Madden has assembled a stellar cast of British actors for this movie, including a couple of dames – Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson , Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton, Celia Imrie, Ronald Pickup, and Harrow-born hero of ‘Slum Dog Millionaire‘ Dev Patel, star. The story follows the journey of several retirees who find that life in England is either too difficult or too expensive, so independently they decide to travel to a hotel that promises an idyllic retirement, but none of them get exactly what they bargained for – in the midst of a crumbling building that’s seen better days loves are lost and loves are found as all of the characters go on their own journeys of self-discovery.
Beautifully acted and spectacularly filmed in the city of Jaipur, just southwest of New Delhi,’The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ is a real heart-warmer – it runs at a very gentle pace, in keeping with some of the older characters, and there are many touching moments throughout the film to bring a tear to the eye. To pick out two particularly good performances, I thought Tom Wilkinson was lovely as the gentle older man battling India bureaucracy to seek out his childhood sweetheart, and coarse-tongued Maggie Smith’s scenes with the housemaid are wonderful – two women of different ages and from completely different cultures slowly coming to the realisation that they are exactly the same, even down to their caste (in Hindu terms both are ‘shudra’).
While we’re waiting for warmer weather to settle in here at home, why not spice up your life with a trip to the cinema – don’t miss ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’, you’ll love it.