Sunday, August 12, 2012

Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

If there's a film genre that usually makes me run screaming, it's romantic comedy. Bleargh.

However, a romantic comedy with Bill Nighy, Judi Dench and Maggie Smith can't be all that bad and I'm having an Indian phase anyway, so I gave it a try. I'm glad I did, it's a brilliant little movie.

Seven English seniors move to India into the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for various reasons: for an outsourced operation, because they cannot afford to stay in England or to make amends for mistakes made a lifetime ago.

The story of Tom Wilkinson's character was a nice surprise and had me bawling when it was over. I watched the movie on a plane, so I would have been a bit embarrassed if it wasn't for the fact that the guy next to me had been crying for the last thirty minutes while watching War Horse.

The movie's set in Jaipur, a city I did some research on recently, but filmed in Udaipur. I would have liked to see something of Jaipur, but in any case the movie has a gorgeous look, colourful and vibrant. I cannot judge whether it's at all realistic, although from what I've read, it seems to be (although a bit on the positive side, but it's a comedy, after all).

The actors are all excellent. I'm a huge fan of Judi Dench and Bill Nighy, but everyone else was brilliant as well. It was great to see Penelope Wilton again, who I enjoyed very much in Doctor Who as Harriet Jones, Prime Minister. She had the fairly ungrateful job of being the only not very likeable character in this movie and she did it well. I also like Dev Patel as the infectiously enthusiastic Sonny who manages the hotel and who seems to take all complications in stride. Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not the end.

So for two hours of escapism and fun, this is just the right movie. You may want to grab some hankies, though.

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