Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

A hotel specializing in outsourcing the care of British seniors to a very urban setting in India is the unlikely theme of this quite amazing movie.
by Charlie Leck

It was Monday night at the movie theatre and there weren’t many people in attendance, so I could look the entire crowd over. I was the only senior out of the dozen or so in attendance. Several times during the film I found myself to be the only person in the audience laughing or giggling. When I realized others were stone-faced and silent, I just thought: “You had to be there!”

I thought The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was very entertaining. There was no significantly deep theme and no significant message to take away from it – other than “sometimes we turn left and sometimes we turn right” (you had to be there). I don’t know how the professional critics reviewed it, but here’s what I say: “It’s a very enjoyable, colorful and smile-filled way to spend a couple of hours; and, it’s also a movie that has its share of touching moments.”

If you’re a senior (God, – I mean it – I hate admitting to that word), you’ll especially enjoy this flick and get things that youngsters won’t. You'll also likely get a discounted price at the box office.

Dame Judith Dench was wonderful and as beautiful in these latter years as I remember her as a young actress – only different! She’s a senior (77) and still appealing (only different, if you know what I mean).

The film was directed by John Madden (Shakespeare in Love) and the cast also included: Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Maggie Smith and Celia Imrie.

I thought the cinematic production (by Ben Davis) in this film was extraordinary (sometimes reminding me of Slumdog Millionaire).

If you’ve seen it, or see it soon, let me have your comments!


Comments from Readers
A friend, Rich McConnell posted the following blog in the normal manner but it turned out to be nearly unreadable, so I posted it here instead (following)...

I refuse to write .HTML code to post a comment, so here’s what I wrote, in a more readable style. 
I thoroughly enjoyed The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and confess to being predisposed to do so.  I’m mad about British theatre, film and video, especially in the ensemble format.  I’m taking Hamlet’s words, “the play’s the thing”, out of context, but British actors, no matter how small the part, focus on the characters they portray.  No matter if you’re Dame Judith, or Dame Maggie, your name will appear alphabetically in the list of credits.

In America we have the “Star” system where no matter how poor the material, or the star’s performances, the expectation is that people will flock to see it.  British actors seem to treat their profession as a craft, studiously prepare, and “inhabit” the roles they play.  Many of them I’ve never seen before, yet they are so pitch perfect that Coleridge’s “willing suspension of disbelief” is dead easy, and the viewer can sit back and immerse himself in the material.

Sonny (Dev Patel) says, early on, “Everything will be alright in the end.  If it is not alright, then it’s not yet the end”.  This smacks of a bit too much Hindu mysticism, but it makes an important point.  Eastern cultures maintain the long view, while the American “haves” lack any such patience:
1.       I want it!
2.      I want it, NOW!
3.      I’m entitled to it!
I’ve listed some of my all-time favorite British productions below (in alphabetical order, of course):
Danger UXB
The Darling Buds of May (with Catherine Zeta Jones before she was a Star)
Foyle's War (series)
Jewel in the Crown
Prime Suspect (series)
A year in Provence 

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