When I first heard of the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel from my boss who introduced this movie to me, I scoffed. Old people, and British humor for that matter was enough to make my mind go “Oh, bollocks!”. After watching this movie however, I found how gravely mistaken I was.
Beautifully written by Deborah Moggach, the movie tells the story of Sonny Kapoor (Dev Patel), a dreadfully optimistic hotel manager who runs a shabby hotel in the foreign province of India which will soon be visited by 7 British retirees who have been deeply disappointed by their experiences in life. The story unfolds with Sonny desperately trying to save the hotel by convincing the British nationals of an unforgettable experience in India as he tries to convince a potential investor to rebuild the hotel.
The 7 British nationals each have their own hidden tales to tell. Evelyn (Judi Dench) is a recently widowed septuagenarian who hasn’t experienced life apart from her husband and attempting to rediscover herself as a person in this exotic world. The Ainslies (Penelope Wilton & Bill Nighy) are a couple both deeply dissatisfied with their marriage and on a holiday to forget the bad investment they both made on their daughter. Graham (Tom Wilkinson) a retired court judge journeys back to India in hopes of finding a long loss friend before unveiling a shocking secret about himself. Madge Hardcastle (Celia Imrie) & Norman Cousins (Ronald Pickup) are two old souls trying their hand at the game of love despite their old age. Muriel Donnelly, a wheel chair ridden racist discovers a gentler side to herself after she’s been taken care of by an Indian woman who’s race and culture she both abhors. Together, these 7 characters lives tie together in a wonderful tapestry that culminates in a wonderful story that will leave audiences feeling more optimistic about the view of life.
As Sonny was quoted in the movie saying these words “Everything will be all right in the end… if it’s not all right then it’s not the end”, I too bid you not to leave the cinema till the end of the movie as it truly left me feeling upbeat, optimistic and wondering that if old folks could find meaning in the littlest things in life, why can’t I?