Imagine a parcel all tightly wrapped in gift paper. A beautiful red ribbon is wrapped around the parcel. Basically, the parcel is tightly wrapped up, unlike the ending of the Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Why leave us hanging? I have no idea. I understand that you wouldn’t want to end a film on a sad note, however it came across fairly tragic anyway. The one underlining theme is that you never know where life will take you and I suppose the intention was for the viewer to leave the cinema feeling enlightened, inspired and ready for the adventure which is life. It’s just a shame, because I left the cinema worrying about death.
Which leads me onto themes. The whole film is about life, but an issue with life is that it is boring, because let’s face it, not much really happens for the average human. Unfortunately we are not all spies, superheroes or life changers. For most of us the highlight of our day is going to Nandos for some chicken (alright that was the highlight of my day.) I guess what I am trying to say is that the film focuses on mundane issue after mundane issue. Jeopardy is fairly limited and the only really climatic point in the film is the wedding, which again doesn’t really have any conflict.
Despite this lack of opposition or threat; the film does maintain a good standard of entertainment. The films central plot plants the roots for a variation of different storylines for a wide expanse of characters, which I think, is clever. Even if you find one aspect of the story boring there are several other subplots which you might enjoy. And if not then at least the characters are believable. And another selling point is the all star cast. Even if you aren’t a fan of the fiction at least you can enjoy the acting talents of Dame Judy Dench, Bill Nighy or that lady who was in a few episodes of Dr Who.
Another nice touch was the humour. The characters of Muriel Donelly (Maggie Smith) and Sonny Kapoor (Dev Petal a.k.a that guy from Slumdog Millionaire) provide great comic relief. If it isn’t Mrs Donelly ranting about warm water (opposed to boiling hot water) for her tea then it is Sonny’s over the top personality punching out a cringeworthy joke—in a hilarious way—or just generally being cringeworthy—in a hilarious way. The funny bits certainly add an extra star to my rating. I was laughing two minutes in and let’s face it, not much makes me laugh these days.
All in all it’s not a bad film. The film lives up to it’s expectation and it fits it’s demographic nicely. It isn’t a wower but it is a good watch for a lazy Sunday afternoon when it is shitting it down with rain. For those action packed thriller fans out there, however, I would not recommend this film. Maybe you should try the Lord of the Rings series or anything with Arnold Schwarzenegger in. So ya know, The Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines or Terminator Salvation… Wait, is he even in that one? For the rest of us there is always the first instalment of the Exotic films, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, to catch up on.
I wouldn’t give this film a first, but I would certainly award it a second class review. In other words ★★★★★ out of ten.
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