15 March 2013

Best Exotic Hotel Marigold

Best Exotic Hotel Marigold (2011)
  • Director: John Madden
  • Based on Book: Deborah Moggach
  • Cast: Maggie Smith, Judie Dench, Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton, Dev Patel, Tena Desae, Tom Wilkinson, Ronald Pickup, Celia Imrie
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor/actress in:
    • Maggie Smith – no list necessary but here are a few highlights: Harry Potter 1-8 of  course, A Room with a View, Gosford Park, Keeping Mum, David Copperfield, Tea with Mussolini, Richard III, Sister Act, The Prime of Miss Jean Broadie
    • Judi Dench, ditto: Cranford, Mrs. Henderson Presents, Ladies in Lavender, The Shipping News, Chocolat, Tea with Mussolini, Shakespeare in Love, Mrs. Brown, 84 Charing Cross Road, A Room with a View, Macbeth
    • Bill Nighy – Harry Potter, Love Actually, Pirates of the Carribbean, The Girl in the Café, The Boat that Rocked, Shaun of the Dead
    • Penelope Wilton – and this was really a case of oh her! Where??? And it was YW who said: Downton Abbey
    • Dev Patel: Slumdog Millionaire
    • Tom Wilkinson: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Girl with the Pearl Earring, Shakespeare in Love, Smilla’s Sense of Snow
    • Ronald Pickup: Hustle, Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Ivanhoe
    • Celie Imrie: Cranford, Wah-Wah, Daniel Deronda, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Hilary and Jackie, In the Bleak Midwinter, Upstairs Downstairs
  • Why bought: Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Bill Nighy.
  • Seen: November 11, 2012 with YW in our read-book-see-movie club

Having just finished reading the book upon which the movie is based – These Foolish Things by Deborah Moggach – is not necessarily a fair basis for judging a movie.  I kept waiting for this or that character and this or that piece of background material, and I kept saying, “They changed this,” or “They changed that.”  I liked the book very much.
But gradually the movie took over and started to hold its own.  I was absorbed by the story and the characters on the screen and not caught in the one in the novel.
And a bittersweet story it is with a gang of eccentric old people drawn together by pensioner’s poverty in a struggling hotel in India, owned and run by the enthusiastic, hard-working but rather impractical Sonny.  The characters are – of course – played to perfection by the elite. When have Smith, Dench and Nighy ever been less than superb? Never.  But the rest are wonderful too.  The visual effects and colors are pure delight.
I still would have liked more background to the characters but what was there was done to a T.

4* of 5

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