Movie Review: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Question: What happens when you reach retirement age? Do you think you get to that stage in life and are forced to take a hard look at your past? Maybe then you acknowledge or comprehend some of your life’s choices might have been the wrong ones because you’ve gained enough wisdom only to realize the years you have left are far less than the ones you already lived. What do you do then? Ah, I can’t give you the answers but sometimes witnessing other people’s anguish over their mistakes may help you avoid some of your own. At least, that is what I took from The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. And what a wonderful lesson I learned from this film.
The film follows a group of British people who have reached their twilight years and have gone to India in search of those answers I mentioned above.
Rarely do I quote a movie in my reviews, but I shared this already and just have to share it again because this movie (and quote) provided me with a recipe to figure out some questions I’ve had come across my lap lately.
“Everything will be all right in the end… if it’s not all right then it’s not the end.”
This saying is stated throughout the film like a constant reminder or a call to arms, of sorts. But it wasn’t until I got to the very end of the film did I fully understand and appreciate its meaning. It’s not like I was ignoring the aphorism. Actually there were many wonderful, inspirational quotes that I paid close attention to in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, but I have tendency to place myself in many movies’ plot lines to see where I may fit in so I can figure out how to deal with my own life and problems. Probably not the smartest thing one could do; but with all art forms I feel they are all teaching tools, modes of motivation and means of inspiration. So, I was a little preoccupied being totally captivated by the movie to allow that quote’s meaning to fully register until I reached the conclusion of what the movie was trying to convey.
I may be 25+ years away from retirement age but The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel opened my eyes to a world I will encounter soon enough. And if you are like me and try seeing yourself in films in an attempt to obtain answers to life’s riddles when you encounter the varying characters and dilemmas in this story, I believe you will enjoy the film. And perhaps learn a lesson or two.
This film discusses an era that many in Hollywood ignore – life after 60 – and it honors those years and the people of a certain generation. It’s a celebration that life is spectacular no matter what your age, station or when you are forced to move into the latter part of your life. Retirement age is not a death sentence but a chance to live your life the way it should be lived, with gusto. You’ve earned this time to do what you want to do, so embrace the change and the knowledge you’ve obtained while living on this planet for 60+ years. Rejoice!
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel stars some of my favorite British actors. All of them have been on the stage and screen for many decades: Dame Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy, Celia Imire and Dame Maggie Smith. The actors represented the different aspects of what happens when people reach that turning point when final decisions are made on how one wants to happily live out the rest of one’s life – with no more regrets. Each actor did an exemplary job portraying the multi-faceted levels of the circle of life. And, I have to mention Dev Patel. He was fantastic as the one younger generational character that was fighting to make sure he had no regrets later in life.
My favorite part: That the movie gave me some hints to help me with some of my life’s questions. Plus, I adore the line said by Tom Wilkinson’s character, “This is the day!” Once you see the film, you will know what I meant by including this. Everyone should get to the point in their life where they can finally say those four words!
My least favorite part: I am not going to share on this one.
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Length: 124 minutes
Review: 9 out of 10
Tags: British actors, constant reminders, Dev Patel, fear of the unknown, forbidden love, Independent Film, India, Judi Dench, life after 60, life's last change, Maggie Smith, movie review, regrets, Retirement, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Tom Wilkinson, Unhappy marriage