Sunday, May 13, 2012
In "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," directed by John Madden and based on the novel "These Foolish Things" by Deborah Moggach, a group of English pensioners with financial difficulties moves to a supposedly well-appointed hotel in Jaipur, India, run by a frantic young host, Sonny Kapoor (Dev Patel); in reality, it's shabby and in disrepair. The retirees include a lonely widow (Judi Dench), an unhappy couple (Bill Nighy and Penelope Wilton), two in search of romance (Celia Imrie and Ronald Pickup), a gay retired judge (Tom Wilkinson) and a bigot undergoing a hip operation (Maggie Smith). The characters, immersed in teeming, vibrant Jaipur, learn to live fully–with the exception of one–regardless of age or the past. While this is not a startlingly original theme, it's handled compellingly through an excellent ensemble.