If you ask me to describe the theme of this movie in one word, its optimism. As Sonny (Dev Patel) says in the movie 'In the end everything is all right, and if its not all right, its not the end', which is less of India and more of a Bollywood theme if you ask me, the movie is about people looking for a new future in a completely unfamiliar land. If we gather a bunch of old folks who feel unwanted in their own home and put them together in a hotel for retired in a far away land, would that turn out to be an interesting story? Well somewhat yes.
Seven British old people with stories of their own travel to India to stay in a hotel called "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel", run by Sonny, which is a popular attraction to old and retired people. These seven include Evelyn Greenslade (Judi Dench), a widow who is selling her house to pay off her husband's debts, Douglas and Jean Ainslie (Bill Nighly and Penelope Wilton), husband and wife who can't afford bungalows, Muriel Donnelly (Maggie Smith) and old racist wanting a hip surgery soon, Graham Dashwood (Tom Wilkinson), a high court judge and the only one among the seven who has lived in and known India and wants to make peace with his past, Norman Cousins (Ronald Pickup), much aged man but still wants to feel young again and Madge Hardcastle (Celie Imrie), a woman with many unsuccessful marriages. They all are surprised to see that hotel is not exactly what they had in mind.
The whole cast is veterans who are master at their craft. The story is interesting and not great but the good performances somewhat overpower the shortcomings of the story.
Completely performance driven, this is a good movie and i liked it.
Who should watch?
I would say watch it only if you like drama movies with performances that brilliantly reflect true human emotions. But if you do not want to see a bunch of old people crying over their past, present and future, i would say skip it.
Genre - Drama, Comedy
Director -John Madden
Stars - Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighly, Penelope Wilton, Dev Patel, Tom Wilkinson, Ronald Pickup, Celie Imrie
Country - UK
Language - English, Hindi
Runtime - 124 minutes