The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Film, Comedy
2 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(71user reviews)
Dame Judi Dench, left, and Celia Imrie in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Dame Judi Dench, left, and Celia Imrie in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

Has Provence been outsourced to Jaipur? If ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ is anything to go by, it seems that, along with computer programming and call centres, the new Indian economy covers picturesque getaways for middle-aged, middle-class, middle-of-a-mild-midlife-crisis British folks looking for a change of scenery. ‘Marigold’ deserves a nod for putting retirement-age characters front and centre but its sentimental platitudes and by-the-numbers storytelling offer little actual enjoyment.

The cast constitutes a dream team of veteran thesps: Judi Dench is a widow emerging from her shell; Tom Wilkinson is a judge revisiting his youthful home; Penelope Wilton and Bill Nighy are navigating a marriage on the rocks; Celia Imrie and Ronald Pickup are randy old goats; and Maggie Smith, as a hip-op patient, offers a working-class variant on her sarky-but-shrewd ‘Downton Abbey’ shtick. They are all on enjoyable form but none is really challenged.

Ol Parker’s screenplay is based on Deborah Moggach’s novel ‘These Foolish Things’. The film doesn’t quite sink to the dewy-eyed clichés of Orientalism derided in the book (‘oh the poverty, oh the sunsets!’) but it still presents a superficial take on contemporary India: beaming kids play cricket, wise old men proffer advice and standard-issue star-crossed young lovers (Dev Patel and Tena Desae) are saddled with lines like ‘You’re part of a modern India my mother cannot welcome!’

Such tin-eared dialogue is pretty typical, and the various plot strands trundle along to their predictable termini, the occasional unexpected quirk quickly reabsorbed into the flow. With so many characters to juggle, several end up getting short shrift, and the lessons learned are banal in nature and schematic in execution. They might have just got away with it as a Sunday night mini-series but from a cinematic perspective, this trip shouldn’t have been embarked upon.

Posted:

Details

Release details

Rated:
12A
Release date:
Friday February 24 2012
Duration:
123 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
John Madden
Screenwriter:
Ol Parker
Cast:
Maggie Smith
Judi Dench
Bill Nighy

Users say (71)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:42
  • 4 star:11
  • 3 star:5
  • 2 star:6
  • 1 star:7
LiveReviews|71
2 people listening

I have seen 200 movies in the cinema where I saw Marigold Hotel. This was the first time the audience applauded at the end. The average age was 50+, and we laughed from beginning to end. It was smart, knowing, surprising, honest, and satisfying. If you didn't like this, I'm sorry for you my friend.


My 15 year old son hated it but my 18 year old son loved it. A good film is a good film no matter what the age of the cast. ther only bad thing about it is the title, which is a bit of a mountful. If you fell asleep then you're probably the kind of person who enjoys Michael Bay movies (ir Kids' stuff). This is for grown ups from 18 years upwards.


As little old ladies we strongly resent the implication that we are only interested in crocks of sentimental twaddle. Indeed we are offended by such aspertions and feel that there should be no place in Time Out for such ageist incompoops. Our grandchildren (boys, 18 and 15, girls, 16 and 14) thoroughly enjoyed 'Hotel' and that is because it is a very good film. We pity Alex Cape Town while despising his politics.


Just back. A love song to India, a homily on the duty to live life to the full, and a tender-hearted examination of love in several forms. A pure delight. Funny, unashamed of sentiment, well-paced, and performed with zest and pleasure by a terrific cast. Dev Patel is preposterously likeable and Judi Dench adds, as always, a degree of depth that adds humanity without undue earnestness. Maggie Smith - again as always - gives a star turn. Hardly worth reading Time Out these days. i think they take their reviewers straight out of film degree courses, where they appear to be trained to be illiterate elitists.


Great film with great acting. Would thoroughly recommend seeing it. What a pity it's not to the critics taste, but there again when did we take heed of critics views!!


I went to see this film last night and was blown away by it. This is not a film for young people, but for those of us who understood why the characters did what they did, there were moments of heart wrenchingly emotional acting, moments of exquisite joy and scenes that moved me to tears. British cinema at its very best.


This film was wonderful Pure entertainment with real actors, not clones who are all plastic surgery, and wooden acting. The story was predicatable, the ending was never in doubt, but it was a real feel good film. I am a pensioner and went to see it with my 2 daughters. All 3 of us loved it and will definitely be buying it when it comes out on dvd. As a matter of interest, the cinema was packed, and as we left most people had smiles on their faces.


Simply the best film I have seen in years and I am an avid movie goer. Great cast, great acting, superb story line and photography. Touches your sould and conscience on all levels. Can only give five stars so will add more here ************************* Go and see it


Don't wish to be ageist, but it certainly helps to have lived a bit to appreciate this film--which I found by turns engaging, hilarious and moving. (Needless to say, I found the negative reviews very sad)


I went to see this with my 13 yr old son.. We both really enjoyed it and it really is a 'feel good' film. Ticks all the boxes In my view. Enjoyed it so much that I'm off to see it again, this time with my fiancé :-)


I went to see this with my 13 yr old son.. We both really enjoyed it and it really is a 'feel good' film. Ticks all the boxes In my view. Enjoyed it so much that I'm off to see it again, this time with my fiancé :-)


Great fun to watch and a nice introduction India. the critics clearly just want to demonstrate their intellectual prowess rather than admit that the movie industry is simply there to entertain.


Loved this film, My fiancee and I felt really good when we left the cinema. Having been to India it fetched all the sites and scenes back, so vivid. Actors and charactors brill. WHAT a change from blood, guts, foul language and in your face sex scenes films. A rarity this day and a gem (will be buying the dvd) Not 2 b recommended 2 pps who want high voltage thrills.


Loved this film, My fiancee and I felt really good when we left the cinema. Having been to India it fetched all the sites and scenes back, so vivid. Actors and charactors brill. WHAT a change from blood, guts, foul language and in your face sex scenes films. A rarity this day and a gem (will be buying the dvd) Not 2 b recommended 2 pps who want high voltage thrills.


We loved this film, very funny, excellent acting and so good to see a film without violence and poor language. Wonderful scenes of India. We came away wanting to see it again so I'm going to take my mother to see it on Mother's Day.


We loved this film, very funny, excellent acting and so good to see a film without violence and poor language. Wonderful scenes of India. We came away wanting to see it again so I'm going to take my mother to see it on Mother's Day.


It was the best laugh I have had in ages. Loved the charactars, the location, the storyline....all of it. Really amazed at some of the negative comments. It is tinged with a few sad moments but is generally light hearted and uplifting.


It was the best laugh I have had in ages. Loved the charactars, the location, the storyline....all of it. Really amazed at some of the negative comments. It is tinged with a few sad moments but is generally light hearted and uplifting.


briliant funny film aimed at the over 50 s for a change, who can relate to getting older but with a sense of humour.have seen some rubbish over the last year


briliant funny film aimed at the over 50 s for a change, who can relate to getting older but with a sense of humour.have seen some rubbish over the last year


Loved the film a little gem not earth shattering but a great cast lots of colour laughter and thought provoking moments too. Great to come out of the cinema smiling. Interesting it has provoked such diverse comments. No pleasing some folk


Loved the film a little gem not earth shattering but a great cast lots of colour laughter and thought provoking moments too. Great to come out of the cinema smiling. Interesting it has provoked such diverse comments. No pleasing some folk


Middle-class tosh. Camera work is good but The plot is completely predictable and composed ofone series of cliches after another. It just doesn't pass muster despite the acting of the aged lovvies being generally good. For me, the one exception is Bill Nighy who is the same in every film that I have ever seen him appear in - you will all be very familiar with his pouty lips and stammering delivery. Despite all the hype, this film leaves one with the same effect as Chinese meal - you are still hungry when you leave the establishment. Give it a miss.


Great to see a film catering to a more mature cinema goer. Superb cast, Maggie Smith proving once again how versatile she is,Judi Dench,Bill Nighy, Celia Imrie and Penelope Wilton all excellent. Uplifting and delightful.Go see and enjoy.


Considering the hype and the heavyweight cast, i found this a big let-down. superficial, predictable, cliched,and in places cringe-making. There are a few good laughs, but on the whole a wasted opportunity.


Did the reviewer actually watch the film? It was beautifully acted, with both serious and comedy pieces. I particularly enjoyed the call centre scenes. Maggie Smith as always excellent, her versatility showing through, It was lovely to leave a cinema feeling good - you can watch a film and enjoy without sex and violence.


An excellent, and thought provoking film. The scenes of Indian life were rather stereotyped but excellent acting, very funny moments and a real feel good' film make this not to be missed.


An excellent, and thought provoking film. The scenes of Indian life were rather stereotyped but excellent acting, very funny moments and a real feel good' film make this not to be missed.


This could have and should have been a lot better. Under developed characters, cliche ridden, lacking in style and charm. Poor effort.


Ignore the reviewer who fails to appreciate what cinema goers like. This is a fine film. Maybe it is aimed at an older audience - no harm in that. It was a visual and verbal delight from beginning to end, and how pleasant that for once the dialogue was not propped up by 4-letter expletives..


Absolute twaddle from start to finish! Some decent performancs but a pudding of a script. The only thing that will have you laughing is the next painfully contrived cliche that lumbers into view before your disbelieving eyes. but the turban wearing old guy dispensing the meaning of life has to be the kicker! Awful.


Went to see 'Marigold Hotel' last night full of foreboding. I imagined aging thesps doing the minimum necessary to boost their pensions. And yes, it is slight and sometimes trite but all in all it is delightful, well made, well acted and delightful. Not amazing, not an award winner but in its own way rather wonderful.


just been to this film. loved it. so nice that there wasn''t all that bad language so beloved by some fim-makers today. good acting by a superb cast, and a nice story. i could relate to a lot of the situations!


Delightful, non-cynical, uplifting treat for the WAR HORSE oap's (and 42 year old's like me) Accent wise? No different from what I hear in my local Indian so lets stop this over sensitivity, Cert wise HOPEFULLY no one will be daft enough to take kids to it...nothing for an immature audience here. 7+/10


The film is well worth seeing, a great cast, Judi dench as ever was great, Maggie Smith pulls you in to the belive she is a nasty old soul ,but turns it all around by saving the day and the Hotel, Colourfull and humourous


The film in itself is very interesting. I think the film should not be a 12A It should indeed be a 15A because it does use mild sex references and its not suitable for 12A.


The trailers promised so much more. From them I was expecting a gentle but amusing comedy and what we actually have is a rather over long cliched disappointment. Each of the characters plays out their particular cliche well enough but sadly the review is right the cliches don't so much as sneek up on you as bash you over the head with a cricket bat. The attempts at engaging with the locals are condescending and Patel's accent seems to belong more with Peter Sellers or It Aint alf Hot Mum than real India. If you are going to see it make sure it is in a bargain matnee or other discounted showing because at full price I felt I was short changed. Possibly 2 1/2 stars but not worth 3.

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