Pat and I went to see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. It’s been on our must-see list every since we saw the trailer many months ago. It’s about a group of elderly British retirees from many different walks of life who get sold on the idea of moving to India to live in a hotel that caters to the elderly. Turns out the hotel is a dump run by a young, idealistic, dreamer of a guy who is good at seeing a vision of how things ought to be. He calls the operations “outsourcing the elderly” to make it sound like a high tech business like his brothers have. Of course the retirees feel cheated but they don’t really have any options so the movie is a series of making the best of a bad situation. Various hijinks ensue as they make their way.
I think what’s striking is that none of the situations we see are completely over the top. Maybe just a little exaggerated. But you could really see how real people could end up in these situations and the way they cope is equally not a over the top. They get through the day with some dignity and some good spirits, mostly.
This ain’t Cocoon, folks.
So why would you watch this if the movie has no flash, big surprises? No keystone cops? No rabbits being pulled out of a hat? Because it’s a movie about people late in life who’ve got baggage. They are crotchety, rude, helpless, and not at all inspiring. But by the end of the movie, they’ve all pretty much taken a step in the right direction. Not turned into superheroes, but turned a leaf. I like that.
Oh did I mention the scenery and photography is gorgeous? Did I mention the cast is spectacular? Judi Dench. Bill Nighy and many others? Did I mention there’s a love story?