This is another film that if you blink, you’ll miss it at your friendly, local, picture house.
One would think any film with Judi Dench in it is a) good and b) a hot ticket (although her being in it will not get me to see a Bond film, wild horses wouldn’t drag me, etc etc).
The film has a full array of Brit actors in their prime, all of which I feel the next generation or two can learn from.
The run-down ironically named Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is in desperate need of guests and advertises itself as a place for the ’retired and the beautiful.’ A group of disillusioned British strangers head over hoping to find meaning in what’s left of their life and partake in new adventures and inevitably make friends – or enemies. So far, the person with the funniest lines is Muriel (Maggie Smith), who is only going over in the short term to jump the NHS queue for a hip replacement and is gloriously an ignorant racist. It doesn’t take many marbles to work out she will be won over by India before the end of the film.
All the characters are in search of something but it’s only the judge, Graham (Tom Wilkinson) who knows what; his lost love of some 40 years ago, his first boyfriend.
The young – and possibly the most enthusiastic hotelier in the world – has his own woes with a domineering mother putting him under pressure to sell the loss-making, hotel left to the family by the father.
I love how the stories gently unfold and how the group started bonding and unlike some comments from Indian people I have seen, I think India is portrayed pretty well – remembering this is fiction! Of course a real hotel where even the phones didn’t work and there was layer of dust on unused furniture will not present itself open for business in a country known for its warm hospitality!
Smile factor 9½/10