Best exotic Marigold Hotel – Film Review
Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on May 18, 2012 | No Comments
PRODUCER – Graham Broadbent, Peter Czernin
DIRECTOR – John Madden
WRITER – Ol Parker (screenplay), Deborah Moggach (novel – ‘These Foolish Things)
CAST – Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, Celia Imrie, Ronald Pickup, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Penelope Wilton
MUSIC – Thomas Newman
We watch movies about the angst of youth and middle-age everyday but no one really wants to watch the pain of growing old and its attendant problems. Old age, for most of us is a phenomenon that is far far away and by the time it dawns on us, we are members of a mostly forgotten and unimportant tribe. In that sense it is very nice to watch a film that puts focus on the aches of pain of the seniors among us.
Based on Deborah Moggach’s novel ‘These Foolish Things’, the film has seven British retirees, each battling with their own curse, come to India to look for peace and maybe some answers. They come to the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a hotel meant for giving the elderly an unforgettable time assuming it to be a lavish place to enjoy their retirement at. However, they meet with a reality far from what is advertised and soon their troubles begin. The hotel is managed by an earnest Sonny (Dev Patel) who is desperate to save the hotel from being sold and is at the same time trying to ward off his impending marriage as he is in love with Sunaina (Teena Desae). Thus the stories of Evelyn (Judi Dench), Douglas (Bill Nighy), Jean (Penelope Wilton), Muriel (Maggie Smith), Graham (Tom Wilkinson), Norman (Ronald Pickup) and Madge (Celia Imrie) entwine themselves with that of Sonny. Each have a battle to win, be it love, loneliness or money which they do with elaborate fanfare.
The comedy-drama pans out in a light-hearted fashion not dwelling too much on the downsides of problems nor investing too much in the solutions. The journey, right upto the finish, is meant to be heart-warming and hence remains handled lightly, even becoming simplistic and outright feel-good. But the grace and presence that each of the British actors invests in their roles makes it a world worth investing our emotions in, even for feel-good returns. Dev Patel, on his part seems outrageously out of sync among the stellar ensemble cast singularly overdoing his earnest performance.
Exotic India plays an important role in bringing out the various shades and moods of the characters with its attendant focus on the cows, colours and chaos. It is shot from an outsider’s point of view and has the distinct romanticism that India is supposed to be loaded with in popular imagination.
If the simplistic nature of the film doesn’t discourage you from riding the highs and lows, the elegance of the ensemble cast is sure to charm you into good-hearted submission.