John Madden’s The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2012) Movie Review


CAST: Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Maggie Smith, Dev Patel, Penelope Wilton, Ramona Marquez, Celia Imrie, Ronald Pickup

PRODUCER: Graham Broadbent, Peter Czernin

DIRECTOR: John Madden

SCRIPT: Ol Parker (novel by Deborah Moggach)


Watched at PVR cinemas, Hyderabad

Plot:  A group of British retirees outsource their retirement to less expensive and seemingly exotic India. Enticed by advertisements for the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and bolstered with visions of a life of leisure, they arrive to find the palace a shell of its former self, managed by young the son of the late owner, Sonny (Dev Patel). Though the new environment is far less luxurious than imagined, they each experience a life changing experience.

Performances: It is the performances from this stellar cast that really make this movie. Judi Dench as always gives an enrapturing portrayal of a woman who finds a new life in old age, with Bill Nighy doing his irreproducible turn as a stuffed shirt Brit who unbuttons in India. But maybe the best was Penelope Wilton with the hardest job of playing Bill Nighy’s wife as an impenitent snoot and control nut. Overacting Dev Patel after disastrous Air Bender comes back with a decent performance as the manager of Marigold Hotel; He was well accompanied by Tena Desae. Rest of the cast was supportive.

Technical Stuff: The Music by Thomas Newman stands out. Cinematography by Ben Davis is very good. The art work by Peter Francis and Andrew Rothschild deserves mention. Dialogues are good, Funny one liners. Editing Chris Gill is neat.

Funny One Liners I Remember:

  • What I can’t pronounce, I don’t eat..
  • In india rule 1 : there’s always room
  • There’s an indian there
  • Everything will be alright in the end. And so if it is not alright, it is not the end..
  • As long as such a fall happens to occur right next to the panic button

The screenplay in the first half is good. But it is not good in the second half. Director John Madden tried to make a clean and healthy film with a noble storyline. But the narration of the film is not gripping enough to make audience glued. Direction of the film is just adequate.

Survi Verdict:

It has good values, and is a good story of people who have found them having to adjust to changes in their lives, despite themselves.  Most of the characters make good decisions about their futures, and some learn to adapt to new ways of life at an age when they shouldn’t have to.  It’s warm and loving and kind and innocent.

First half of the film is good. Second half is slowdowns a bit. The plus points of the film are humor, message and performances. On the flip side its slow narration and predictable script. On a whole, the Script of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is predictable, but the message delivered is invaluable. Worth a Watch..

Survi Review: 3/5

Theatrical Trailer:

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