The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2012 dir. John Madden)

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Sandra’s Verdict

A film based on the novel These Foolish Things by Deborah Moggach, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel portrays an alternative image of retirement through a colourful bunch of over sixties who have abandoned the UK for the warm and eventful surroundings of Jaipur, India. The film’s cast of talented stars like Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson and Dev Patel, as well as the backing of Fox Searchlight Pictures will ensure that this is a hit with the marketing campaign having started as far back as November 2011.

Nevertheless this film is a real gem not simply because of the budget and acting talent but also due to the wit and charm of the characters, the wonderful and modern story it relays and the beautiful pictures created by cinematographer Ben Davis.

 Another great thing about going to see this film was that it left you feeling hopeful, that there was more to life than worry and in deed more to old age than urine soaked undies and senility. At the end of the film I enjoyed turning round and seeing an audience that were made up of all ages but more wonderfully, an audience that included more mature cinemagoers. This film rejoices love, life and living for the moment.

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The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)

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Andrew’s Verdict

There’s one thing the British know how to do well and that’s a rom-com. What a fantastic film and I say this in the knowledge that there will be people who disagree with that superlative. I came from a reasonably hard day of work and within 20 minutes of watching The Best Exotic, I was delighting at the wit of the script, I was calm and relaxed and laughing along with the crowded cinema as I watched the stories of British retirees coming to terms with their pasts and finding a new lease of life in India. The all-star cast including Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, together with Slumdog’s Dev Patel deliver a story that adeptly avoids cringe filled moments of cliché and has instead memorable lines abound. I stared out of the window this morning thinking of India and all of life; and at the cinema, I really wanted the Best Exotic to exist and this rag-tag bunch of characters to have their awakenings. I can’t help but believe that if all it takes to be pleasantly enlightened is a trip to India, to see its beautiful vibrant colours, and its smiling people, then the entire world would be a far better place if we all took that journey and spent some time reflecting on our lives.Image