Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith and many other great actors have been gathered by the director John Madden to make The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011). British retirees come to India to enjoy themselves, since they do not have any obligations left in Britain. From advertisements of the hotel they have got an impression that “The Best Exotic Marigold” hotel is a luxurious place, but it turns out that hotel brochure has ‘visionary images’, since it is only in a refurbishment process. At first it shocks all British customers. Moreover, life in India contrasts to life in Western Europe, so retirees also experience cultural shock, but the new environment helps them to understand some things in their lives and offers some challenges that help them a lot to understand that there is life after sixty.
Every film character has expressive personality. Evelyn Greensdale (Judi Dench) is a widow who has never been in employment in her whole life, but when she comes to India she gets a cultural advisor job position at call centre. Evelyn is probably the most thougthful character. Since the beginning she becomes a good friend to Bill Nighy played character Douglas, who has arrived to India with his wife. Jean, Douglas wife, (Penelope Wilton) is very dissatisfied with the situation in India and she is not even trying to get use to the current situation, place and customs. For this couple travelling to India is a real challenge and they fail to get by all fights they get in. Very notable character is Maggie Smith’s played Muriel Donnelly. She is very conservative Briton, who has prejudices against other races. Ms Donnelly is an observer, who most of the time stays quiet. However, whenever she says something, it makes to think one. There are other brilliant characters, such as Dev Patel’s played young man Sonny who tries to run the father’s left hotel. Sonny has this great passion about his dreams and he sincerely believes that they will come true. You can even envy him for this or learn from him.
You get beauty and sadness of India, since it is sunny and people are smiling but they are so poor. This film shows that sometimes we need to step out from our comfort zone to understand that life can be different. Moreover, you should always be open to possible changes. Life is challenging, but it offers a lot of good opportunities and sometimes we just have to make the first step to make things better. Apparently the director John Madden has had the best intentions when he was making this film, since it is full of the sun, love and new beginnings. It reminds that you can start new life whenever you feel like having new life, and it really does not matter how old are you, and it shows that we more often should be passionate about our dreams and what is the most important – we have to be open to love and we have to give love. Young can learn from old and vice versa.
I mentioned only few moments and half of the characters. It is worth watching film because of the story, actors and cinematography. Enjoy this film on a rainy afternoon or a sunny evening!