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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel


I cannot imagine how a film can squeeze so many veteran (and I don't mean "aged") actors in a film. Since Love Actually, a lot have attempted to achieve the same result, but none have ever replicated its success. Some came close, but still not quite. Until The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. And alas! It's still from the English.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a place for the "elderly and beautiful" in Jaipur, India. And it's where our veteran (this time, I mean "aged") characters are drawn to when their current life circumstances left them feeling alone, lonely, or wanting. Okay, that doesn't sound like Love Actually at all, but this film reminded me of it.

It's a bunch-of-characters-in-one-film kind of similar, eh? 

Norman (Ronald Pickup, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and countless TV series) wants to get his mojo in action again.

Not equipped for speed-dating

Madge (Celia Imrie, the Bridget Jones movies and loads more) wants to find herself a husband... again.

Not a 24-hour babysitter

Graham (Tom Wilkinson, Ghost Protocol, Valkyrie) is a retired high court judge in search of his long lost love─an Indian man he grew up with in Jaipur.

Tired of retirement sparties

Jean (Penelope Wilton, Downton AbbeyDoctor Who) and Douglas (Bill Nighy, Underworld and Pirates of the Carribean series) want to have a nice place to retire.

Not exactly a complementary relationship

Muriel (Dame Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey, the Harry Potter series) wants a hip replacement ASAP and the only program that can accommodate her immediately is based in Jaipur.

Just exemplary, as always.

Evelyn (Dame Judie Dench, Shakespeare in Love; the 007 series) just lost his husband and wants her own adventures; she's the voice and blogger of the whole gang's story.

Love her voice.

Now, imagine the hotel not being par to everyone's expectations, not even close to the luxury it promised. Add to that that it's run by Sonny (Dev Patel, Slumdog MillionaireThe Newsroom), a newbie entrepreneur who has trouble standing up to his own mom.

Surprised and lucky to work with such greats.

And you'll see that you don't have to fear growing old, that even the elderly have some more spunk to flash, more room to change, and more love to give.


The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel gets a seven out of ten, for acclaimed actors, good storytelling, life lessons, and lots of positive vibes all around.



*photos screencapped via VLC

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