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I agree heartily with all the reviewers here (except "disappointed")
because this is a GREAT BRITSH FILM for which the critics have not
given hardly enough credit. I am glad I didn't listen to their
"disappointment" and went to see it anyway. Sometimes it is critics
that are the disappointment! The acting was tremendous. The setting of
India was beautiful and perfect. The theatre was full and as most
people have already said here, everyone was laughing out loud. It was
like a great and funny and cleansing session at a cinema/therapist,that
just washed over you, so touching were all the emotions and insights,
so real to life ,you could not believe they were acting.
I read one newspaper critic who said the characters didn't have enough depth. Well, no, it was a two hour movie, silly, and what you got was a vignette of 7 real lives, each of them facing the reality of old age in their own way.
How wonderful to have a real movie about real issues that addresses them with humour and leaves you feeling uplifted. And how refreshing to have a film by and for the mature and senior members of society. To me the whole idea and effect of this movie is to fly in the face of the Western idea we have of old age somehow being something pitiful, to be feared, and if possible, to be glossed over, fixed up and avoided, so you can remain as young, powerful and appealing to your very last day, as possible.The movie opens up all these ideas to question and I am sure left many, like me, pondering. Why are over 60's in this country called Old Age Pensioners, when no self-respecting American would allow that? They are "Senior" Citizens over there(note the difference). Why don't we look after and respect our elders? Why does the extended family work perfectly well in countries like Italy, Spain, Greece, India, but is a rarity here? And who is responsible for ignoring or marginalizing a whole generation of baby boomers who lived through and oversaw one of the biggest transformations in society ever? They were the generation that believed in a Brave New World, and many of them still do.
A society that doesn't value the wisdom and experience of its elders is without foundation.Young and old,"every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the whole". Go and see this movie and think about it. And take your family. Great stuff.
Just got back from having seen this wonderful film at a packed cinema
and I'm still smiling. It really is the most entertaining, colourful
and uplifting film I've seen for a very long time. Apart from India
itself - which is a star in its own right - it is the performances from
this stellar cast that really make this movie. At times it was like an
acting masterclass, but never at any time could you see the cogs
turning. The central characters were all wholly believable, and to be
honest I find it impossible to single anyone out, although if I had to,
my vote would probably go to Bill Nighy. He is just superb as Douglas -
the apologetic, hesitant, henpecked husband of the self centred,
bitter, scolding Jean portrayed by Penelope Wilton, who is also
excellent. There is one particular scene between the two, where
Douglas, for once bites back - and the emotion from Nighy is just
mesmerising to watch. When you add the likes of Dames Maggie Smith and
Judy Dench to the mix, the delicious Celia Imrie, Tom Wilkinson and
Ronald Pickup (with an honourable mention to the latter, who brought a
wonderfully rakish comedic performance to the mix) - and you can't go
The younger cast members and all the supporting players do an excellent job - but it is the oldies who steal the show. That doesn't mean it's an oldies film - far from it. I took my 16 year old daughter and she laughed, cried and loved it as much as I did.
If you liked '4 Weddings and a Funeral' (and who didn't) then you will
love this film. The premise is simple: a collection of Brits of a
certain age decide to spend their early retirement at a dubious, run-
down hotel in Jaipur, India. This decision obviously involves a
physical journey but more importantly, an emotion journey too.
Gradually we learn the back story of these characters, and these
stories are very fascinating indeed.
An absolutely stellar cast are well served by an intelligent witty script with some killer one-liners which are guaranteed laugh out loud. Only occasionally does it get sentimental, but somehow this doesn't matter, because the seductive nature of India weaves its spell not just on the characters but also on us.
It's good to see a film that doesn't treat retirement aged people as idiots. These people are intelligent, funny, curious and I would willingly share a g&t with them. An absolute gem of a film.
Fist of all, anyone who has given this film a score of one (and some
have), obviously have no sense of humour. If they are in the UK then
they probably watched the film at a free viewing like I did, as it
hasn't been released yet, and they have no right to slag it off seeing
at it cost them jack. Once it is released to paying customers, I can
assure you that this score will go up considerably.
The title can be a little off putting but anyone who has seen "Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle Stop Cafe" will tell you that a daft title is not a precursor to a bad film. Far from it.
I came out of the cinema exhausted. The range of emotions this movie drags out of you, and the speed it does it, is incredible and I have to thank the scriptwriters and director for that. It is a while since I saw a movie that made me laugh out loud so much and so frequently. Dev Patel's character is one of the most likable you will ever come across but then all the characters, bar one, have characteristics that just grow on you.
It's a shame that Ronald Pickup and the beautiful Celia Imrie aren't shown on the poster as they are just as responsible for the enjoyment I got from this film as the other "more famous" members of the cast.
This is a great film that will have you crying and laughing in equal measure but in the end will leave you with that really warm feeling inside that you get when you have just seen a classic.
Do not be put off by the title and ignore the current score this film has until it starts to get up to at least an 8.
I am in that age group that is thinking more and more about what
happens when I retire. If the story portrayed in the film can be
regarded as even remotely possible then sign me up today.
It was funny to the point that the whole audience wasn't just laughing but laughing loudly and repeatedly.
I didn't care about the actors and actresses playing the roles, just the characters. There is racism, snobbery, love, joy and sadness in just the right amounts throughout the story.
The movie is two hours of escapism with just a small undertone of moral fibre thrown in. It will probably make the move to DVD and television quite quickly; in this case a good thing for the right reasons.
Admit it: when was the last time you saw a film in which the seven lead
roles are taken by British actors in their 60s and 70s? Never - right?
So this is a movie aiming at a very different demographic than the
usual teenage-targeted Hollywood fare and it is a refreshing and
welcome change that will delight young as well as old.
The doyennes of the cast are Judi Dench and Maggie Smith who are both now in their late 70s but sparkle here as very different lonely singletons. Bill Nighy and Penelope Wilton play a sweet and sour couple in the thespian menu. Tom Wilkinson is a retired judge with a secret. Finally Celia Imrie and Ronald Pickup are two more sad souls who might or might not find solace together. All of the seven find that retirement can be 'outsourced' to an Indian hotel that certainly looks exotic in the (photoshopped) brochure, but actually needs somewhat more than the enthusiasm of its young manager (Dev Patel with romantic problems of his own).
The location of the hotel is Jaipur in northern India which is a character in itself and, since I have visited the city, I can attest to the wonderful vibrancy and colour of this extraordinary metropolis. But,as our seven intrepid Brits learn, India requires some adjustment to one's expectations and lifestyle and some make the adjustment sooner or better than others. A cynic might dub this multiple storyline of comedy and romance as "Love Geriatrically" and the characters are rather stereotypical, but this is a delightful movie that makes the viewer feel good about life.
When the Brits make a film well, we knock spots off the competition and the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a completely joyous example of just such a film! You can keep your Artist, Midnight in Paris. etc. etc, this is two hours of pure bliss. This is the sort of film so well directed, that no one actor is better than another, even the cameo roles are brilliantly observed. Wonderful dialogue, superb acting, one minute exceptionally funny the next, moving. Well observed characters who you feel you know! Plus the added bonus of beautiful scenery, This is the first film I have seen for ages that made me want to stay and watch it all over again - it really is just one great big hug of a film that leaves you feeling very content!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Ever wondered what the cue to get into heaven at St. Peter's Gates is
going to look like? Try standing in line for a preview screening of
this little gem. The Daily Mail readers were out in force this morning,
free tickets in hand and storming the cinema, to catch this charming
story of a bunch of old folks retiring in India. Like the line for
entry to heaven, there was regretfully the odd young person in the
audience, no doubt terrified at the prospect of leaving their life
behind to sit with all the oldies for what might seem like eternity.
But fortunately The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a charmer and even the youngest viewers will find something to enjoy here. Whether it's Bill Nighy, again stealing the film from under the noses of an accomplished ensemble (see also Love Actually) or the sweet love story of the films only younger characters, the film has enough unexpected moments to mask the more predictable and clichéd elements of the story.
When seven British retirees opt to 'outsource' their retirements to cheap and cheerful India, they arrive at a hotel that is not as expected from the brochure. Dev Patel's Sonny runs the place under the watchful eye of his disapproving mother and the visitors are left to dust off the furniture and make do with the cockroaches on the floors and the curry served up every dinnertime.
The stars of the movie are delightful; Judi Dench does vulnerable but determined; Bill Nighy funny and heartbreaking; and Tom Wilkinson quiet, reserved and struggling with an unexpected burden. It is a story of seven characters facing up to a new time of their lives with new challenges and new loves presenting themselves. It is a hopeful story about letting go of the past and embracing the future.
Like any film set in the country, India is a central character. The colours, the faces, the smiles, the sounds, the hustle and bustle of the packed streets all assault the senses, not just for the characters but also for the viewer. You might see less of the real India than many would like, but it is always present in the background.
The love stories are touching with the ups and downs of relationships sensitively written. The unwinding of Bill Nighy and Penelope Wilton's Douglas and Jean is particularly well handled and bound to induce the odd tear once the inevitable finally happens. Wilkinson's search for a lost love is concluded a little too conveniently and lacks the emotional gut-punch it could have. But all the characters get their moments in the spotlight; whether it is bigoted old racist Maggie Smith's opening of her heart to the locals or Ronald Pickup's desperate search for a last bit of nookie (ahem sorry meaningful connection).
The elderly members of the audience loved it, laughing heartily from the opening moments of Dench on the phone to her internet service provider. More unsettling was how many found Maggie Smith's Muriel and her hideously outdated racist comments at the beginning even funnier. Hopefully the Daily Mail readers, like Muriel, will come away from the film with a slightly enlightened view of the world outside their doors.
Overall, Dench and Nighy are the standouts, but Wilkinson also gets a strong storyline in a film chock-full to the brim with colour, joy, a little bit of sadness and hardship and a lot of hope. Just like India itself then.
British Cinema at its best. A movie that appeals to a mature audience
in very single manner. From the start till the end, the film is one
amazing journey of cultures, harmony and understanding our ever
changing world. As recently been to India myself, I know exactly the
words 'Everything will be alright in the end' That is positive Indian
mentality you will find on the streets of India and in the hearts of
every ambitious Indian.
Watched this film with my dad and we both thoroughly enjoyed this film so much. It is always nice to watch a film that stays with you till the end. Maybe we British know the country we ruled for many years better than any other country out there.
And to repeat British Cinema at its finest.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
We are introduced to a number of people:
Evelyn (Judi Dench) has lost her husband after 40 years and is struggling to cope with the debts he left;
Recently retired civil servant Douglas (Bill Nighy) and Jean (Penelope Wilton), penniless due to investing in their daughter's unsuccessful business, are appalled at the prospect of a retirement flat in an old folks' compound;
Madge (Celia Imrie) may be faded, but isn't ready to call it a day yet;
Muriel (Maggie Smith), embittered after a lifetime in service and the disappearance of her country behind faces she doesn't recognise, finds her much-needed hip replacement outsourced to a cheaper provider;
Graham (Tom Wilkinson) retires as a judge and decides he must try to find something he lost in his youth; and
Ageing old goat Norman decides to pursue the hunt somewhere new.
These 7 people, for their different reasons, find themselves in Jaipur, the first residents of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (for the Old and Beautiful), an establishment which does not quite reach the photoshopped standards of its brochure, and which is run with more enthusiasm than acumen by Sonny (Dev Patel).
Yes, folks, it's another movie about old people. But it has a classy cast, a sparkling script, some genuinely affecting character arcs (Sunny, too has things going on), and the sights and sounds of India.
I saw this in a cinema full of people who, like myself, are no longer in the full flush of youth, and there was a strong sense of identification. But that's not the end of it, because the film is much stronger than that. There was a lot of laughter - much of this film is very funny, and there are some terrific one liners - and an appreciation of the performances. Of course, with a cast of this calibre, one expects no less than first rate, but they all deliver at least to that expected standard. I particularly liked Penelope Wilton's brittle Jean, let down and angry, but always putting the very British cheery public face over the top of her deep unhappiness, and Bill Nighy as husband Douglas, kind, positive, faithful and loyal and, perhaps, capable of being provoked beyond the point where he can bear it any more. Yet all are excellent.
This film is warm, witty, funny, touching, and deep but without being preachy. Even though it is only February, 2012 will have to come up with something special to produce a better film this year.
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