Wednesday, 14 March 2012

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL ****



John Madden brings us this year’s feel-good movie as a bunch of British retirees travel to India in search of redemption and a new start. But the assumption that their booked accommodation is a plush and “exotic” hotel could not have been more wrong. With dusty drapes, incomplete d├ęcor and broken (or even absent) furniture- far from the luxuriousness visualised in its advertisement- it is down to unorganised but happy-clappy hotel manager Sonny (Dev Patel) to maintain the stay of his first residents. While each character unravels their story, the hotel unravels its charm to create a fresh tale of enlightenment, friendship and self-discovery.

With the likes of Judie Dench, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Maggie Smith and Penelope Winton at the helm, this star studded cast could not have been more perfect as the residents of this hotel for the ‘elderly and beautiful.’ With a fine balance of witty humour and deep emotion, Madden delivers a story of magic and wonder as each resident celebrates, or indeed struggles with, the transition from their complicated or rustic lives on British soil to the colourful and vibrant domains of Indian culture.

True, the plot is predictable and doesn’t exactly stretch the imagination but it is believable and original. Cliches are plenty with Dench failing to get her head around how the internet works and Dev battling with his mother about arranged marriages. Maggie even gets in her infamous politically incorrect one-liners that allow us to roll our eyes but chuckle all the same. But this all adds to the films inexplicable charm and delight that is well carried throughout the whole two hours.

A must see sunday-afternoon flick for all those who are seeking inspiration, or simply wish to be humoured.

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