BY RICK JACKSON
Here is a welcome surprise, a story about seniors lovingly told with respect, and clearly with a sense of fun and frivolity. It is a real find for the moviegoer. Don't miss it.
Based on the novel, These Foolish Things by Deborah Maggoch, the screenplay by Ol Parker focuses on a group of retirees who are duped into going to India where they stay at a hotel they believe has all the luxuries and facilities described in the brochure.
When they realize the truth, they resolve to make the best of it by making things right in the end, to quote a character. More importantly, they each have a purpose to make the trip more positive and, thereby, enjoy themselves and, in the process, learn a lesson about humanity.
Judi Dench leads the cast as Evelyn Greenslade, who writes about each day in her blog, and it
provides for some unerring understanding of her trip through her own individual sense of morality and joie de vivre that has instilled within her an insight the others at the hotel can't articulate because they are not writers.
Bill Nighy and Penelope Wilton steal the movie with their comic repartee as Douglas and Jean Ainslie. They provide insight into their lives as retirees and how they live each day to the fullest by finding something to do. This is also the case for Norman (Ronald Pickup), and the Judge (Hugh Dickson).
For Muriel (Maggie Smith), it means being able to afford a hip operation that was too costly back home.
Dev Patel, best known for his role in the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire, plays Sonny Kapoor, the lovelorn proprietor whose inexperience in running a business stretches to his personal life which has been hindered by an outdated family philosophy. He contributes to the film's heart and soul.
One character who gives an equally memorable role is Tom Wilkinson as Graham Dashwood, whose love for life remains undiminished. His performance resonates with the story's impact as a dramatic tour de force about seniors who, despite their age, can have the same wishes and dreams they once had when they were younger. His return to India fulfils a promise he made to return to India where he had one of the best times of his life.
The film opens with an instrumental version of Strangers In The Night, and it is from this reference you are for one of the best times you'll have at the movies this year.
Watch for another key sequence featuring Chic's 1978 disco hit, Le Freak in a moment that reminds him of a period in his life when he loved to dance with women.
This begs the thought for those seniors who will should be prepared to experience a tale that will convey the same attitude and brevity. To remember your zest for life speaks volumes as you watch the individual members play their parts indelibly and without prejudice.
Directed by John Madden (Shakespeare In Love), The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel holds the key to a long life of happiness and prosperity.
It is rated PG, with the warning: language may offend.
May 21, 2012
Copyright Rick Jackson 2012