The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011) * * * * *
Director: John Madden
Starring: Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Dev Patel
They arrive, after an arduous journey, to find the palace a shell of its former self. The phones don't work, the building is run-down, and the food isn't to their liking.
Though the new environment is less luxurious than imagined, they are forever transformed by their shared experiences, discovering that life and love can begin again when you let go of the past."
Bob & I have both been wanting to see this movie for several weeks, and this last weekend the film's "Limited Release" finally brought it to our local theater. Not wishing to miss the limited opportunity to see this movie we immediately dropped everything and went to the first available showing!
I've previously mentioned our willingness to see any movie starring either Judi Dench or Maggie Smith without even knowing what the film is about, but with this movie we did know a bit of the plot from the one or two previews that we had seen, so we were very excited. So excited that we got to the theater waaaaaaaaay too early. As the starting time approached a few other viewers began trickling in, and by the time the previews started the theater was nearly full, at which point Bob and I suddenly realized that it was entirely possible that we were the youngest people there!
Whether it's been aimed at older viewers or not, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a perfectly stunningly fabulous movie. Some reviewers have complained about the dramedy's "feel-good" approach to story telling, but I'm really not sure what's wrong with that. It doesn't always work, but it does work extremely well here. The movie will grab you by the heart-strings and cause you alternate between tears and laughter, and sometimes both will occur simultaneously. And if you don't desperately desire with all your heart and soul to travel to India IMMEDIATELY upon leaving the theater then your heart and soul might be two sizes too small! Just saying!
The cinematography is gorgeous, as is to be expected, but where the movie excels is in the characters themselves. The individual stories are fascinating and layered, so the characters become so real that the viewer becomes totally immersed in their world, and completely loses track of time in ours. The individuals grow and learn and are transformed by their experiences, and pull the viewer along with them through their journey.
I highly recommend this movie for anyone, young or old, and happily give it five stars. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is now my favorite Dramedy of all time, and just might be my favorite movie ever! And YOU should totally go see it right now, if you haven't already!
If you have seen it, why not leave a comment below and tell me what you thought?