The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)

“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” boasts a magnificent, a visually resplendent setting, and a plot that goes down easy. It’s an extraordinarily inoffensive film; there’s not really anything divisive, daring, or unexpected here. It’s a simple, fairly enjoyable film, not aiming to be anything more.

I suppose I enjoyed it well enough. I really do love the cast. The plot is very, very tired and rote, but most of the cast go at least a bit beyond just going through the motions. The Indian backdrop of the film is also very pleasant to look out. It’s a supremely un-nuanced portrayal of India, but I guess this isn’t “Slumdog Millionare” (even though Dev Patel does star).

I’m honestly struggling to find more to say about the film. There really isn’t much here. The story will surprise absolutely no one, it progresses exactly as you’d expect from the first act. Bill Nighy is affable and charming, Maggie Smith is coldly amusing, Tom Wilkinson brings a touch of pathos – they all do exactly what you’d expect of them. With a cast like this, the film is really just a vehicle for the actors. I enjoyed Wilkinson’s subplot the most, myself.

There’s really nothing wrong with the film. It’s not a bad time. It’s not unenjoyable to watch. It’s blatant pandering to fans of the cast, but there isn’t anything strictly wrong with that. It’s not a film you’ll remember, but it’s not one you’ll regret watching.

I give it two replacement hips, and a redundant sequel.

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