The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – Delightful ‘Made in India’ Comedy

In India, we have a saying, “Everything will be all right in the end. So if it’s not all right it’s not yet the end.”

– Dev Patel’s character Sonny in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

I wonder if The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel had a theatrical release in India.

If it didn’t, the loss is entirely that of the  Indians although the chutias wouldn’t know it.

Tired of the endless run of sub-par Bollywood films, I’ve lately been seeking refuge in European films.

As part of my European movie odyssey, I picked up The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel from RedBox.

The movie is directed by British director John Madden based on the novel These Foolish Things, by Deborah Moggach.

Delightful Movie

Starring a bunch of familiar names (Judi ‘M‘ Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Dev ‘Slumdog‘ Patel, Lillete Dubey et al), The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a charming comedy.

And like with all good movies, the script is the star of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Ol Parker’s screenplay is a work of art.

With a stellar cast of highly acclaimed actors, the performances are nothing short of marvelous. The cast includes two Academy Award winners, an Academy Award nominee and a Golden Globe winner.

Even Dev Patel, not known for his acting skills, excels in a role that was seemingly written just for him.

Although set in Jaipur, the movie is not so much about India as it is about the lives of the key characters in their sunset years

This movie is not Slumdog Millionaire, which to a large degree focused on the dark underbelly of India.

Colorful Gaggle

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel turns its lens on a bunch of present-day Britishers who end up in India for different reasons in their autumn years.

Mrs. Donnelly (Maggie Smith), an old racist lady confined to her wheel chair, is compelled to visit India for a faster hip-replacement surgery.

For retired judge Graham Dashwood (Tom Wilkinson), India is not completely new since he lived there for 18 years during his childhood and met the love of his life there.

The Ainslies are in Jaipur because most of their savings evaporated in their daughter’s Internet startup.

Evelyn Greenslade (Judi Dench) is a recent widow who ends up in India after selling her house to pay off debts.

Sonny (Dev Patel) is the owner of a dilapidated hotel in Jaipur that he’s trying hard to restore.

There’s an aging Lothario and a well-past-her prime golddigger.

Must Watch

Falling for the photoshopped images on the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’s web site, the gaggle of Britishers end up at the dilapidated hotel.

And that’s when the fun starts.

For some like Jean Ainslie, India is an unwelcome shock that she doesn’t want any part of.

For her husband Douglas, India seems like a nice adventure, a place to explore new things.

During their stay at the crumbling hotel, our British lot discover themselves and confront hard truths about their lives they’d been avoiding all along.

Given the advanced age of our characters, it’s inevitable that there will be a death or two.

Ultimately, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a gorgeous film about fulfillment, joy, death, self-realization, parting, finding new love, reconnecting with old loves and happiness, all wrapped beautifully in strong performances and a crackling script. enthusiastically recommends The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in the certain knowledge that none of you schmucks will ever watch such a classy film.

4 Responses to "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – Delightful ‘Made in India’ Comedy"

  1. rakeshbaba   October 24, 2012 at 10:02 am
    check this out Responds:

    That’s nothing.

    We once asked an Indian here for the “Incredible India” images CD…..Instead, the person sent us an Indian porn film CD.

    I’m not kidding.

    As the Americans love to say, shit happens! 😉

    • gandhiji   October 25, 2012 at 3:39 am

      The CA teacher who accidentally sent her private sex tape to her students.. takes the cake. Responds:

      When future historians look back at 20th century America, I think Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee Jones will be bigger than Romney, Ryan, Kerry, Gingrich etc because it was their private sex video that first become a mega-hit in the Internet age.

      Pamela & Tommy Lee Jones can be considered the “Parents” of all private self-made porn videos.

  2. Aswin_Kini   October 24, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    SI wrote: “We once asked an Indian here for the “Incredible India” images CD…..Instead, the person sent us an Indian porn film CD.”

    Perhaps he got fed up with your Incredible India articles and decided to play a joke on you instead 😉 Who knows? Responds:

    After a few years here, a lot of people tend to think of India like I do.

    They love India but find the country extremely vexing.

  3. Aswin_Kini   October 24, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    My god, I just saw the trailer, is that Bill Nighy (The actor, who portrayed Captain Davy Jones in the Pirates of the Caribbean Film Series and the Vampire lord Viktor in the Underworld Series…..)?

    Interesting cast, I must say! Responds:

    The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a gem.

    A glittering cast with 2 Oscar winners, one Oscar nominee, a Golden Globe winner etc.

    You should be able to get hold of it easily in India.

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