Sunday, 26 February 2012
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
With a cast that includes Judi Dench, Celia Imrie, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, John Hurt, Penelope Wilton, Tom Wilkinson and Dev Patel you know this film should be something special. It doesn't disappoint. This is a brilliant film that explores a number of themes with a deft touch that will have you laughing, crying and leave you with a undeniable feel-good feeling. Go and see it now!
The premise is straightforward. A group of retired Brits sign up to spend their final years at the "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and Beautiful". Each one of the seven has their own personal demons to exorcise and relationships are at the core of this wonderful tale. The interactions between the characters are first class as Sonny (Dev Patel) the hotel's manager attempts to turn his dream into reality. The advertising material presented the dream rather than the reality and with even his own mother against him, Sonny has his work cut out to stave off closure and the end of his dream.
The narrative develops with a series of epiphanies as different characters discover things that were seemingly beyond their grasp back in their former lives'. A whole range of subjects are engaged with - empty marriages, obsession with status, clashes of culture, racism, caste system, wasted lives', sexual conquest, left things too late and gay regret. That's a list of pretty heavy subjects - it's just as well the dialogue delivers laugh after laugh in quick succession. The film also gives a wonderfully immersive experience of Indian life - you can almost smell it! I've had the privilege of visiting India on many occasions and it left me wanting to return.
I won't say any more about the content of the film to spoil your watching enjoyment. With a cast of this gravitas it's no surprise that his film delivers something special. Dev Patel takes another step on the road to stardom that undoubtedly beckons him. Tena Desae plays his girlfriend in only her third film - I'm sure we'll see more of her in years to come too.
This is a film about life, about love and about making the most of both. The screenplay contains a series of exquisitely funny one-liners which are delivered with great precision. As you can imagine I think this is wonderful film and I encourage you to go and see it - as soon as you can. I saw it on it's fifth showing at Harbour Lights Picturehouse in Southampton - all screenings for the entire weekend were sell-outs on advance tickets. I'll give it 8.5/10.