One of my favourite movie genres is the travel destination movie where a character goes to a foreign country and becomes rejuvenated again. Most of the time, the characters leave their country because of a break up, student exchange or winning a holiday. Sometimes, they are resistant to the cultural norms but eventually they change and are happier.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and Beautiful as it is known in some parts of the world is a movie about seven elderly people moving to India to spend their retirement years. It features an all star British Cast:
Judi Dench plays Evelyn Greenslade, a recently widowed woman who learns her late husband has left her penniless.
Jean (Penelope Winton) and Douglas Ainsley (Bill Nighy) are broke after investing in their daughters business that went bust.
Murial Donnelly (Maggie Smith) a racist former housekeeper who goes to India to receive hip surgery.
Madge Hardcastle (Celia Imrie) a gold digger looking for a new man.
Graham Dashwood (Tom Wilkinson) a retired High Court Judge who goes to India to make amends for something he did there in the past.
Norman Cousins (Ronald Pickup) who is a womanizer looking for his latest catch.
The hotel is run by Sunny Kapoor (Dev Patel) who describes the hotel to be a palatial estate from the British Colonial era with first class facilities. In reality, the estate is more run down than luxurious thanks to his inept management. Sunny is an enthusiastic dreamer who wants the hotel to succeed but does not know how to do it. He is also hassled by his mother to sell the hotel and get married. Sunny loves the Marigold Hotel and he has a love interest that his mother says is too modern and has no proper family connections.
The retirees become closer as they learn to adapt to India. Most of them embrace the new culture while others are fearful and stubborn. All of them face the problems that led them to India and become stronger people. I enjoyed seeing the growth in the characters and how they adapted to India. I particularly liked the friendships that formed between the characters.
The movie is a comedy so there are plenty of funny moments, mainly one liners relating to their time in India. The acting is superb which is to be expected from such an experienced cast. The Indian landscape was beautiful in the film the Indian people featured in the movie were charming people.
When I watch this film, I feel like going to India. I feel like being spontaneous and taking my chances in all the places that I want to go to someday. There is actually a sequel to this film which will be released later this year called The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.