Reel Shorts | The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

4 05 2012

A group of British seniors have outsourced their retirement, attracted by the less expensive and seemingly exotic India in the English comedy, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

An all-star cast of British actors including Dame Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith and Tom Wilkinson decide for various reasons that an opportunity to spend their golden years at a exciting and vibrant retirement community in India. They are surprised when they arrive and find an old, dilapidated hotel whose best years have past. Managed by an eager young dreamer (Dev Patel), who hopes to restore the ancient hotel to it’s former glory . . . before his elderly guests look for greener pastures.

Directed by John Madden, who helmed Shakesphere in Love, he tries to work his magic again with this Senior Citizen’s Breakfast Club. The film is a delightful and cute showcase for its veteran actors who play against type with surprisingly effective results. Patel gives a solid performance stuck between a rock and his own personal hard place, with a overbearing mother who doesn’t approve of his choices in business or in love. Dench is a breath of fresh air who is open to new experiences and love. Wilkinson also shines as a man carrying a painful secret that has been unresolved for over 40 years.

This film would have probably fared better if it was NOT a summer release but should serve as a great counter programming for what should be a heavy blockbuster-laden summer season. While Madden’s film has its charms, I predict it will be tough sledding for this film, which should skew to a much older audience further diminishing its box office success!

Grade: B                                                               

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