Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)

      The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011) [D: John Madden. Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Maggie Smith et al] A sweet feel-good movie about some elderly Brits looking for a cheap place to live out their years and perhaps fulfill a few dreams or fantasies. They land in the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, run by an enthusiastic but somewhat gormless lad whose mother wants him to sell the dump and marry a respectable girl. And so on. The stories intersect nicely, and everyone get more or less what they wish for and maybe even deserve. The theme is self-validation: what makes life worth living, if you can’t live with yourself? A heavy question, but dealt with lightly.
     A good script, it helps you over the humps of implausibility. Well acted by experienced pros, if you like Britcoms and British drama and movies, you’ve seen them all before. They know what they’re doing, and so does the director, who uses their strengths to woo us into that blissful state of believing the preposterous plot and recognising the wisdom in the many one-liners.
     The photography, music, and editing support the story, and don’t intrude on it. It’s based on a novel, which I suspect is summer beach reading. That’s what this movie is, too, a summer evening entertainment, pleasant, innocuous, and like all such apparently slight fluff containing depths that you don’t see until scenes pop into your present at odd moments. Well done professional entertainment. ***

No comments: