‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ is charming, I would say even funny at points, but despite of the star-studded cast the story is too feeble to be worth your money at the movies. This film brings together English actors that are considered royalty to many because of their extensive CVs and talent; this alone will make many people want to check out this dramedy. But once more the formula of putting too many stories together in one movie is exhausting and unsatisfying.
In this film 7 British retirees are lured to spend their retirement in exotic India, in what once was a beautiful palace, now a place in ruins for the elderly. They are enticed by the owner of the hotel Sonny Kapoor (Dev Patel) who is the most positive person on earth no matter the circumstances. Evelyn Greenslade (Judi Dench) a recent widow begins to learn how life works, since her husband was the decision maker of the household. Graham Dashwood (Tom Wilkinson) tired of his job, goes into early retirement to relive past memories of his life in India. Douglas & Jean Ainslie (Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton) venture into a cheaper life, where they hope to find peace in their marriage. Muriel Donnelly (Maggie Smith) is a sour woman that has no choice but to go on this trip for health reasons. Norman Cousins (Ronald Pickup) is a helpless romantic, who despite his age is still looking for love. Finally, Madge Hardcastle (Celia Imrie) realizes time is catching up with her and although she’s had various divorces this might be her last chance at finding true love.
There’s no denying that this film is full of warm, heartfelt moments but notwithstanding its length there are many holes in the story and the predictability of it leaves very little mystery behind it. Like most movies that use this formula of trying to tie seven stories into one, it fails because the public can’t connect with any of the characters. Of course these actors are still top notch, their stories are interesting and India is a perfect exotic place because of the noise and the color, but the film tries to embark on too many subjects which makes it hard for it to fulfill even one.
They say, as we get older we go backwards and live over our teenage years and childhood; so at some point in this film these grandparents begin acting like teenagers, which becomes a bit irritating more than it is funny. We get some clichés along the way, that: it’s never too late to start over, a person who risks nothing has nothing, and we all have a fear of making the same mistakes again. The movie hopes to be inspiring and it might touch people that have had to start over at a later age in their lives, but although there are obstacles here it fantasies it all too much and it becomes a Disney movie where the characters are too old and most of their problems have extremely easy solutions. However, if you still feel like catching these actors that have made cinematic history, I suggest doing it from the comfort of your home.