A delightful two hour movie experience, ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ was a personal mini-holiday to India. On screen guests were British actresses Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, in their late 70s. Complimentary support were male actors in their 60s Tom Wilkinson and Bill Nighy who were suitable and interesting companions in a group of traveling retirees looking for a better life.
If ever there is an actual movement to advance a community for retirees — within a hotel atmosphere — then let it be strong. Add men, women, good and exotic food, beer, wine, shopping by motorized buggy. Do not neglect the shedding of mean and uncaring employment managers. Enjoy the ride behind a companion on a mini-bike or scooter through rows of street vendors.
Fantasy and fantastic! Such a place is needed and would flourish with many people first in line. Judi Dench’s character becomes a hostess and trainer for youth inexperienced for their positions. Who but a retiree would be the most suitable to educate the courtesy and manners for the telephone services department? Recognition of her special talents is, none other, than the young owner-manager. Retirees conversant with widows and who raised children to adulthood might represent the wisest dialogue for older adults to whom this establishment caters.
The movie is suitable to mixed aged audiences as parents try to interfere with romance when family cultural differences are in conflict. One mother undermines her youngest son’s business enterprise efforts to develop his deceased dad’s favorite hotel for senior citizens. His mother lacks confidence in him and his dreams begin to fade. His girlfriend has a big brother discouraging her love life, as well. Family feuds develop in India.
Moviegoers learn secrets and lifestyles of hotel guests, and become privy to advice given when friendships develop. General housekeeping duties of hotel staff cause humorous exchanges and delays in the rundown hotel’s outdated plumbing and repairs are laugh-out-loud funny. Eventually, mighty changes occur in several lives and viewers see that even bad attitudes can change. Meaningful life takes time.
My favorite character is the youthful hotel entrepreneur who speaks the best lines of the movie. Whenever he defends his guests’ inconveniences, he assures them of his efforts to please them no matter what they desire. In his precise English, he says: “I will see to all your desires. If you find that things do not go well, give the situation time… as things can change at the end. And if there is no change… then it is not the end.”
I, so, enjoyed this entertaining movie and was, especially, sympathetic to the young hotel manager who was joyful in the face of all his problems.