Starring: Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy
Director: John Madden
Running Time: 124 mins
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a British film about a group of retired men and women who go to a hotel in India to enjoy their retirement. Despite the fact the hotel is less luxurious than they thought, they find unexpected charms within it, as well as each other.
This film was really disappointing. At the beginning, it was a fascinating, heartwarming and enjoyable film, but throughout its extremely long-winded duration, it failed to generate any further interest in its characters or storyline, making it ultimately very dull to watch.
The start of this film was fantastic. It begins with the introduction of these retirees in very humorous fashion, grabbing my interest immediately, and then sets about detailing their planning of the journey to India with more comedy, which made it quickly entertaining.
Once the group arrive in India, you get a fantastic sense of the country and the culture within seconds. It paints a vibrant image of India, making you watch in awe as the characters travel through this beautiful country, so much so that you’d be forgiven thinking this film was made by the Indian tourist board.
However, that’s about it in terms of proper entertainment. Those first 40 minutes or so are truly intriguing, enjoyable, heartwarming and beautiful to watch; a very original take on the typical holiday film.
Then, the entire plot takes a dramatic turn for the worse. After an unexpected twist, the group almost lose all consciousness of the fact that they are in such a beautiful and unique country as India, as their focuses turn almost entirely to a convoluted and cheesy romance saga between them.
This film is like watching a fascinating travel documentary, and then turning over the channel to something like Coronation Street. All concept of humour that was brought in initially disappears, and it’s replaced with an overly dramatic and failing romantic plot that doesn’t generate any excitement or extra interest whatsoever.
In fact, it’s most likely this inconsistency of the film in terms of its level of seriousness and atmosphere that takes away your interest in the story towards the end, revealing the fact that you were never really excited about the plot or the characters, but the idea of travelling to India.
Overall, I’ll give this a 6.1, because although it started very well, its quality decreased rapidly as the film went on, becoming a dull and overly romanticised story that was not at all interesting to follow.