Writer: Nurul YezidWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“Calendar Girls”, “Magnolia”, “Love Actually” and “Shakespeare In Love”
Some say that old habits die hard, and at an age where there is little room of altering those seemingly tiresome routines, the world can be scarily uncaring. Why is it that as we get older we get tired to try new things? What if circumstances force us to do exactly just that? Will we rediscover the zest for life or will we give up without a fight because we believe we are too old for it? "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" by "Shakespeare In Love" director John Madden confronts these questions in a hilarious, adventurous, light-hearted and yet poignant way. And with one of the best ensemble cast available, this film is nothing more but a delightful piece of cinematic dream.
Lured by ads making lofty promises of a grand stay at an establishment with the sophistication of an English country manor (among other things), seven aged English folks decide to take a chance on the home for the "elderly and beautiful" in a less expensive and seemingly exotic place: India. But upon arrival, some of them were hampered to find that the place was nothing more but a shell of its former self. Though not all of them settle in comfortably in the ramshackle hotel, some managed to be more receptive of its humbleness and discover the magic that it actually holds; the magic of discovering life within themselves. Starring the likes of award-winning actors and actresses such as Judi Dench, Dev Patel, Celia Imrie, Bill Nighy, Ronald Pickup, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson and Penelope Wilton, the film centers around the lives of individuals coming from a vastly different background that would then converge into one single working unit.
Based on the 2004 novel "These Foolish Things" by Deborah Moggach, the screenplay does justice to its numerous characters, the impressive cast and the colourful setting. Nothing is more romantic and magical than the city of Rajashthan itself. And with any films shot in India, the films' orchestra of colourful displays in the form of its people, locality and customs would only leave you wanting to visit the country for yourself. However, some honourable mentions would be from the films' stand-out performances such as that by Maggie Smith, whose portrayal as the openly racist former housekeeper Muriel Donelly was greatly entertaining with her brilliantly timed racist jibes that would definitely leave one in stitches. After the success of "Slumdog Millionaire", Patel is remarkable as a bumbling scatterbrain but highly ambitious manager whose troubles include keeping his business afloat amidst demands to shut down by his domineering mother (Dubey) and his rocky courtship with a call-centre employee Sunaina (Desae). And as for the dame Judi Dench, she brings her usual excellent self in an understated way as a woman with newly found independence and stability.
With a cast that consists of those that are way beyond their prime, the film manages to surprisingly touch the nerves even for those who has barely attain the legal age to drink. Not only is it a feel good film, "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" is filled with witty and intelligent dialogues and entices the audiences with its never-ending smart humour and cleverly put plot and subplots.
This film certainly is a rare gem that will leave you smiling upon exiting the cinema hall as not only its fictional characters appeal to you, but also because its story strikes closer to home compared to the superhero film franchises. This beautiful film is definitely a go-to film for those who enjoy the simpler things in life, and the irony of going through your old age would also be one of the biggest factors why the film is such a hit! But even for those still far away from being buried six feet under, the film is still greatly entertaining, and would at least give you a glimpse of what life may become and allows you to have something to look forward to come the day when your number is soon to be called. Do go ahead and watch this film, and let it feed your soul with its honesty, heart and endearing moments that would be a part of your journey through life.
"The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" is also available in 2D in Singapore.Cinema Online, 06 June 2012