Friday, June 29, 2012

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2012) - Comedy

Another damn good comedy drama which initially offends you being an Indian but then everything starts falling in place and by the end you are impressed. It indeed makes for a nice engrossing viewing as you actually want to see where it is going and what would be the end. It has some real good laugh out loud moments as it will always be there with this kind of a subject. A couple of characters stand out way too good than the rest of the cast, Judie Dench as a widow gets my vote for sure, Tom Wilkinson is totally lovable, I like this guy almost in all his movies, Bill Nighy is a personal favorite anyways and here too he is too good. He is one guy who looks the closest to the character he plays. Dev Patel as usual is good – no ways he looks one bit like a guy educated and settled in Jaipur but I guess that’s the cinematic liberty you better give to movies in the name of entertainment. His girl friend is cute too. It makes up for quite a nice one time watch – warning: If you hated “Slumdog Millionaire” for all those reasons of showing India in bad light – Ignore this too as you will definitely get offended.
The Movie starts with half a dozen characters introduced to us in quick succession; everyone has his or her own story to tell and problems in life.  One thing they have in common is they are all hitting retirement and have a plan to move to “The best exotic marigold hotel” in Jaipur (India). A housewife (Judie Dench) who sells her house to settle her debts, A high court judge who lived in India for sometime (Tom Wilkinson), A couple (Bill Nighy and his wife) who move to India after investing their life savings in their daughters business, An aged lady who needs a hip replacement which would take anywhere around 6 months back home but will be done immediately in India and a couple of more entertaining characters like an aged guy reading “KamaSutra” and is in the lookout for one night stands. Their journey starts on a lousy note as they land in Delhi, the fight to Jaipur gets cancelled and they are left on their own to travel, now that’s something impossible in today’s time as airlines will usually arrange for an alternate flight if it gets cancelled due to their fault but since its India – it’s ok to show anything. Good idea to convert it into a road trip. So they take a bus ride to Jaipur and what an amazing bus they take which is like full to the brim and people are shown as travelling standing in the bus – WOW – what happened to the Pink City buses? Anyone? I have been travelling on those Air Conditioned coaches since mid 90’s, this was another point which made me unhappy but that’s ok. There is a scene where you see this bus driver over takes couple of trucks and it’s a so tight with an approaching truck that you feel they are going to hit, it makes for a good thrilling scene but I guess as long as I know Delhi Jaipur expressway is in place since early 90’s again and has been a 6 lane highway with dividers in between – hence this is another exaggerated scene – Again it’s a movie so you need to take it light.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: As the name and brochure suggested – I was ready for the rude shock that the characters get – obviously it had to be shabby and one of the worst they could ever get. Its hilarious to see the state of Exotic Hotel and its Manager – Dev Patel, who is over enthusiastic about everything is really looking forward to upcoming renovation which he isn’t sure of anyways. Actually the brochures were the “Future Pictures after renovation” which never happens. Every character mentioned here has a background and his / her own tragedy which they need to work out on. Dev Patel has a cute call center working girl friend with a brother who is against their seeing each other. His mother too is against them. She indeed wants him to sell off the hotel and divided the share between his other two brothers who are anyways out of India cause she knows this hotel isn’t going to work. Rest of the movie follows their struggle, coming out winner, some lose some win and how it all falls in place for the hotel. All in all it was quite an entertainment barring those few points which were later worked out as it pays in the end. There are quite a few endearing moments too which would definitely go a long way with the viewers. Cinematography although not outstanding but still holds good, aerial view of Jaipur is great as usual. It can definitely be seen and enjoyed once. A good time pass with a great message in the end.

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