The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Release year: 2011
Director: John Madden
Screenwriter: Ol Parker, Deborah Moggach (novel ‘These Foolish Things’)
Starring: Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Penelope Wilton, Ronald Pickup, Celia Imrie, Dev Patel, Tina Desai
Ratings: 2 Golden Globe nominations: Best Picture Comedy/Musical, Best Actress Comedy/Musical (Judi Dench).
A group of very different British retirees all move to India to spent their retirement in the promised luxury of the Marigold Hotel. But the hotel is not quite up to standard yet and run by the enthusiastic but rather unqualified Sonny (Patel) and the hotel guests, who have all come for different reasons, met the colourful country of India in each their way and with various success.
With an ensemble cast of some of the best British actors in their golden age, Marigold Hotel has an immediate attraction simply by the names on the poster. The big names doesn’t disappoint but deliver excellent performances all around. Most noticeable is Dame Judi Dench (Philomena, 2013) as the widow whose blog becomes a narrative frame to the story and the always great Nighy (Love Actually, 2003) as the loyal husband in a negative marriage. But as so often the show is constantly stolen by Smith (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, 2011), in another role which you can not imagine anyone else fill, as the bitter and snappy woman only in India for a hip replacement operation. While dealing with some very real issues, which occasionally brings a serious tone, but otherwise the tone is light and warm in this movie filled with colours and life. The story may be average, though the retiree aspect is refreshingly new, but it is greatly lifted by an amazing cast and the beautiful settings of India.
The book Jean (Penelope Wilton) reads i ‘Tulip Fever’ by Deborah Moggach who also wrote ‘These Foolish Things’ on which this movie is based.
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Picture copyrights: SF Film