24 February 2012

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (PG)

We were lucky enough to be invited to the Brisbane Preview of a delightfully funny movie last night.

The Most Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and Beautiful, is one of those feel-good movies the British are experts at producing. Directed by John Madden (Shakespeare In Love) it features a stellar cast, including two Dames, Judy Dench and Maggie Smith as well as Tom Wilkinson, who played Joe Kennedy in the TV Series The Kennedys, Penelope Wilton from such TV Series as Dr Who, Downton Abbey. Ceilia Imry from the TV Series Kingdom and Bill Nighy (The Constant Gardener). Ronald Pickup (The Worst Week of my Life) is brilliant as Norman.

The story tells of a group of retirees, who for various reasons, opt to take up a free offer to spend the rest of their lives in, what was described in the brochures as, an exotic hotel in India. Of course upon arrival, they discover that the hotel is in disrepair, run by an exuberant young Indian named Sonny (Dev Patel) who is excited to welcome new guests, any guests, into his run-down hotel.

It soon becomes clear what the new inhabitants want from their stay in their new home. Graham (Wilkinson), a former judge, is looking for his gay lover of years ago, Evelyn (Dench), left destitute by her recently deceased husband is looking for a job to keep the wolves from her door. Muriel (Smith) a racist Londoner, who is in India for a cheap hip replacement, and hates the place, is befriended by her carer and eventually comes to love the hotel. Madge (Imrie) is looking for a wealthy lover. Norman (Pickup) pretends to be a wealthy man and is also looking for a new partner.

There is a side-story going on when Sonny's mother suddenly turns up and is planning to sell the hotel, while Sonny is trying to win over his girlfriend Sunaine (Tena Desae). By this, he is not only battling his mother but also Sunaine's brother, both being against their relationship.

Marigold Hotel is a funny, well cast and directed and edited movie which will be released to the public, in Australia on March 22. I highly recommend it.

Evelyn (Dench) and Madge (Imrie) sight-seeing in India

Graham (Wilkinson) is looking for his lover

Cranky Muriel (Smith) in the bus to the hotel

Douglas the hen-pecked husband