CATEGORIES Movies
Film: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011) Cast includes: Maggie Smith (Gosford Park), Bill Nighy (Pirate Radio), Judi Dench (Notes on a Scandal), Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton), Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire), Penelope Wilton (Downton Abbey), Celia Imrie (Bridget Jones's Diary), Tena Desae, Ronald Pickup (Lolita) Director: John Madden (Shakespeare in Love) Screenplay: Ol Parker (Imagine Me & You) | Novel: Deborah Moggach Genre: Comedy | Drama (124 minutes)

After Hugh's death, Evelyn's life is nothing but frustration and disappointment. He left her with a mountain of debt she may never get out from under. When we meet Graham at his retirement party, we learn he's made plans to go back to India. (His best friend never knew he'd ever been to India!) Douglas and Jean are attempting to figure out how they're going to get by on a civil servant's pension. Muriel isn't worried about retirement. She needs a hip replacement... and at her age, waiting six months is out of the question. There is a hospital that can take her right away, but it isn't exactly local. Surgery in India is a frightening prospect... the travel, the strange food, the noise, the chaos, and... worst of all, the Indians... (They're not white). But Muriel and the others sign on... "Come spend your autumn years in an Indian palace."

So when 7 strangers find themselves stranded in the Delhi airport, waiting for the car service that doesn't come, it's Graham who suggests taking the bus to Jaipur. "It doesn't look like there's room for us." "First rule of India: there's always room," says Graham. So off they go. Douglas gladly accepts food offered by a fellow traveler, but Jean holds out -- she plans to "avoid all foods not from a reputable vendor." Muriel's not game either... "If I can't pronounce it, I don't want to eat it." When Evelyn asks Graham if he "thinks it's going to be alright," Graham answers, "No," but then adds, "It's going to be extraordinary!" When the group finally arrives, Sunny is overseeing chaos but scrambles to greet them with panache. "Welcome to the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel." It looks nothing like the brochure. But Sonny assures them, "Everything will be all right in the end. And if it's not all right, it's not yet the end."

As Sonny desperately struggles to build his dream by rebuilding the shambles of a hotel bequeathed to him by his father, the six retirees and one medical traveler all go their separate ways... each in search of something they may not know they're searching for. They're hardly aware that the fate of the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is even more dire than its dilapidated condition would suggest. Sonny is sure it's a worthy dream -- "outsourcing old age." While nothing goes as expected, Evelyn tells us being in India is "like standing in a wave... resist and you'll be knocked over." This movie, like India, is irresistible. It's absolutely extraordinary in every way... the cast, the narrative, the dialog, the scenery and the music. India is truly an assault on the senses, but "prepare to be amazed." "And if it's not all right, it's not yet the end." (You may never want it to end.)

4 popped kernels (Scale: 0-4) Outsourcing old age to India... an extraordinary adventure

Popcorn Profile Rated: PG-13 Audience: Grown-ups Gender: Co-ed Distribution: Mainstream limited release Mood: Jubilant Tempo: Cruises comfortably Visual Style: Nicely varnished realism Character Development: Engaging Language: True to life Social Significance: Pure entertainment and thought provoking



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