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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: Oct 18: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel


Oct 18: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

"British retirees travel to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel. Less luxurious than its advertisements, the Marigold Hotel nevertheless slowly begins to charm in unexpected ways."
Directed by: John Madden, Rated: PG-13, 124 minutes

When I first saw a trailer for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, I assumed it would be a safe movie you can watch with your grandparents, have a few laughs, and easily waste a couple of hours with a nice little movie. After seeing the movie, all of these thoughts have been changed, and the movie turns out to be something remarkable, spiritual, and much more profound than anything I expected. I have to give myself a little slap on the wrist for thinking so lightly of this movie, as in complete honesty, it's easily one of the best movies of 2012. Oh, and it has an incredible cast. 

British and over 60? Welcome aboard!

The film follows a bunch of retired people that are all looking for a way out of their regular lives. Evelyn (Judi Dench) is trying to cope with the loss of her husband and wants to travel the world, something she never had the opportunity to do so. Graham (Tom Wilkinson) has a past he's trying to reconnect with and hopes to visit some people he grew up with. Douglas (Bill Nighy) and Jean (Penelope Wilton) are a newly retired couple that aren't happy with their home and want something more full of life and energy. Muriel (Maggie Smith) is a racist old woman who needs a hip replaced and the only place to do the surgery sooner than later is out of the country, much to her dissatisfaction. Madge (Celia Imrie) and Norman (Ronald Pickup) are two old-timers that are very young in the mind and are rather promiscuous. All of these older people come together in a hotel in India, run by Sonny (Dev Patel), a young man trying to turn the rather lackluster hotel into something much more grand. As all of these men and women begin to understand the complexities of India and its people, they all go through their own changes, mostly for the best. 

Oh, Wilkinson! You crazy!*

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is very unexpected and quite the treat. It's a lovely little film that shows the struggles of those thought to be past their prime and the youth and life they discover in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. The film is sweet, never forced, and genuinely funny. I rarely laugh at loud at movies (it takes a lot to impress me) and I let out plenty of chuckles throughout the film, either be it at hearing something I'd never expect one of these actors to say, or the sheer brilliance of the script. All of the cast are exceptional and even the young Dev Patel handles his own incredibly well. His character is very much a throwback to the classic optimistic and overwhelmed characters you'd see in something from the 50s or 60s and yet he manages to maintain a sincerity to the rather cartoon character he plays. The movie also features plenty of scenes that pull at your heart strings and leave you "with something in your eye". The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a movie that wraps you in with the cast and humor and leaves you happier and more satisfied than you could imagine (in a non-dirty way). 

Although, she'll have you either way. 

I would highly recommend The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. As I mentioned, it's easily one of the best movies of the year and deserves to be talked about come the end of the year. After watching The Darjeeling Limited in 2007, I was immediately fascinated with India and have always wanted to travel there. With this film, that craving reemerges and director John Madden does a fabulous job at capturing the culture, the people, and even the modernizing of one of the most interesting countries in the world. I really love this movie and hope that you'll look past the rather generic, yet simple trailers and give The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel a shot. You won't be disappointed. 

The Good:
a great little look at India, from its people to its culture and even the food
The Better:
having a terrific cast come together for a film that's not only fun, but means a lot more than you'd think
The Best:
an ending that's sweet enough to be happy with and not feel like it's what you'd expect, even though you have a rough idea of where it's heading

Overall: 8.5/10


*I whole-heartily love this man. 

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At October 18, 2012 at 9:16 PM , Blogger Nick said...

I was very surprised by how much I enjoyed this film. My main complaint is that Dev Patel's personal story needed to either be expanded on or dropped. I know it was kinda necessary on the whole, but... it felt shoved in there. It was too underdeveloped. I really liked his character, though.

At October 18, 2012 at 9:37 PM , Blogger Nick said...

Yeah, I agree. I loved his character but there needed to be more umph behind it. They teased it a lot but didn't run with it.

At October 18, 2012 at 11:12 PM , Blogger Richard Kirkham said...

You clearly liked it much more than I did. Nick, you aren't by chance a sixty year old woman are you? Actually the film is fine with a great cast and good performances, the story is a little obvious and the resolutions just too pat. I did think it looked great.

At October 18, 2012 at 11:13 PM , Blogger Richard Kirkham said...

At October 18, 2012 at 11:25 PM , Blogger Nick said...

Stopped by your page and left a comment. I may in fact be a 60 year old woman lol. I enjoyed the heck out of this movie.

At October 19, 2012 at 8:38 AM , Blogger SDG said...

I first saw it's trailer back in January before The Descendants. I have been meaning to check it out since then. (I am an Indian BTW. So, I have natural interest in it.)I have heard everyone calling it good enough, really hert-warming and enjoyable story etc etc. I probably should check it out soon. Good Review. :)

At October 19, 2012 at 10:52 AM , Blogger Nick said...

You most certainly should. It's an easy watch that lures you in with simplicity but has a lot more behind it. Def. recommend it.

At October 19, 2012 at 3:23 PM , Blogger Ben Hayward said...

This film is so endearing and just... lovely.

I had no interest in watching it until my girlfriend randomly brought it home one day. It may well sneak its way into my Top 10 of 2012.

At October 19, 2012 at 3:55 PM , Blogger Nick said...

Yes indeed. Very unexpected!


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