Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Lifestyle -

DIS­CLAIMER: I did not see the popular 2011 crowd pleaser The Best Ex­otic Marigold Ho­tel.

Au­di­ences and most crit­ics lapped it up for its re­port­edly sweet-na­tured story about a bunch of pen­sion­ers hol­i­day­ing in a not so lux­u­ri­ous ho­tel in In­dia.

But if the fre­quently amus­ing se­quel is any­thing like the orig­i­nal, au­di­ences will be sat­is­fied with this frothy re­visit.

Ho­tel owner Sonny’s (Dev Pa­tel) dream to ex­pand hits a cou­ple of hur­dles as his im­pend­ing wed­ding draws near and the ar­rival of ho­tel in­spec­tor (or is he?) Guy (Richard Gere) throws things into a chaotic spin.

We catch up with (or meet, if you have not seen the first, like me) the de­vel­op­ing re­la­tion­ship be­tween Eve­lyn (Judi Dench) and Dou­glas (Bill Nighy) and Nor­man (Ron­ald Pickup) and Carol (Diana Hard­cas­tle), as Madge (Celia Im­rie) jug­gles two el­i­gi­ble suit­ors.

The leg­endary Maggie Smith as the sassy Muriel Donnelly punc­tu­ates the story with hi­lar­i­ous one-lin­ers, def­i­nite high­lights.

This sweet, in­of­fen­sive com­edy has mo­ments of pathos as the script em­braces old age and fac­ing one’s mor­tal­ity in their twi­light years, some­thing the youth-ob­sessed Hol­ly­wood tries in­ces­santly to pre­tend is not a thing.

The cast is im­pec­ca­ble and the script of­ten sharp, though with jug­gling so many char­ac­ters, wrap­ping up all the sub­plots be­comes a lengthy task in the fi­nal act.

The Sec­ond Best Ex­otic Marigold Ho­tel is the easy­go­ing light­weight, pain­less to di­gest type of film that one usu­ally snug­gles up on the couch with on a Satur­day night af­ter a long week; and there is noth­ing wrong with that.

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