British retirees travel to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel. Less luxurious than advertised, the Marigold Hotel nevertheless slowly begins to charm in unexpected ways.
When their father passes away, four grown siblings are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens.
The family of talented cook, Hassan Kadam, has a life filled with both culinary delights and profound loss. Drifting through Europe after fleeing political violence in India that killed the family restaurant business and their mother, the Kadams arrive in France. Once there, a chance auto accident and the kindness of a young woman, Marguerite, in the village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val inspires Papa Kadam to set up a Indian restaurant there. Unfortunately, this puts the Kadams in direct competition with the snobbish Madame Mallory's acclaimed haute cuisine establishment across the street where Marguerite also works as a sous-chef. The resulting rivalry eventually escalates in personal intensity until it goes too far. In response, there is a bridging of sides initiated by Hassan, Marguerite and Madame Mallory herself, both professional and personal, that encourages an understanding that will change both sides forever. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The two restaurants facing each other were digitally created: the house which was presented as Maison Mumbai actually faced a large field. They paved a 75 m stretch of road and a building facade on the opposite side with a blue screen on the top. (More details on the fxguide dot com website of the film.) See more »
An omelette made in traditional French style should not be browned to such a great extent, even if it is a new creation by this emerging chef. See more »
One-note stereotypes in an overly predictable movie
This was an irritatingly stupid movie, and a waste of good actors. The main characters (Helen Mirren and Om Puri) are one-note cardboard cut-out stereotypes - she a snooty, inflexible French food snob, with (at least initially) no scruples or ethics, and he a domineering, stubborn, set in the old ways, family patriarch who is blind to reason and foolishly buys a run-down failed restaurant in the middle of nowhere in southern France. The movie is set in an over-idealized town, with obviously CGI enhanced landscapes and sunsets, and really poorly done CGI fireworks seeming to occur almost nightly.
The only saving grace is the endearing love story between the two young leads, he a very handsome young cook (who comes to aspire to be a French chef) and she an impossibly open, charming and lovely sous-chef (with lamentably poor teeth that seriously detract from her beauty) who takes pity on him and, as will come as a surprise to no one, ultimate falls in love with him.
The restaurants at the core of this movie are located in the middle of nowhere. Perhaps a 1 star Michelin restaurant in a country setting can make it, but starting up an Indian restaurant that relies on customers walking by on a deserted country road is ridiculous. This ridiculous nature of the underlying business enterprise, and the petty and even criminal tricks each side plays on the other, kept me from enjoying most of the movie. I guess directors and writers think we as the audience are too stupid to sit through any kind of subtle or realistic storytelling.
Of course, this is just one guy's opinion, and if you can ignore the ridiculous set-up and concentrate on the young lovers (and the totally predictable but not very believable reconciliation of the two old protagonists), then it can be enjoyable enough.
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