The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011) Poster

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10/10
Two Important Don'ts: DON'T miss this movie, and DON'T believe the critics
PurpleAlbatross26 February 2012
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.
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10/10
Absolutely loved it!
Serenstars27 February 2012
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 wrong.

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.
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More than "Love Geriatrically"
rogerdarlington26 February 2012
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.
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9/10
Stupid Title. Brilliant film
kevbee12 February 2012
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.
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10/10
Don't just sit there reading reviews - go and see it!
Neil Welch2 March 2012
Warning: 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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10/10
Ignore the score and Title
BladerunnerCHQ21 February 2012
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.
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9/10
Quite simply superb.
Ray Penn12 February 2012
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.
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7/10
Very pleasant throughout, but as good as what you'd expect from such a cast
jamesantoniou8 March 2012
Marigold Hotel was overall a very pleasant film with a distinct feel-good factor - helped by the vibrancy of the Indian setting. Judi Dench is excellent as always, and Bill Nighy really captures the child within for this film. In fact, all of the cast were superb, although Dev Patel suffered from a little overacting! The plot is more like a moral, and explores a 'young at heart' theme throughout. I think the vision of the film is somewhat confused at times. It seems to shift from a full-on comedy to a film about ageism, and it doesn't flow as well as one would hope. Also, Maggie Smith's character (although superbly played) is a slightly far fetched transformation, so I would have liked to see more focus on her throughout the film. Overall though, a nice, entertaining piece of work. Perhaps not as good as you would expect from such a star-studded cast, but nevertheless, very entertaining!
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7/10
Dench and Nighy are the standouts in a film full to the brim with colour, joy, a little bit of sadness and hardship and a lot of hope.
pturner101012 February 2012
Warning: 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.
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10/10
A great big hug of a film
Robin Ballance23 March 2012
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!
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"The challenge is to cope with it …"
Michael Coy2 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Seven elderly English people move to India. They do this because they have been lured by promises of a golden retirement, far from the drizzle and depression of Dorking. Naturally, when they arrive in the East, things are not as they expected. Obstacles must be overcome, new ways of living must be learned, and people find they must let go of the past. Can these sixty-and-seventy-somethings overcome their prejudices, and forge a new life in the Third World?

This being a British middle-class attempt at a comedy-drama, you can round up the usual suspects … Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Ronald Pickup, Celia Imrie (what happened to Richard Briers and Maria Aitken? Were they tied up in pantomime in Leatherhead?) To be a successful TV and film actor in England, you must (a) speak with a cut-glass accent and (b) have been born before World War Two. The script is derived from a novel (aren't they all?) and so it has to be given an injection of life – the slow, contemplative pace of a prose work doesn't translate well to the big screen. This is done by tagging-on a bunch of one-line gags. Screen writer Ol Parker has done his best, but Bob Hope this isn't. India is "the Costa Brava … but with more elephants", and we even get that old chestnut, "If she dies, she dies!"

No-one, it seems, can make a film about India without descending into the most irritating of clichés (ever seen "City of Joy"?) The much-lauded "Slumdog Millionaire" was a major offender in this respect, and "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" fares no better. One imagines that this project was chosen for three reasons: first, there was a novel already in being (most film-makers can't or won't trust their own judgment, and always resort to the crutch of a pre-existing work to base their movie on), second, with a cast of seven geriatrics, it was perfect for Britain's talent pool of actors and third, India looms large in the British consciousness. If the threadbare Empire thing is finally receding, there are many educated British people who have backpacked their way around Goa and Uttar Pradesh in their student days, and are also vaguely aware of India as an "emerging economy", so there might be money to be made from an Anglo-Indian film. So why the stereotypes? To say this film's understanding of India is skin-deep is not being very complimentary … towards skin.

India in 2012 is a burgeoning modern state, with its own nuclear weapons and its own space program. In a population of 1.2 billion, there are quite a few switched-on individuals who know about stuff. But in Western films, we stubbornly insist on patronizing this vast and vibrant culture. You know the sort of thing. Get to India and you can't trust the water, can't trust the food, can't trust the drivers. Sonny (Dev Patel) is the young dreamer whose ramshackle hotel forms the setting of the story, and guess what – he is delightful, charming, unrealistic and not entirely honest. In other words, he is a child. Adorable, but a child.

And there's the rub. Like "City of Joy" and "Slumdog Millionaire", this film feeds into the assumption that Indians are inferior. They don't have our standards. Efficiency, propriety, hygiene – these are Western characteristics. You enter the maelstrom when you set out on an Indian road, because – bless them – they are suicidal maniacs when they get behind the wheel of a motorized vehicle. And they eat funny food.

What becomes of our Surbiton Seven after they've exchanged Cheam for Chandigarh? Well, it's all fairly predictable. They go through a phase of disillusionment, then they learn to love the Indians, and it all gets nice and heart-warming. Evelyn, Judi Dench's character, starts working in a call center and Muriel (Maggie Smith) takes a look at the hotel books. Before you can say "poppadum", the call center is a raging success, because Evelyn shows the operators how to interact with callers. The hotel is turned around, because now somebody with skill is controlling the finances. You see? That's all India needed – for two elderly women to show up and tell the locals what to do. Never mind that Muriel is a dyed-in-the-wool racist and Evelyn has never actually had a job of any kind in her life.

As for Norman (Ronald Pickup), he is the Reigate Romeo who can't accept the aging process and the loss of sexual potency. Know what happens? He meets an English woman who's lived all her life in India, and they fall in love. The Subcontinent has worked its magic again. The only thing is, why couldn't he fall in love with an Indian woman?

In the final analysis, the film doesn't work because these people are not touched by India. They go there, but they remain, psychologically, in Wimbledon. India is a success only in so far as it submits to Western ways of doing things. Sunny decides he's going to marry Sunaina (Tena Desae), even though she's from an inferior caste, because he wants to – and love conquers all, doesn't it? Never mind that they are both Hindus, living in an ancient Hindu civilization, with its time-honored ways of doing things. The Western quick fix is the way to go. How nice for us, to be able to breathe in India's aromas, glory in its colors, solve all its problems within hours of arriving … and still remain stranded, psychologically, in Surrey.
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7/10
Great cast and location but predictable script
johnmcc1507 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
If there were an English international acting team, like football, this cast would have won fifty caps each often playing together in the same team. Each took their familiar roles such as a feisty Judy Dench, a thoroughly decent Tom Wilkinson, a xenophobic Maggie Smith and all played well. It just needed Juliet Stevenson, Julie Walters, Hugh Grant and Helen Mirren to appear in cameo roles as substitutes at half time. India also put in a stunning performance. The problem was the predictable script which began to drag after a good first hour. Bill Nighy could have ditched Penelope Wilton far sooner and saved about ten minutes. I kept feeling that I had seen the film before especially with all the actors playing in familiar positions. It was all too neat and everything came together all at the same time. A couple of other things didn't work either. I know it was supposed to have comic aspects but Dev Patel's stereotype might even have embarrassed Peter Sellars. However the most incongruous moment was when Maggie Smith suddenly revealed herself no longer a senile old nanny who used to manage a household budget but someone who could glance at a set of accounts and instantly assess a hotel business. I enjoyed it but it was really was a remake of Lavender Ladies' Room with a View of Cranford's Calendar Girls with Mussolini.
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10/10
British Cinema at its Best
Rob Titterington3 March 2012
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.
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10/10
one in a million a film not to be missed
awill25059214 February 2012
This was the funniest feel good film I have seen for a long time . The stars were superb and there were some fantastic unforgettable lines the audience roared with laughter throughout . If I was asked to name the best actor I would be unable to do so ,I forgot about them being actors and saw them only as the characters they were portraying . The scenery was fantastic and one could almost feel the bustle ,heat and colour of India . Film goers actually chatted to my friend and I on the way out general consensus was that no one character was better than another but i agreed with the lady who said that she would love to take sonny home with her because this character was So lovable. The film that had the same effect on me is an old one called House of Angels
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8/10
I want to be old, I want to be poor and I want to retire to India NOW!
TheSquiss17 June 2012
I loved The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and I'm not ashamed to admit it. What's not to like? Well, okay, at times it's a little predictable, the premise is wholly unlikely and certain aspects tie up too neatly, but then Shakespeare built a 400 year (and counting) career on such plots and it didn't do him any harm. More recently the same can be said of Billy Elliot, Notting Hill, The Lord of the Rings trilogy… I'm sure you catch my drift. It loses one star for that but I'm not going to knock it.

It's directed by Jon Madden, who helmed Mrs Brown, Shakespeare in Love and The Debt (we'll gloss over the literary mutilation that was Captain Corelli's Mandolin) and he's reunited here with the star of two of those films, Judi Dench. Not content with casting one of the finest actresses of any generation, he's gathered an impressive who's who of acting aristocracy: Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Penelope Wilton, Tom Wilkinson, Celia Imrie, Ronald Pickup and topped it up with Slumdog Millionaire's Dev Patel.

For various reasons surrounding diminished wealth, health and happiness, seven British wrinklies decamp to India to retire and recuperate at the eponymous hotel. Unfortunately it doesn't quite resemble the brochure, lacking phones, doors, rooms… They are thrown together in an experience that challenges their prejudices, makes them reevaluate their lives and, in certain instances, takes them so far out of their comfort zones that all manner of emotions tumble out of them. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a film about dismantling and building relationships and learning new things about old selves. It's often funny, frequently touching, occasionally frustrating, constantly inspirational and thoroughly uplifting.

One minor plot line is left unresolved (for me, at least) but the film doesn't end. It simply closes a chapter and so there is great hope. It may not be the greatest film ever but it has its place in the world and will probably earn a space on my DVD shelf. It is beautiful in many ways; the nuances of lesser characters, the touching honesty of principals and the simple, humorous and occasionally poignant dialogue all bring colour and light to the 124 minutes you'll spend in the company of this film.

Beyond all that is delightfully scripted, the overwhelming beauty that floods through the film is the location. The decaying, crumbling ornate temples are magnificent on their own but the striking saris, the vivid blossoms and the heartwarming smiles rekindled memories of my own, all too brief and all too distant experiences of India. I recalled every sight, sound and smell and my mouth watered in recollection of the exquisite meals I ate in dusty cafes and vibrant streets and I wished throughout the film, on my drive home and in several dreams to experience, again, feeling alive in India and perhaps living there.

I want to be old, I want to be poor and I want to retire to India right NOW! Another film review from The Squiss. For more reviews from The Squiss subscribe to my blog at www.thesquiss.co.uk
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9/10
Critics not touched by this deserve a dose of the Delhi Belly!
Spikeopath29 August 2012
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is directed by John Madden and adapted to screenplay by Ol Parker form the novel These Foolish Things written by Deborah Moggach. It stars Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Ronald Pickup, Celia Imrie and Dev Patel. Music is scored by Thomas Newman and cinematography by Ben Davis.

A group of English pensioners retire to Jaipur, India, where they had hoped to be staying in the luxuriously advertised The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Upon their arrival, however, they find a hotel far from the idyll they were expecting. But swayed by the ebullience of young manager Sonny, they decide to stick it out and find themselves embarking on new life adventures in the twilight of their lives.

I'm not eating anything I can't pronounce!

A prime cast of elder British actors gather for this utterly beautiful movie. At times touching, at others funny, it's the sort of well produced picture that gets taken for granted by snooty critics who can't see past the end of their nose. Picture basically thrusts all its characters into life affirming/changing situations, their fears, hang-ups and closet terrors are all laid bare under the pleasant Indian sun. The messages are played out in bold type, but this is a great thing since the writing is so delicate, and it of course helps that the cast performances are superb. With the film set in Jaipur, we also get a peek at Indian culture, how the populace live everyday life, while the young love strand involving Dev Patel and Tena Desae is no hindrance to the elderly relationships, this is because it acts as a counter point to love being relevant at any stage of life. It's just one of the big themes in a film that is undeniably big on heart.

Watch and pick your favourite character, your favourite moment, and maybe keep the Kleenex handy as well. A beautiful and involving picture for the young and old to enjoy. 9/10
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8/10
Brilliant cast and writing makes you forget the clichés!
nitinbajaj22 June 2012
If you have a to see a feel-good movie this year, make it this one. The all-star ensemble cast is a who's-who of British greats: Dame Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Celia Imrie and Ronald Pickup, augmented by the relentlessly energetic Dev Patel. The plot, such as it is, is based around a bunch of Brit pensioners who, for varying reasons, end up in a raj-relic hotel in Jaipur as long stay guests. While the standard clichés of the "foreigner in India, initially struggling with the dust and flies and poverty and noise and finally embarking of a successful journey of self-discovery, after accepting India for what it is and going with the flow" genre are all present, it is the performances and the dialogue that make this movie work. Dench and Wilkinson are consummate practitioners of their art and you can see why; Maggie Smith, Nighy and the rest are exceptional as well. Fantastic!
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10/10
A superb film, not what i was expecting at all!
Neil Reeves15 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I have never taken the time to write a review on a film, but after seeing this last night I just felt the need to! The cast were fantastic! I love Celia Imrie, Maggie Smith and Judy Dench. I have never been a fan of Bill Nighy but am now a convert. And who can forget Dev Patel, my how he's come on since his days of being in Skins! The story lines were acted superbly and I fell in love with all of the characters for different reasons! The setting of the film was inspired and showed India as it should be, it has in fact made me want to visit there and experience it for myself.

The storyline that I identified with the most was with the gay man meeting his long lost love again, I was in tears at that point! In the cinema everyone was roaring with laughter exactly where they should be, its like everyone in the cinema understood the film as much as the people they were sat next to! As you can see my review writing needs a bit of work, but I just wanted to hammer it home that this film has to be seen! I will be buying it on DVD as soon as its released! I haven't come out of a film, smiling as much as I was, for a very long time! Top marks :)
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5/10
Indian summer for rom com retirees
maria kay4 February 2013
The film is beautifully shot and you could almost be there in person, soaking up the sounds and colours, warming in the sunshine, careering around in the hooting tooting traffic, and enjoying the genteel pace of life in the exotic Marigold Hotel. We all loved the idea and promise of moving to a new and different environment. The actors are superb, totally inhabiting their roles. There is gentle humour, and very clever conversations. But for the over 60s in our group of film goers there were some inescapable questions. Who would provide health care, indeed how would that be paid for in the absence of an NHS? What if one choked to death in the dust and fumes? And none of us could see the point of having the youthful love interest, except that it felt somehow contrived as if to balance out the oldies. All in all, a really nice film, but on voting likely to appeal rather to the older generation (a pity) so not a high scorer all round.
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3/10
Just Rome no Romans
vaibhavtewari6 September 2014
The story was brought to India. Thats all the role India plays. Story does add a gay Indian guy and an Indian couple involved in a premarital relationship (something not still accepted by the Indians in general). It was funny for the first 15 minutes and I thought the initial bitter taste of poverty and other problems will be graduated to sweet taste of India as a philosophy/religion powerhouse(remember Indian is birthplace of many religions) or at least it will play a role in the story. Nothing of that sort happened, story and India never met, they kept on moving like the two banks of a river.

As a person born and raised in India with rich religious and spiritual values(I don't know how much I imbibed) I don't think this movies even touches the true spirit of India.
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9/10
A very solid, enjoyable film
joshua kit20 June 2012
I liked this movie. I suspect this will be a formidable Oscar contender. It's at least as good as "The Descendants", if not better.

This isn't your typical 90-minute Hollywood fare. This film takes its time, and lets us get to know the characters.

The directing is excellent, the scenery is beautiful. Films about people in the sunset of their lives discussing mortality are sorely absent in our culture. It's refreshing.

The acting is excellent, with the possible exception of the Indian hotel manager, whose performance seems forced, rote, and caricatured. Judy Densch is a standout and handles the lead role with great confidence.

I recommend this.
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9/10
A Movie That Will Stay in Your Heart and Soul
JDahlNV17 June 2012
This movie was an unexpected pleasure beyond all expectations -- it was magical. This is a movie that I never wanted to end. I found myself wishing that I could meld with the characters on the screen and live their experiences with them. The entire cast was outstanding in every way, bringing their character to life in such a realistic way that you forgot they were acting. I will see it again and again. I gave it a ten-star rating on IMDb, but that wasn't a high enough score as this movie is off every scale and can't be rated high enough. What a pleasure to experience an intelligent story with well developed characters, exposure to other cultures and to feel the enchantment this movie gives the audience.
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4/10
Just not a very good movie
june17-875-6660958 March 2012
Amazing cast, quite a good story, fabulous scenery and setting, but a rubbish script, jokes as old as the cast, and characters as wooden as lots of wooden things in a wooden box. What a waste, as they had the opportunity to create something quite meaningful out of the lives of older people who are down but not out. All the back stories were weak and unbelievable, and the Maggie Smith character was by Les Dawson, out of Rose in Upstairs Downstairs!I'm not sure what they were attempting here, but the end result was trite and negated any idea that older people are interesting. Judi Dench was fabulous as usual, but had nothing to get her teeth into
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8/10
3 actors steal the show
colingreig66712 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I managed to see an advance screening of this film today and I must say, Dench, Smith and Nighy are just WOW!

Smith doesn't have much on-screen time with the rest of them, but her portrayal of an offencive racist (from the second you meet her on screen and the advertisement, so no spoilers, I promise) is perversely superb.

Dench is Dench, what more is there to say? Her amiable, loving persona, hidden behind the stubborn front that Dench plays so well, slowly starts to crack early on, leaving you free to really bond with this character.

Nighy on the other hand. I have never found myself to like any of his work. I find him "samey and lamey". This however, really opened my eyes to how fantastic an actor this guy is! He was one of my favourites, I really felt I bonded with the character, so well done Bill.

The superb relationship between the cast and character is phenomenal, and if you are a fan of Brit Comedy like Brassed Off, 4 Weddings or the Full Monty to name a few, then this is worth a viewing, it really made me chuckle and warmed the heart strings at the same time.
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8/10
Old Age Actually
pjt19669 March 2012
An amazing cast set in a terrific location. The trouble with having such an ensemble cast and seven main characters is that almost inevitably the characters are caricatures. Even India itself was a caricature – its colour and vibrancy played up, its dirt, squalor and poverty played down.

Maggie Smith is wonderful as a belligerent old racist forced to go to India to have a hip operation.

Judi Dench plays a stoic yet vulnerable recent widow who is unexpectedly left short of cash by her late husband on whom she had depended and trusted for forty years only to be let down by him after his death. Judi Dench can do no wrong as far as I am concerned even in this light role she can say more with a glance than many actors can with an hour of screen time.

Tom Wilkinson, the only one of the group wise in the ways of India, plays a retired judge with a secret is reliable if not surprising.

Bill Nighy plays Bill Nighy's standard character (can he play anything else?) but this time with a bit more emotional range than normal, he suited the role of a man trapped in a stale marriage who sticks with it out of loyalty. His attitude to India – embracing all it has to offer - differs significantly to his wife's (Penelope Wilton), a real killjoy, and highlights the distance between them in their marriage.

Celia Imrie is the hunter of wealthy men who assists Ronald Pickup an inept Lothario (a brilliant turn) these characters are even more thinly sketched than the others.

Dev Patel is in danger of getting typecast and he does an adequate job of being a kind hearted by naïve Indian dreamer/hotelier.

If I have any negative criticism it is the clichés: untouchables, arranged marriage, Indian call centres, over protective Indian brother, India's homophobia, happy smiling children begging for hand-outs…

Another reviewer states that no one will win awards for this: well true, but who cares? These actors have got sheds of awards between them and every now and again it's great to go and see a simple, feel good, laugh-out-loud, non-intellectual, non-challenging film. Two hours that passed by with a smile on my face and enough laughs per pound to make it value for money.
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