The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)
Director: John Madden
Writers: Ol Parker (screenplay), Deborah Moggach (novel)
Stars: Judi Dench, Bill Nighy and Maggie Smith
There is something wonderful about seeing a film about old people coming of age with people who have been through a lot of life already. I saw this film with my mum and grandmother. Three generations laughing and crying at all the same moments. This film got mixed reviews when it came out and was said to be a coming of age story for old people but I think it’s so much more than that in a lot of ways. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a film about a group of retired people who have come to a point in their life where a trip to India seems like a good lifestyle choice. For all different reasons from financial trouble to long lost love to wanting to find love to having medical issues treated, these people are thrown together in an odd old hotel run by a young Indian man whose life dream is to see this hotel reestablished to it’s former glory and to provide a place for westerners to come and see the richness of Indian life.
This film is very “British” in it’s humour, it’s subject matter, and it’s conclusion I think, but it is so appealing to my young self as well because of the inspiration it provides to its viewer. It teaches us not to settle for second best in this life, to go after the dreams we have, to trust our instincts, to fall in love with the people we want to fall in love with, to say sorry before it’s too late, to know that whoever you are, whatever you’ve done, you can still restart your life at 80 if you want, and don’t be afraid to take risks.
The cast of this film is absolutely stellar and there isn’t a performance that isn’t perfection in my mind. From the exquisite Dame Judi Dench, Bill Nighy and Maggie Smith to the young Dev Patel (Skins and Slumdog Millionaire) they are all lovable and heartwarming characters and I’m so glad they all came together for this film. It’s one of those rare films where I come out wanting to grow old and explore the world in all it’s exoticness, even at 70.