by Jamie Downes
Director – John Madden
Cast – Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Dev Patel
Genre – Drama, Comedy
Released – 2011
Synopsis – A group of retirees outsource their later years to India, taking residence at a lavishly advertised hotel, where the reality is rather less glamorous.
The titular Best Exotic Marigold Hotel lacks luxury, comfort and sometimes even doors, but its gentle spirit is kept alive by a kindred heart that beats only to provide its ageing residents with enjoyment in the present, and hope for the future. The film itself is much the same – not the slightest bit flashy, but through a carefully weighted mixture of laughter and sentimentality, it celebrates the possibilities of life, no matter ones age. The likes of Judi Dench and Tom Wilkinson provide the acting power and drama, but John Madden’s brilliantly assembled cast are dropped off in what proves to be a terrific haven for dry British humour; Bill Nighy’s henpecked husband and Dev Patel’s brazenly optimistic hotel owner the comedic stars. If you have a fervour for life, you should watch this film. If you haven’t, you should watch it too, because by the end, you might just have found one. Highly recommended.