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The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Review)

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Written by Ol Parker (screenplay) and Deborah Moggach (novel “These Foolish Things”)
Directed by John Madden

In the West, our society doesn’t have the best track record in taking care of the elderly. In fact, it’s pretty awful in America to be old, with our bizarre obsession with the worship of youth. People spend billions trying to look younger, and old people are shuttered away in homes and retirement communities, ignored by their kids. Old people are written off as crabby grumps, except for the occasional “rockin’ grandma” stereotype. Quite frankly, it sucks. So when The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel started appearing on the trailer radar, you can imagine how quickly the youth of today ignored it and went back to Facebook on their smartphones. Which is a shame, because The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a great film. It is uplifting and inspiring, a film that will make you feel good.

Once The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel began, we were in for a treat. A story that deals with the plight of older retirees, for whom the cards didn’t fall just right and through various financial, medical, or personal reasons have decided to spend their twilight years in India at a hotel designed to cater to their needs. (To outsource their retirement, as the hotel owner states!)

Once again, TarsTarkas.NET has sold out and attended another advanced screening for free, because we have the golden touch of acquiring free tickets from gullible studios! Take that, big money! Tracking down free screenings is becoming my favorite game, though the princess might be in another castle, I can often find tickets lying around her empty room…

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel features a wide array of awesome British actors and actresses, who I have seen in more movies than I can count over the years (I was going to count, and then lost count and gave up!) Instead of a paragraph explaining everyone, I’ll do it in Roll Call form, because that’s what makes TarsTarkas.NET feel like TarsTarkas.NET!

Evelyn (Judi Dench) – A widowed housewife, who let her husband take care of the financials and never asked questions. Thus she’s forced to sell her house to pay off his debts and move to India to retire, and to finally have an adventure. Her blog on her time at the hotel serves as narration and reflection.
Muriel (Maggie Smith) – A former nanny with a bad hip and a bad attitude to those of darker skin. But the only way to get her hip replaced quickly is through a hospital in India, thus her journey to the hotel and the Indian experience. She spent her whole life caring for another family that she didn’t bother with one for herself.
Graham (Tom Wilkinson) – A judge who finally retires after threatening to do so for many years. Graham grew up in India and returns to find the boy he grew up with and loved, only to cause drama among their families when they were discovered and Graham was sent back to the UK.
Douglas (Bill Nighy) – Douglas has been married to his wife Jean (Penelope Wilton) for 39 years, but their retirement is gone thanks to an investment in their daughter’s company that didn’t pan out, and their future seems bleak in an awful retirement community, until they decide to take a chance on the Marigold Hotel. Douglas loves India and grows beyond his useless henpecked self thanks to the country.
Sonny (Dev Patel) – Owner of the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel that he inherited from his father, the prior operator. Has big plans for the facility, but is stymied by lack of funds and lack of his mother’s enthusiasm of both his dreams for the hotel and the woman he wants to marry, a telemarketer named Sunaina (Tena Desae)

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5 comments - What do you think?
Posted by Tars Tarkas - March 31, 2012 at 10:34 pm

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