that breathes a fresh lease of life in both young and old. Set in the beautiful locales of Rajasthan, the movie shows new ways of living life to the fullest even when the days are numbered. It teaches us an important lesson – old age may not always be imposed by Nature; most of the time it is a state which is imposed upon us by the circumstances surrounding us. One does not need to be young, but needs to feel young at heart to enjoy the gift called Life. Madden’s masterpiece “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” is the celebration of life which cannot be missed.

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