Sunday 1 March 2015

Film Review: The Second Exotic Marigold Hotel


As the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has only a single remaining vacancy - posing a rooming predicament for two fresh arrivals - Sonny pursues his expansionist dream of opening a second hotel

My Musings

Poignant feel good movie with a twist of lemon. Romance has no barriers when it comes to age.

A stella cast just managed to pull this sequel off to bring us another hit. We return to The Exotic Marigold Hotel where Sonny wishes to expand his hotel with the help of Maggie Smith. Dev Patel and Maggie Smith have a genuine chemistry going with Maggie having to curb his youthful inexperience and impetuous with her wisdom and experience. Her sharp withering comments are never far away. I had hoped that the writers would still make it as cuttingly witty as it was before and non PC and even though it is not as dramatic or as shocking as the first it is still there very much evident.

 We return to the ongoing storylines in the first. Judi and Bill Nighy are still dithering over their relationship. When Judy says to a friend about Bill, " I just want him to give me time". Her friend asks but how much time do you have? This is a film that says to us all what ever age Carpe Diem. Seize The Day.What I really like is that it is not patronising to older people at all. They are all living full lives with jobs, social and romance. It does have a strong message for us all. Especially to the other film reviewers of this film who's ageist and insulting remarks i have found absolutely shocking.

Getting back to the rest of the cast Celia Imrie flits between two suitors but one of her last scenes is especially poignant and subtle and rescues her from a silly storyline. Ronald Pickup had the silliest storyline where he thought he had unintentionally put out a hit on his girlfriend. I just wish this hadn't been given so much time although necessary for laughs. Two new residents included Richard Gere and Tamsin Grieg who I felt both were miscast. Gere was clearly put in to attract the american audience but looked like  he felt he shouldn't be there and slept walked through the film.

 I must put a shout out for the magnificent Penelope Wilton who made a fleeting visit but seriously made the most of it. Talking of fleeting visits David Strathairn plays the hotel investor very briefly. At the end he and Maggie have one scene together which positively crackles. I fervently wish they had given them both more time together.

 The overlaying storyline which linked everyone was Sonny's upcoming wedding. It all concluded after a few hiccups to a wonderful Indian wedding scene with a healthy dose of brilliant Bollywood dancing thrown in. It was truelly uplifting but as in the last tempered with a dose of reality. I won't give any spoilers but Maggie Smith closed the film with a speech which will melt your heart. One of our finest actresses she was truelly spellbinding and you felt privileged to watch her.

Absolutely Recommended. This second helping is definitely worth the wait. A few hiccups in the middle but the stella performances from most of the cast, especially Maggie Smith and Judi Dench with their ageless coquettishness is worth the ticket alone.

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