The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Guest Post)

PFR is marking the 500th post by putting up a bunch of DVD extras this week. This guest paragraph review is from Edinburgh-based Rebecca at The Thrifty Chick; a site about  books, travel, music, movies – and everything else.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: finds Judy Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith and a host of others playing a group of fed up retirees whose desire to avoid becoming invisibly old in the UK leads them to Jaipur in India.  The plan is to age with grace amid the splendour of a luxury campus for “the elderly and beautiful”.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, however, life among the marigolds is not quite the haven of tranquility our intrepid travellers had been expecting.  The hotel is crumbling to the ground, and despite his best efforts the erratic management style of owner Sonny (Dev Patel) is in all likelihood making matters worse.  Given time, however, this hilariously shambolic building and its colourful surroundings find their way into the hearts of (most of) the residents.  The film is a little predictable in plot and at times a touch too reliant on harvesting comedy kicks from a field of well-worn “are we really still doing this” stereotypes.  It did, however, do what I thought was a stellar job of highlighting some of the more emotional aspects of growing old, and it has to be applauded for putting the spotlight on an age demographic that we see so little of in the cinema.  In terms of performance, Dench and Smith stood out as did Penelope Wilton, whose portrayal of Nighy’s jealous, uptight spouse was brilliantly grating.  Nighy himself turned in one of those goofily endearing performances that are fast becoming his trademark.  He does it well, but it would have been good to see him play one of the other strings on his bow this time.  Overall, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is lighthearted and fun, spirited and colourful.  It’s laugh out loud funny but it also manages to punch above its weight in emotional terms.  More than anything, it left me with a real hankering to visit India.  And on that note, it’s off to Trip Advisor…

Score: 7/10

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