The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: A Movie About Aging and India


Judi Dench at the BAFTAs at the Royal Opera Ho...

Judi Dench at the BAFTAs at the Royal Opera House in London. Français : Judi Dench photographiée lors de la soirée des British Academy Film Awards dans le Royal Opera House à Londres. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you think old age is an excuse to sit around and vegetate, maybe you ought to see the movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

If you are older, you will recognize some of the outstanding English actors in this production. It’s all about a group of seven retirees who don’t want to stop living because they are older.

They trek over to India to stay in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Like them, the hotel has seen better days. It is run by a dreamy young optimistic Indian man who is trying to forge his own identity. He has trouble standing up to his mother; she doesn’t want him to marry his beautiful young girlfriend, or run a hotel.

The retirees soon learn that the young Indian man,  computer enhanced the hotel in his advertising, and  it’s not what he promised. However, the guests learn to like it and they improve along with the hotel.

The theme of this movie is that life doesn’t stop for you just because your get old; unless you just give up, and wait to die. We all know people who are perfectly willing to use old age as an excuse for not accomplishing anything.

The acting in this movie is terrific. Evelyn Greensleeves (Judy Dench) finds out her husband was not good at finances and she is flat broke. Luckily, she gets herself to The Exotic Marigold Hotel, and starts her new life. She also finds a job in a phone center. (I won’t tell you how or why). One man reclaims a lost love,  a few conclude their looks can’t get them what they are used to getting.  A couple has to come to terms with their marriage.

The characters are still interested in their lives, and they still are adventuresome. Some have lived with poor choices they made when they were young.There are stories about loss and love. Other noteworthy actors include: Maggie Smith and Hugh Dickson. It is refreshing to see these people practice their craft so skillfully.

If you’ve ever been curious about life in India, this offers you glimpses of how different and colorful life is there. People who have visited there, or are curious, might enjoy that aspect of the movie.

The only criticism I have of this movie is it was too long. I started wondering if it was ever going to end.  When the ending came, it was satisfying.  Maybe a wee bit of fantasy there, but it is a movie!

I would recommend this movie if you’re older. I don’t think younger people would appreciate it as much—nothing explodes and there isn’t much blood and guts.  The story about the young Indian and his beautiful girlfriend isn’t enough to hold a young person’s interest.

I was happy that the actors were about 10 or more years older than me! It made me feel momentarily young. I’m no spring chicken myself!

I give this movie a B+

Agree or disagree with my review?

How do you feel about getting older. Are you aging gracefully, or is it difficult for you?

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4 thoughts on “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: A Movie About Aging and India

  1. I liked the movie a lot–I found it inspiring and very uplifting! I thought the acting in some areas was quite exceptional!

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