Misfits run amok
THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL ( PG)
★★★ Director: John Madden ( Shakespeare in Love ) Stars: Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Celia Imrie, Dev Patel Cosy, familiar and relatively accommodating WHEN it came time for producers to slap a name on this pleasant, pensioner- powered British ensemble comedy, all the best titles were gone.
That Liam Neeson bloodbath with the wolves and the ice got in first with
The Grey. The logical second choice, Love
Geriatrically, had to be withdrawn for copyright reasons.
And let’s all be thankful they didn’t go with Eat, Pray, Lie Down.
The easy- to- follow, no- need- to- swallow plot of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel centres on a seven- strong posse of past- it Poms. All have been suckered into living out their remaining days at a ritzy retirement home in Jaipur, India.
But, as they discover on arrival, said home is not in the least bit ritzy at all.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, as it bills itself, turns out to be as old and rundown as the new residents themselves.
To be honest, the slender story told here ( based on the Deborah Moggach book
These Foolish Things ) is not the reason why many mature- age viewers will have themselves a fine time with this movie.
No, it’s chance to see an extensive array of England’s finest weather- beaten thespians acting up a storm at close quarters.
Each experienced player is wily enough to find the real character inside the reeling caricatures they have agreed to play.
There’s the Widowed One ( Judi Dench), the Miserably Married Ones ( Bill Nighy and Penelope Wilton), a Gentlemanly Gay One ( Tom Wilkinson), a couple of Randy Ones ( Celia Imrie and Ronald Pickup), and a Fussy Racist One ( Maggie Smith, Downton
Abbey’s queen of the disapproving stare). Stereotypes one and all but not one ever quite outstays their welcome. The same cannot be said of Slumdog
Millionaire star Dev Patel, whose corny portrayal of the shonky young hotel operator Sonny belongs in a bad television Brit- com from the ’ 70s.
Now showing Village and State cinemas