Posted by Matt Rosenberg on May 15, 2012 at 12:36 am
When a bunch of British retirees end up in India for their retirement, a series of endearing yet hilarious events take place. Directed by John Madden (no, not that John Madden), The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel stars Judi Dench (Casino Royale), Bill Nighy (Underworld and Love Actually), Maggie Smith (Harry Potter), Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton), and gets its show stolen by Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire). The retirees embark on quite a journey while Patel’s Sonny Kapoor, the hotel’s owner and devoted manager, is eager to prove himself to his disapproving mother to whom he inherited the hotel.
When we are introduced to the retirees in England, we see a magnificently advertised hotel for wealthy people to spend their golden years. Yet, as we enter India and learn more about the retirees, we discover the rundown hotel is not as depicted and the retirees are in no means super wealthy. Kapoor actually has branded his endearing facility as what he hopes it will become. Oops, sorry retirees, he forgot to mention that in the brochure. One room doesn’t even come fitted with a proper door, but Kapoor finds himself bunking in there when one particular retiree puts her foot down.
What is interesting here is that the sob story you are expecting to witness throughout the film is anything but. Instead, Madden gives us different story lines full of characters looking to continue living life to the fullest in their independent way, and hilarity ensues. Some look for closure on past relationships, others for love, and others for a new purpose in life. But just like when your put a group of strangers in a house, things get interesting and they all get intertwined in each others business.
Kapoor’s exuberant personality is a perfect complement to the unique and colorful backdrop of India itself. What an amazing country, so rich in culture. We become thrust into its tradition and beauty, making you feel as if you are there. And boy do you want to return when the film ends – trip to India anyone?
The film is a true gem. Emotionally complex at times but funny all the way through. If you IMDB the careers of the four British actors mentioned above, you will see quite a resume. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a perfect addition to these already impressive careers.
What we get from all this is that life is always full of possibility, no matter your age.