The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - (2011) - Some movies have wonderful intricate plots. And some don't. This is a movie about people, about character and not about any particularly complex story line. A bunch of old people from England are (mostly) looking for something different and cheap in retirement. They end up in a hotel in India that isn't quite as wonderful as the brochure indicates. In fact it is in the middle of what appears to be a doomed upgrade by a young, enthusiastic but not particularly realistic young man. Along the way a variety of dreams will be fulfilled and everyone will learn a little about themselves.
Looking back at that paragraph I realize that it falls far short of the delight that I found in this movie. Start with a brilliant cast - Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Penelope Wilton, Ronald Pickup and Celia Imrie for the English characters and Dev Patel, Tina Desae, Sid Makkar and Linette Dubey in the principal Indian roles. Fill in around them with fabulous scenery and a solid supporting cast in both England and India and you're off and running. I said this is a movie about people and these are real, breathing people with quirks and flaws and stories. It is charming and human and just generally wonderful.
I love watching fine actors really showing off the art and craft. This is a movie that lets them do just that. Looking for a warm and wonderful story about people that you will come to care about? Then find a couple hours for "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel".
Rating - **** Recommended