Friday, March 1, 2013

Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Movie Review

Plot: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel movie has a total of seven Britishers that includes five single people and a married couple who arrive in India on the same flight and headed to the same hotel based in Jaipur. Out of the 5 single people, first is a homosexual looking for forgiveness (Tom Wilkinson), second is a cantankerous racist old lady in need of a hip replacement (Maggie Smith), third is a widow who is out of funds and does not want to be dependent on her children (Judi Dench), fourth is a doddering old person looking to alleviate his loneliness (Ronald Pickup) and fifth is a single lady (Celia Imrie) looking for an easy way out in the way of a rich man, The married couple consists of a long-suffering husband (Bill Nighy) who out of respect and old family values is still married to the negative-approach and nagging wife (Penelope Wilton).

In the Indian context, we have Sonny (Dev Patel) playing the role of a young man trying to make the dreams of his dead father remain alive by running a decrepit old-run down hotel. He wants to market it to senior citizens who are lonely. He wants to prove to his family that he can make it a success despite stiff opposition from his mother who is against her son wasting his time and money on failed endeavours. There is also a love interest in the shape of a young lissome girl who is sister to the CEO of a call-center. Sonny’s mother is opposed to this also.

Locale: India – maddening, bustling, over-crowded, polluted with chaotic roads (bus-drivers zig-zagging on the roads), the harijans, bustling markets, land of Kamasutra etc. We have the various industries covered that cater to the foreign market  i.e. tourism industry (the hotel), call-centers (Dev Patel’s girl friend), medical hotels (Maggie Smith in need of hip replacement). Thankfully, you don’t get to see any snake-charmers!!

Review: The movie is a comedy of manners in the understated British style which uses the obvious metaphors of what strikes the foreigners who come to India. It is an over-the-top look (from the “mountains” as Ronald Pickup says in the movie) at Indian culture, mannerisms that any tourist traveling to India would encounter. The tale of the seven Britishers has been brought together in a quite complex plot. It, however, keeps on moving quite smoothly without faltering. It keeps the attention of the audience engaged without any yawning moments. There are moments of quiet chuckles and outright laughter at some of the quaint patois English language that Sonny (Dev Patel) is forced to speak,

Summary: All in all, quite an enjoyable movie to see if one suspends all right to criticism of the movie as an Indian. 

3.5 stars out of 5

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