By Renee Collins

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Noting that this film has nothing but British actors, I expected good things and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel did not disappoint me.  This film has an excellent cast and I found the storyline completely engrossing. 


British retirees travel to India to the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel which is advertised as a newly restored.  To their surprise, things aren’t as restored as they had hoped.  However, for those of the group with more open minds, the environment slowly begins to charm them in unexpected ways. 


Evelyn Greenslade (Judy Dench), a retired grandmother moves to India to find a new job and get over the loss of her longtime husband.  Graham Dashwood (Tom Wilkinson) lived in India as a child and returns to reconnect with someone he once loved.  Douglas (Bill Nighy) and Jean Ainslie (Penelope Wilton) move there to cut costs because one of their children used their nest egg to invest in a business that hasn’t made any money yet.  Muriel Donnelly (Maggie Smith) travels to India to have hip joint surgery because the wait in England is too long and costly. 


They all travel to India for a myriad of reasons and become intertwined during their stay.  The character development envelopes the viewer drawing us  into each of the character’s stories and we enjoy watching them get better acquainted with each other.  It is a great deal of fun to watch because each has their own quirks, good or bad, and it is interesting to see how they deal with each other. 


There are no special effects in this film because it is purely a drama (with a touch of comedy) with excellent character development and director John Madden captures the essence that is India – vivid in color, crowded to a fault and wholly intriguing.  I have absolutely nothing but good things to say about the overall production of this film. 


I truly love well written and acted films and this one more than delivers on that front.  I love the kind of film that makes one forget about their current life and struggles and transports the viewer, like a bug on a wall, to see the goings on in other people’s lives. 


Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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