Opening 15 Mar 2012
Directed by John Madden, this delightful film stars Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Dev Patel (of Slumdog Millionaire) and more. It is based on a story written by Deborah Moggach, with screenplay by Ol Parker.
“Everything will be alright in the end, and if it isn't alright, then it's not yet the end...” is the leitmotiv that threads through this delightful story. Seven elderly Brits (mostly strangers to each other) travel to Jaipur, India, responding to an advertisement promoting the elegant and luxurious Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The reality is that the stunning potential of the once palatial, yet now very dilapidated, hotel is all in the heart and mind of its enthusiastic young manager, Sonny (Patel). The very diverse group of characters react each in their own way to the situation, giving rise to hopeful, comic and poignant stories of transformation, where, as Sonny likes to repeat, everything will be alright in the end.
This film has it all: protagonists with believable background stories, clever, funny and insightful dialogue, a realistic – if exotically remote – setting, a sense of hope for the future, and great performances. One is moved to laughter and tears, and, even if some viewers may consider rather sappy the fact that everything does, in its own way, work out in the end, my thought is: why not? (Osanna Vaughn)