Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton, Maggie Smith, Dev Patel
Directed by John Madden
Have you ever been promised something awesome only to find out that there’s a catch?
For a group of British senior citizens who travel to India to experience a colorful life full of culture and beauty, they are in for a surprise. Their rooms at The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (for the elderly and beautiful) are dusty, cramped, and the phones don’t work. Some among the group take it in stride, because they’ve come to India for an adventure. Others have a harder time adjusting to the noisy culture with foreign food they can’t pronounce.
There’s a couple who have been together for almost forty years, but don’t get along when one stays in the hotel all the time and the other explores the beautiful sights India has to offer. A barrister returns to his roots to find someone he once loved while two other singles arrive hoping to find love. A prejudiced woman only comes to India for a hip surgery, and a widowed woman discovers the power of being able to make her own decisions for the first time in her life.
The backgrounds of each character give us something to relate to, and give a good perspective of the travelers who can adapt to a new culture. There’s hope for the elderly, even those who are extremely prejudiced.
With so many characters, there are various point of views showing how they spend their time in India. It’s a little disappointing that we aren’t taken to see any of the beautiful areas the characters explore, while for a majority of the movie, we are at the hotel. Since establishing these characters and setting, it should give the sequel, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel room to grow.
Overall the message is clear. Be open to new surroundings and you might just have the experience of a lifetime! Embrace new things and enjoy.