‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ – Movie Review
– Jan Risher
The 1998 film, Shakespeare in Love, is one of, if not, my all-time favorite film. Therefore, my expectations were high going to see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, by the same director, John Madden. With a cast of great actors including Judi Dench, Bill Nighy and Maggie Smith, the line-up increased the odds of a blockbuster in my book. However, while it was a lovely movie to watch, it didn’t quite live up to the hype that had built up in my mind. I had expected a film my whole family would appreciate and enjoy.
I was wrong. The target audience is definitely middle age and above.
The movie uses one of the most basic of storytelling plots: a person or group of people go to a new place to build a new life, encounter new hardships, and grow and change.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is the story of a disparate group of English senior citizens who, for a variety of reasons, go to India and find themselves attempting to create new lives for themselves in a ramshackle and rundown (at best) hotel owned and managed by a young pie-in-the-sky dreamer. In essence, they’re giving a go at India’s newest outsourcing market — retirement for senior citizens.
Each of the seven travelers has his or her own story, and with so many storylines, the movie doesn’t do each justice enough to coerce viewers to invest and care about each of the characters. However, it does a good enough job at the telling to make viewers care about part of the cast and the intersection of their stories.
Adapted from Deborah Moggach’s novel, These Foolish Things, the movie is beautifully written featuring classic English wit.
One word of warning: in an effort to capture the whirling world of color and intensity that is India, the filmmakers used extensive panning techniques to denote movement. The result is, even if you only have the slightest case of vertigo, there are moments in the film that may make you dizzy.