Opening in theatres this Friday from director John Madden and Participant Media comes a delightful tale of many lives that come together at “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”.
This film tells the story of several British retirees. There is Evelyn Greenslade (Dame Judy Dench), a widower looking for a life she never had; Graham Dashwood (Tom Wilkinson), a man looking to right a wrong in his youth; Douglas (Bill Nighy) and Judith Ainsle (Penelope Wilton); Madge Hardcastle (Celia Imrie), a woman whose given up; Norman Cousins (Ronald Pickup), a man who still wants to give out; and Muriel Donnelly (Maggie Smith), a woman who hate everything in life.
All of these people end up at The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel run by a very young Sonny Kapoor (Dev Patel) whose family only sees a broken down hotel. Sonny is hopelessly in love with Suniana (Tena Desae) but feels he’s not good enough.
The hotel is falling apart just as the lives of the inhabitants are, but there is something about their exotic and humble surroundings that bring about a change in all of them.
FINAL WORD: Dame Judy Dench is lovely, amazing and totally charming as Evelyn. Her resolution to start a new life in such a strange place is not only gutsy but also inspirational. She takes time to see what is around her and embraces all the little surprised her new life has in store.
Wilkinson as Graham is a surprise in the character he plays. Gracious to others, soft hearted but level headed when he story comes to full circle it brings audiences to tears. I truly enjoyed watching every moment he was on screen.
Nighy as Douglas stole my heart completely. As a man who believes in loyalty under all circumstances I give him kudos for seeing and embracing his new surroundings despite of his spouse.
Wilton as Judith is annoying, sad and I actually know a few women like her. Imrie as Madge is entertaining and smart. Pickup as the new stormin Norman is just a hoot to watch with his smooth ways and his youthful vigor.
Smith as Donnelly is just stunning! Watching her character blossom from beginning to end was extremely beautiful and well done by her. Breaking the bonds of McGonagall would have been extreme for other actresses but Smith playing this character just reminds me of her range and ability to embrace a role.
Patel as Sonny is on fire as a young man who sees the potential in everything. His ideas are funny but in the humor is truth. Watching him fight for what he believes in includes the love of his life and with the help of his British friends nothing is over till its over. Desae was Suniana is lovely and cute.
Other cast include: Paul Bhattacharjee as Dr. Ghujaraparditar, Lucy Robinson as Judith, Sid Makkar as Jay, Seema Azmi as Anokhi, and Diana Hardcastle as Carol.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” four tubs of popcorn out of five. The location is beautiful and full of everything one would expect of a country seeped in mystery and a culture that is all its own.
The story is beautiful and with this stellar cast this is a film that everyone should take the time to see, appreciate and wish we all knew of a Best Exotic Marigold Hotel!
In the end – it’s about beginnings.