You’re Never Too Old To Be Young At Heart. – The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – Review
The second in this film series continues the journey through the colour, the fragrance, and the spice that is India. The festivities of our everyday are delightfully contrasted with the subtlety of British humour, in this story about the young proprietor of a hotel whose residents are senior citizens of the West. While the first part saw the elderly from Britain adjusting to Indian life until its noise became music to their ears, the second film shows the hotel’s expansion set against the backdrop of an Indian wedding.
Enjoying this film is like eating a traditional Indian meal. There are plenty of meats and spices which may at first feel like they’re enough on your plate, but it is their fusion that turns ingredients into a meal. Similarly, each of the hotel’s residents has a story of his own, and the excellent filmmaking blends these stories into a complete movie. We witness a choice selection of some of Hollywood’s finest in Judi Dench, Richard Gere, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, and others, meeting a classy Lillete Dubey and an eager Dev Patel.
This film’s script is a delectable mix of comedy, romance, philosophy, and India. It starts off light-hearted, with excellent use of humour that sends the audience off into peals of laughter. However, midway it changes into something more than just well-timed jokes. The hotel’s aged occupants participate in the comedy and festivity, but the inevitable hangs over their heads – time, and their lack of it. As they near the end, their mortality makes them realize how living is more important than just surviving. Men and women who otherwise spent their lives monotonously working and earning for their families take life by the scruff of the neck as they fall in love with each other, and with India.
If there is one criticism to be leveled at the movie, it is this. While it may have been necessary for Sonny Kapoor (Dev Patel) to speak with his hotel’s residents in broken English, for him to continue doing the same with his fiancé and mother is slightly over the top. It would have lent the film more realism had the Indian characters communicated with each other in Hindi. Besides that, the cheekily titled ‘The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ leaves little to be desired. The cast performed well. Maggie Smith in particular, popularly known for playing Prof. McGonagall in the ‘Harry Potter’ series, does a fantastic job portraying sarcasm, wit, and emotion.
If all the above reasons are not enough to make you want to see the film, watch it to see Richard Gere and Judi Dench dancing to ‘Jhoom Barabar Jhoom’. Being both rib-tickling and heartwarming, this movie makes for a wonderfully spent Sunday afternoon.