Director John Madden unites the acting talents of Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy and Judi Dench to create this feel-good comedy romance. Originally adapted from Deborah Moggach’s bestselling novel These Foolish Things, the story of relocated British tourists in India attracts all the usual clichés of foreigners wallowing in an unfamiliar environment. While not deep or demanding, this comedy traces certain serious issues and makes for pleasurable watching.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel follows the story of seven financially distressed men and women of retired age, allured by an electronic invitation to indulge at the newly opened Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in Jaipur, India. However the luxurious hotel is wreckage managed by young Sonny Kapur who has big dreams for the future of the hotel. As the hotel residents finally adjust to their exotic surroundings, the seniors journey on a path of rediscovery, love and uncertain emotions.
Ol Parker generates the screenplay with a brighter colour arrangement and tone, further reinforcing the vivid Indian atmosphere. Award winning director John Madden (Shakespeare in Love) defines the cheerful Indian atmosphere through a variety of camera angles and shots.
All of the performances in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel are splendid, but the film’s two male stars are downright surprising. Tom Wilkinson always shows authority but we’ve rarely seen the vulnerability he displays as Graham. Bill Nighy is quick-witted and terribly funny; he reaches new and powerful depths of feeling as a man in touch with boiling rage. Determined and tough Judi Dench lets her love for India shine through her charming character Evelyn. Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) shows his outgoing personality and unrealistic optimism through Sonny Kapoor, the clumsy manager of the hotel. One by one, each character faces life-changing challenges, which entail that they either embrace or reject the prospect of transformation.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a warm romantic comedy with stunning colours, costume design and a broad assortment of well-known actors. “This visually splendid film delivers the belly laughs while holding afloat the dream that self-reinvention is possible, no matter how late in life” Sunday Telegraph. John Madden creates a remarkable adaptation of the infamous novel with complexity, modesty and faultless acting from the entire cast.