UK Release date: 24th February 2012
Watched on Sky+ Monday 7th January 2013.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
This is a film I have been looking forward to seeing for some time now. I don’t know if it was the fact that it did gain a little critical acclaim, or possibly the fact that my late mother would have loved it. But needless to say I was very happy to see it finally appear in the TV listings this week. I wasn’t disappointed; the film definitely lived up to expectations without getting too sentimental. Here’s a brief summary before I give you my thoughts.
A disparate group of, let’s say, the older generation, find themselves as guests at ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ in India for a variety of reasons; I won’t go into them here. The hotel is run by a young man, Sonny Kapoor (Dev Patel), who has great ambitions for the hotel his father had once run. The guests; Evelyn Greenslade (Judi Dench), Graham Dashwood (Tom Wilkinson), Douglas Ainslie (Bill Nighy) and his wife Jean (Penelope Wilton), Muriel Donnely (Maggie Smith), Norman Cousins (Ronald Pickup) and Madge Hardcastle (Celia Imrie) are all there for different reasons. Some financial, for some it’s an adventure, some looking for ghosts of the past, one is even there for an operation; but they all have some reason to be there. Some take to live in India well, while others take time to find their feet; which is not surprising as life there can be quite chaotic! As time passes we learn more about the residents’ loves and hates and more about Sonny, who has problems with his mother and with the girl he loves.
Beautifully shot showcasing all the vibrancy of life in an Indian city; I was impressed with the look of the film. All the performances were excellent, with Judi Dench and Tom Wilkinson standing out; I thought Dev Patel was a tad underused though. I liked the fact that the writers didn’t pull too many punches and as such it made the main characters more believable. There was, however, just one niggle; I felt that Dev Patel’s character, Sonny, came over as a bit of a caricature rather than a more rounded character. Over all though, I have to say I enjoyed this one and would happily sit down and watch it again sometime.
SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED
My score: 7.7/10.
IMDb Score: 7.2/10 (based on 28,319 votes when this review was written).
MetaScore: 62/100: (Based on 35 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 80/100 (based on 65,632 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
If you’re crazy enough… You can find me on Facebook at:
Sonny: Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end.
Orderly: My wife is from Mumbai.
Muriel: Well don't blame me, you married her!
Sonny: [trying to reach a fallen Norman] Let me through, my brother is a doctor.
Sonny: Your bedroom.
Madge Hardcastle: Where?
Sonny: Here. In here.
Madge Hardcastle: My dear man, rooms have doors. What you're showing me here is an alcove.
Douglas Ainslie: I invested our, well, my retirement money in our daughter's Internet company. She assured me that as soon as the startup actually, um, started up and the conversion from virtual to actual became sufficiently viable, then she'd be able to pay it all back.
Evelyn: I'm not sure I understand what most of those words mean.
Douglas Ainslie: Well, it turns out neither did she.
Graham Dashwood: Good evening, Mrs. Ainslie. You have a good day? What did you get up to?
Jean: Well, I started in my bedroom where I spent a happy couple of hours giving all the cockroaches names. And then after lunch, that will long have a place in my heartburn, I came out here and stared blindly at a book waiting for someone - anyone - to rescue me. And how glad I am it was you.
Sonny: [showing around a potential investor] Please can you describe to us in as much detail as you desire your experience of the ambiance and atmosphere of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
Muriel: Words fail me.
Sonny: Ah, the English wit we love so greatly.
Sonny: [whisking his visitor away] See, the wheel is spinning but the hamster is dead.
(NOTE: All links were working at the time of going to press)
Official Site: http://www.thebestexoticmarigoldhotel.co.uk/