Sunday, 18 March 2012

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Sometimes we all need a bit of predictable whimsy
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
It's not a great film, after all, when all said and done it is just a glorified sit com, but it has a great deal of charm, quite a few laugh-out-loud moments and a quality cast to die for.
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



  1. Thanks for the review. With names like that I would have to watch it even if you had given it 1/10! What a cast list.

  2. Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy, Judi Dench and Maggie Smith...I'm there.

  3. It opens here on Thursday and I am looking forward to it - a nice change from violent crime/ war genres.

  4. What a great review. Sounds like a nice gentle film. I reckon I'll wait until it comes out on DVD and save it up for a rainy duvet day afternoon :)

  5. Anonymous10:53 pm

    Netflix has this movie (I think) ...which is now in my DVD Queue (whatever that means) so whether I ever get to see it via NF is problematic! I certainly like the cast of characters so I'm hopeful...thanks for sharing John!

  6. Not been to see this yet, but we will,. 21 Jump Street was funny too. x

  7. This sounds like an enjoyable movie. Funny how as one gets older, there's a joy in watching actors even more ancient than oneself doing interesting things and having intense encounters with others. Gives one hope!

  8. what a cast! Sounds awesome, will check it out! Thanks for the review!!!

  9. Sounds like a wonderful cast--i may have to go see this.


  10. this Movie has just been released here in Adelaide,and getting great review's!i'm looking forward to watching it,such a great cast!thank's for sharing your thought's on it!

  11. Looks like a winner to me.

  12. That really is quite a cast.

  13. She mae. You've described a show which I'm glad I missed.

  14. I'm impressed with how often you go to the cinema. The last time I went was about 5 years ago.

    I might just make the effort to go and see myself in this one "Penelope Wilton as the unhappy Jean, unable to appreciate the positive aspects of old age" !!

    Mind you, I'm off to buy a new(ish) Harley Davidson this afternoon .....I never thought I'd be doing that at sixty !!!!

  15. Perfect Sunday afternoon viewing?

  16. Hasn't opened in the 'States yet, but we're being treated to lots of trailers before the feature film begins.

  17. Thanks for this review. I like this kind of 'soft' drama every now and then.


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