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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Exercising with 20 and 30 somethings


A yoga class.

Image via Wikipedia

My husband and I took the initiative to join a Health Club.   We knew it was time to really work on maintaining our youthful appearances, and our grown children were bugging us.( It was nice to know that they wanted us to survive well into our 100’s.)

The first Health Club we joined was convenient and inexpensive, but we found that you do get what you pay for. The yoga class consisted of  30 very old people laying on the floor and moving one leg at a time in a semi-circle. The steam room was one lonely shower stall with an on switch. The towel service was less than generous, one skimpy towel. The pool was  occasionally cloudy, and that couldn’t have been a good sign.

I finally convinced him to join the gym in the trendy shopping center. It looked like the Taj Mahal after being in the broken-down gym. It had two big pools, well-maintained gym equipment, and an endless supply of towels.

I was in for some culture shock when I went upstairs and saw the clientele. They were very well-shaped 20 and 30 somethings. The ladies had sculpted arms and the guys looked like they were competing in body building competitions. (There were also some average looking people, but I was now one of the oldest clients).

After trying some classes, I was in for another shock; I couldn’t keep up.

Luckily, I found a good place for myself, the aerobics swim classes. There were other people my age, and I fit right in. Water is a great medium to exercise in when your older. There were some challenging classes: aerobics and biking in the water. It’s great for your heart rate.

Not a person that gives up easily, I still went upstairs. I found something I’d done before, bike spinning.  You ride stationary bikes while music plays. I felt like part of the class until the leader came up and asked me if I was all right. (After a few classes, he figured out that although I was older, I wasn’t weak). After a few classes I began to appreciate the loud music although I try my best not to concentrate on the lyrics.

The twenty or thirty somethings don’t mind sharing space with me, and treat me just like an equal. They’ll even assist me when I have a problem with a machine.

I’m happy to say the yoga class consists of doing all the moves, not just lifting one leg at a time.

If you’re sitting on your couch, I would recommend you get up and at least take a walk. After that, drive to your favorite reputable Health Club. You can always modify your moves. Nobody will judge you.

Look for a place with a clean whirlpool, swimming pool, and sauna. You will feel like a sexy revitalized baby-boomer when you are done.

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