The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is directed by John Madden (Shakespeare in Love) starring Judi Dench, Bill Nighy and Maggie Smith. The story shows a group of British retirees who travel to India. They take their residence in a hotel, which has been falsely advertised as very luxurious and they can't wait to stay there, yet when they arrive, the hotel is not all they had imagined. Even in modern Mumbai, the Brits are exposed to a life, which is certainly not what they would class as luxury. The hotel is run by a young man, Sonny (Dev Patel) who is living the dream of extravagance and lavishness, but in reality, he is surrounded by dilapidation, in a world of broken phones and the absence of doors. Each of the Brits is thrown into an unfamiliar world and out of their comfort zone. Individually, they adjust to their new life; some choose to embrace it with open arms whereas others decide to resist.
Judi Dench plays a newly widowed housewife called Evelyn Greenslade, who is not used to being alone. She has to sell her home in Britain in order to pay off her husband's debts. As she is feeling adventurous, she decides to make her home in India; she documents her stay on her blog to inform her family. As Evelyn is optimistic, when she reaches India she decides to immerse herself in the country, exploring and by doing this, finding herself a job. This is the total opposite of her past self; India has brought out the adventurer in her.
Graham (Tom Wilkinson), a previous high court judge is returning to Mumbai, the city where he spent his childhood. This return's purpose is to patch up a gaping wound of his past.
Married couple, Douglas (Bill Nighy) and Jean (Penelope Wilton) venture to India to forget their troubles. Douglas invested his savings in to his daughter's Internet business; so the couple cannot afford a home without beige bungalows with panic buttons and rails. Unable to face the dreaded reminder of age, the two make the decision to stay in Sonny's hotel.
Norman (Ronald Pickup) is also trying to escape age, he is constantly on the look out for a new young woman, and to him India is the place to find her. Like Norman, Madge (Celia Imrie) is single and wanting to mingle. Sick and tired of her daughter's attempts to keep her at home, Madge flees to India, in search of adventure.
To complete the group, Muriel (Maggie Smith) - having been replaced as a housekeeper, to a family that she has devoted her life to - lives alone in a flat, in a spiral of bitter racism and loneliness. She travels India as an alternative six-month wait to a hip replacement; there she is sent to Sonny's hotel and surprisingly bonds with a Hindu maid. Meeting the maid, changes her outlook on life.
As each of the group reacts differently to their new surroundings, cracks begin to show. For people who have spent their lives in particular comfort zones, in this totally unusual world, they open up to the country and they are born again. They break habits that they have had nearly all their lives in the space of a few months. In this wonderful country, in which they were resistant to change, they all gain a new personality; near the end of their lives they start a new one.
My first opinion of this film is that it would be for the older generation (I was half right because in the cinema, I was surrounded by older people) but the film is still enjoyable for anyone and everyone, the some of the acting was excellent, Maggie Smith's character, Muriel was particularly entertaining, as she could be related to a typical older lady today. As well as Muriel, Ronald Pickup's Norman was a very likeable character as he was really clinging to his non existent youth. Even thought the film was a comedy aimed at the older generation, it does show an important message, that it's never too late to change. And that's a message that is relevant to people of all ages.
You can buy your tickets for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel online, in person at the Box Office, or by calling 0871 902 5737.