Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Plot: Some old English people move to an old folks apartment-hotel in India to save money in their retirement. Immediately soap opera love stories develop among the old folks. The hotel is broken down, but some of them learn to like it. The hotel owner can't afford to marry his girlfriend, and his mom wants him to sell the hotel.  [imdb link]    [photos]

Review: Marigold Hotel is unpleasant to watch. The individual characters are interesting, but when they talk to each other its boring. Slow pacing and unrealistic dialog kill this movie. None of the relationships are believable. There is constant sermonizing, and offensive racism early in the movie. None of the racist jokes were funny. 

Maybe director Madden thinks that repeated calls to break out of your shell are inspiring, but it is actually old and familiar. Have you ever seen a Hollywood movie where the message is to stay in your shell?  No, it is an overworked movie trope; no amount of stilted language and blank verse voice-overs is going to change that. 

I liked Sonny's (Dev Patel) relentless optimism, especially at the end when things look worst. 

Some of the photography was excellent, especially the texture of the buildings and the wrinkled faces of people. Mostly the scenes were disorganized and chaotic. The pace was too slow for a comedy. 

Cast: Judi Dench, Dev Patel

Directed by: John Madden based on the novel by Deborah Moggach. I have to believe the novel is better than the movie. 

Rating:   1.5- stars

More: Dev Patel was the actor in Slum Dog Millionaire.