A fairy tale that entertains, gently amuses and ticks all the boxes on a relaxing Sunday afternoon is a movie that must not be sniffed at , so despite some ropey reviews we went to see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel this afternoon.
|Maggie Smith,Ronald Pickup,Bill Nighy,Penelope Wilton, Celia Imrie, Judy Dench and Tom Wilkinson|
The story is a familiar one where we follow an eclectic group of "OAPs" as they meet up in the said Indian hotel in search of some retirement peace and contentment in the twilight of their lives.
So we are quickly introduced to the Unhappily married Douglas and Jean ( Bill Nighy and Penelope Wilton) who cannot afford to retire in the UK due to family debts, cossetted widow Evelyn (Judy Dench) a woman who has never had to look after herself., Norman (Ronald Pickup) a knackered old Lothario who is constantly on the pull, Celie Imrie a wisecracking fun time girl, melancholy Graham, (Tom Wilkinson) a retired Judge with an ancient gay past and Muriel (Maggie Smith) a working class racist who has been tagged along with the others to have a hip operation on the cheap.
Yes a typical cinematic group of people that are hungry for being transformed by the charms, sights and experiences of a run down hotel and the people of India.....
Despite some cracking one liners,
(I especially enjoyed when Imrie's character is asked by the po faced Penelope Wilton how she should celebrate her and her husband's forth coming 40th wedding anniversary., Imrie offers a dry as toast
"By holding a minute's silence")
the film is really only elevated by the classy cast, who wring every ounce of depth from their potentially cardboard characters.
Tom Wilkinson is remarkably sweet as a man on a pilgrimage to happier times, Dench and Nighy show moving on screen chemistry as their characters embark on a tentative relationship and Penelope Wilton is absolutely marvellous in the most unsympathetic role as the bitter and unhappy Jean, a woman unable to appreciate the positives aspects of old age
Forget the heavy handed Indian Characters ( Dev Patel doing his Norman Wisdom impersonation as the junior Hotel manager is almost a bit too much).....and ignore some of the cultural stereotyping and story lines... just sit back and enjoy the prospect of quality actors giving quality performances in a sweet natured, amusingly told comedy drama