The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Review

Much like the actual Marigold Hotel in the film, this movie looked much better than it actually was. With a wonderful cast, award-winning director, and intriguing premise, I had high hopes for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. I mean, it isn’t a bad movie by any stretch of the imagination, but time and time again this film seemed to miss any opportunities of becoming interesting or thought provoking, and instead takes the route of a feel good, heartwarming movie.

Although the film has a rich cast of characters, it is hard to enjoy or connect with any of them until the second half of the film. Instead of introducing characters gradually, all seven of the older characters are introduced back to back through two-minute snapshots of their lives making it difficult to keep track of them at first. In addition, the movie tries to give all of the characters their own small individual plot lines. Unfortunately, what this means is that some plots are more fleshed out then others, and for most of the movie I found myself picking and choosing which characters I actually cared about.

Out of all the characters in the movie, the only character I genuinely cared about was not even one of elderly folks that the film focused on. Instead my favorite character was the manager of the hotel, played by Dev Matel, best know for his staring role in Slumdog Millionaire. Not only did I think he was the funniest character in the movie, but his struggle to balance his traditional mother’s wish to give him an arranged marriage and his relationship with his modern Indian girlfriend was arguable the most compelling side plot in the movie, despite the fact that I was not really satisfied with the way they wrapped it up.

Even though I thought the execution of the film was less then satisfactory, the best part of the movie for me was the interesting ideas it touched on but never explored. There have been a lot of movies that address social and societal issues from the perspective of a minority, but I am hard pressed to think of a movie that takes on these issues from the perspective of the elderly. The way the film handles death, sexuality, marriage and homosexuality is by far the most interesting aspect of the film, but it only seems to scratch the surface and instead focuses on finding a happy resolution to each of these character’s problems.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was not as interesting as the ideas it brings up, but that doesn’t make it a bad film. Although I personally didn’t love the movie, if you are looking for a feel good, happy film I do think it’s worth a watch. However, if you want something with more substance, I don’t think this movie ever reaches its full potential and delivers that.

Rating: 3 out of 5

19 thoughts on “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Review

    • andrew626 June 4, 2012 / 12:28 am


    • andrew626 June 5, 2012 / 11:40 pm

      Thank you very much!

  1. greatmartin June 6, 2012 / 1:07 am

    I much preferred Marigold to Dictator and/or Avengers but this year, so far, I have found small independent and foreign films a lot better than studio films–like Snow White and the Huntsman is all special effects with a bad story!

    • andrew626 June 6, 2012 / 1:12 am

      Although I did really like the Avengers, in general I am temped to agree with you. There have been a lot of great small films so far, and there will be more to come. Just to name a few I have really enjoyed Bernie, Sound of my Voice, and Cabin in the Woods (although admittedly this was a much larger film then the others I mentioned).

      • greatmartin June 6, 2012 / 2:28 am

        WE, obviously, disagree on movies–I think “The Sound of My Voice” is, so far, one of the worst pictures of the year–I wouldn’t go see Cabin In The Woods–not my kind of film LOL

      • andrew626 June 6, 2012 / 12:26 pm

        Haha apparently that seems to be the case. Although, I wouldn’t necessarily give up on Cabin in the Woods. For whatever reason they tried to sell it is a horror movie, when actually it is much more appropriate to call it a dark comedy. Also, I can agree that the non ending for that movie can be kind of off putting, but I still enjoyed most of the film.

  2. lori martin gregory June 7, 2012 / 12:26 am

    Wonderful blog and nice review. Can’t wait to see it! Thanks so much for stopping by!

    • andrew626 June 7, 2012 / 1:00 am

      Thank you very much! We appreciate the support

  3. andycarol June 13, 2012 / 7:09 pm

    I want to see this movie so much!

    Great blog and interesting reviews. I will certainly stop by regularly

    • Andrew King June 13, 2012 / 7:59 pm

      It wasn’t my kind of movie, but lots of people seemed to really like it. We appreciate your support!

    • greatmartin June 13, 2012 / 8:19 pm

      Marigold is certainly worth going to see unless you want to see things blowing up, special effects, hear the “F” word, see nude bodies–then it isn’t for you. :O)

      • Andrew King June 13, 2012 / 8:23 pm

        If nothing else, it is certainly a good wholesome family movie. Although if i remember correctly this movie did have the “F” word in it at once point.

  4. Franz Patrick June 15, 2012 / 5:12 am

    OK, I have to admit that I’m a sucker for movies with “old” people in them. I know that sounds kinda wrong but that’s what I consider them as. In my head. Mostly. (Ron Howard’s “Cocoon” being an excellent example.)

    Is the movie more like a comedy or a drama? From the posters and trailer, it looks like a comedy but in terms of tackling the more serious side of aging and mortality, does it offer a unique or insightful perspective even though it wasn’t as thought-provoking as it could have been?

    • Andrew King June 15, 2012 / 11:28 am

      I would say it offers up some interesting perspectives on relevant social issues, but never explores them as much as I would have liked. It is a pretty light drama, and honestly a lot of the humor is supposed to come from Maggie Smith’s characters racism for most of the film, although sometimes it falls flat. If you like this kind of movie though, I would recommend it probably.

  5. michaelanson August 27, 2012 / 5:07 pm

    I didn’t feel the same way, but I definitely see your points. I was just glad to see an older generation on screen. I bought the book, originally called, “These Foolish Things,” but haven’t made time to read it. Thanks for your insightful comments.

    • greatmartin August 27, 2012 / 7:22 pm

      Of the 37 films I have seen in movie houses so far this year it rates in the top 10–right now #1 is Ruby Sparks but it is dying at the box office–people don’t want simple love stories–they want Avengers, Batman, Spiderman, the Expendables–BLAH!

      • Andrew King August 27, 2012 / 7:27 pm

        I have not gotten a chance to see Ruby Sparks yet, but I will make sure to check it out. I don’t mind things like the movies you named, although I do not like how lazy they have gotten with ideas, a 4th Spiderman, another Expendables, a Total Recall remake that was really terrible. Although the indie movies have been pretty strong this year, I really liked Safety Not Guaranteed and I should have a review for that up soon.

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