"The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" is worth checking into
Movie lovers and wanderlusters alike are poised find something worthwhile in "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," opening in theaters today.
The film follows seven British retirees who travel to India to take up residence in an unconventional local hotel for the "elderly and beautiful." It's not quite the idyllic paradise the group had expected, but hardworking hotel manager Sonny Kapoor (Dev Patel, "Slumdog Millionaire") has lofty plans for the ancient structure – and not much more than his earnest, unflappable optimism to bring them to fruition.
His guests bring with them the promise of actual hotel income, plus a little extra baggage besides the kind they packed into their suitcases.
Each has his own motive for setting off on their intrepid journey: Muriel Donnelly (Maggie Smith, who owns her role as a hilariously shocking old-fashioned racist) is in desperate need of a hip replacement, Madge Hardcastle and Norman Cousins (Celia Imrie and Ronald Pickup) are on respective searches for Mr. and Mrs. Right Now, the Ainslies (Bill Nighy and Penelope Wilton) are attempting to avoid resigning themselves to the "end of the road," Evelyn Greenslade (Judi Dench, whose character also serves as part-time narrator) is searching for the beginning of hers after a lifetime of sheltered marriage, and Graham Dashwood (Tom Wilkinson) is on a mysterious quest to put his past to rest.
The group soon discovers that finding themselves doesn't come easy, and even more so in the midst of extreme culture shock. Change arrives more slowly for some than others as they adapt to India's food, customs and environment through good-natured humor and generous sprinklings of touching emotional expressions. Even Sonny has his own mountains to climb as he struggles to keep his beloved hotel afloat and reconcile his traditional mother to his girlfriend.
It has its ups and downs, but certainly "Marigold Hotel" proves to be a moving and heartfelt experience. The actors are brilliant and very human – even viewers who find the British style alienating will connect with the characters' stumbles and triumphs. Coming in at a close second is the gorgeous scenery, which borders on travel porn. The cinematography artfully juxtaposes lush natural shots with the urban chaos of India's bustling cities and draws out the rich beauty of both.
"The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" is a solid film that won't leave audiences disappointed. It's not an absolute must-see in theaters, but it definitely holds its own for those who indulge in a big-screen viewing.
Post a comment / write a review.
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.