The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)

Taj Mahal, Agra, India. Deutsch: Taj Mahal im ...

Taj Mahal, Agra, India. Deutsch: Taj Mahal im indischen Agra. Español: Vista del Taj Mahal, Agra, India. Français : Le Taj Mahal, à Âgrâ, en Inde. Русский: Мавзолей Тадж-Махал, Агра, Индия. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A bunch of Brit’s retirees bought into the idea of spending their retirement years in the beautiful “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” somewhere in India through glossy photo-shopped brochure, or equally well developed web-pages. Well, things could be worst with this day and age, when scammers targeted audience is the most vulnerable ageing seniors as we have here in this group of seven, the film could turn left and end up being a version of Hostel (2005) !Perhaps?

The premise is quite apparent: Live Life ! Therefore, it is never too late to start new again despite what you have had. Life has an ending only if you see it that way; otherwise life can start anytime, and make anew. Parallel to that are the cultural and traditional boundaries, one can choose to live within them all their lives or cross them as one wishes.

Evelyn Greenslade(Judi Dench)’s husband died; the new widow has no idea where to begin when she has been supported by her late husband all these years:40. She didn’t know her husband was heavily in debt, nor she knew what WiFi meant. Graham Dashwood(Tom Wilkinson) after 36 years as a judge, he retired and journeyed on to the place where he grew up, and  hoped to meet his first love. Douglas Ainslie(Bill Nighy), a passive husband who would rather submit than to fight with his wife Jean Ainslie(Penelope Wilton), a retired civil servant with high expectation of her retirement lifestyle. Muriel Donnelly(Maggie Smith), perhaps more xenophobe than racist, has a rotten mouth and bad attitude awaits a less expensive and wait time hip-surgery. Norman Cousins(Ronald Pickup) is a senior casanova, who reads and practices kama sutra. Madge Hardcastle(Celia Imrie) is his counterpart, who is just as eager to meet someone, someone rich.

So luckily, my theory of a Senior Hostel movie didn’t play out. They found the Hotel after a long journey on bus! yes, local bus. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel looks good on spec, but not in substance. The family hotel is run by Sonny Kapoor(Dev Patel), and   his mom(Lillete Dubey) has a different idea how it should be run. Sunaina(Tena Desae), the new India, is a young working college graduate, who works for his brother, Jay(Sid Makkar) in one of those overseas call-centres. Sunaina and Sonny failed sexcapade delivers the changes of traditional Indian culture or maybe the new sex revolution for that country? perhaps?

And there are young love, found love, senior “V” sex/love, familiar love, self-love all mélange with the colours, choas, crowds, and noise that begs us to see life beyond four walls with secure railings and a big panic box in the middle of the living room. Instead, life could be colourful, messy, fun, and beautiful. Nonetheless, the choice is ours to make, perhaps!

Best lines:

“When are you back?”


“Just ready for tea then”

lots of melodramatic lines to savour. WATCH!


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