Director John Madden is no stranger to creating both box office and Oscar gold. With movies like “Shakespeare in Love,” “Proof” and “Mrs. Brown” under his belt it is no doubt he knows what he’s doing.
His latest film “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” is based on the novel of the same name by Deborah Moggach and stars some of England’s most respected actors. Dame Judi Dench (James Bond films), Maggie Smith (Harry Potter), Bill Nighy (“Love, Actually”), Tom Wilkinson (“Batman Begins”) and are joined by Dev Patel (“Slumdog Millionaire”), in a film that will leave you wanting more.
Seven English elders are individually faced with things in their lives that force them to make changes. Coincidentally they all end up finding their way to a hotel in India, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and Beautiful.
The hotel brochure promises them lush gardens, fully equipped state of the art luxury suites, and amenities all within the walls of a historical Indian building.
On their trip to India, they become acquainted with each other.
Dench is a recent widow, Smith needs a hip replacement, Nighy and his wife (Penelope Wilton) are simply looking for an affordable place to live and Wilkinson has just quit his job and is looking to reconnect with where he was raised. The group is rounded out by Ronald Pickup (“Prince of Persia”) and Diana Hardcastle (“The Good Woman”) both looking for love.
When they arrive at the hotel, it turns out to be anything but what was promised in the brochure.
They are greeted by Sonny, the young and exuberant hotel manager who promises that the hotel will be what was promised, in time.
Why they all stay and what happens after would give away too much here. Just see it.
The cast alone should make you want to line up in a snowstorm to see it. The direction, writing and editing are also good reasons to see this film.
“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” is a wonderful film filled with heart, love and wonder. The brilliant cast members work together as if they have for years and Patel is nothing short of endearing.
Smith continues to amaze, Dench will make you wish she was a relative, Nighy is stellar and Wilkinson will break your heart.