I went along to this movie wondering what it would be like, comparing it in my mind (even before I had seen it!) to the popular and well received first film, ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’. I had thoroughly enjoyed the original and I felt like I knew the characters so well. I was very keen to see what would happen in the sequel.
A hotel for the ‘Elderly and Beautiful’ has been up and running in India for three years, managed by a strong-willed but kind proprietor, Sonny Kapoor. The guests are all retired English citizens who have made the move to India to live the ‘simple and relaxed’ life. Sonny is very keen to enlarge his ‘empire of hotels’ and has another one in mind as his next project. It is not an easy task, with various road-blocks in his way. To add to his problems, his potential American financial supporters decide to send a ‘spy’ over to see how things are run in the ‘first’ Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, before they invest their money in a ‘second’!
The ‘Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ is a truly beautiful movie and took me on a two hour romantic journey. There are new relationships, some of which are predictable and some which were not. It is full of surprises and lots of warmth.
If I could sum this movie up in one word, it would be “Colourful’. A small part of India is brought to the big screen in a unique way. By ‘colourful’ I mean it is a ‘full’ movie, with lots of hustle and bustle, shots pulsating with innumerable colours in the market, and ‘colourful’ and different personalities populating the film! There are beautiful cultural aspects to the movie too, and the lovely way the English people and the Indian people relate to each other, left a lasting impression on me.
I was impressed with the humour in this movie and found myself laughing a whole lot more than I remember doing in the first one. There were lots of ‘wise words’ spoken also, and I left the movie challenged in how I myself do things and see things. Director John Madden (Shakespeare in Love, Mrs Brown) is a master at combining wit and wisdom. The most poignant legacy of this film is that after the laugh lines are forgotten, the viewer remembers the key message: D0 we value the elderly in NZ or UK?
A ‘light and breezy’ movie to entertain and also to inspire! A perfect combination! Thoroughly enjoyable with lots of ‘aww’ moments and a few tears too. And yes, this is a sequel that I think was better than the original!