|Ready for adventure at The Marigold Hotel|
A group of British retirees who cannot afford to live well in England decide to "outsource" their retirement to India. And mayhem ensues.
Based on the novel These Foolish Things by Deborah Moggach (screenplay writer of Pride and Prejudice 2005) one wonders why director John Madden (Shakespeare in Love, Mrs. Brown) didn't have Deborah adapt her own book for the big screen. I think she might have done a better job, but I am quibbling here. I loved the film and I will definitely purchase it, to be watched on very hot days and on very cold days!
|Judi Dench and Celia Imrie in Marigold Hotel|
Judi Dench plays a recent widow who had trusted everything to the husband who left her without a home or enough money to live on in the end. Of course, she ends up landing on her feet and blogging about it!
|Judi Dench with Tom Wilkinson and Bill Nighy in Marigold Hotel|
Tom Wilkinson's character was not in the book but was introduced into the story to hint at India's British colonial roots. A High Court Judge (one assumes he could afford a better hotel and is slumming it) who grew up in India but has never returned since he left in disgrace to attend University in England. I won't tell you any more but his story is a lovely addition to the film.
|Dev Patel with Tena Desae|
Dev Patel's character Sonny is the scatterbrained dreamer who is trying to make his father's vision of the hotel come true. Beautiful girlfriend from a different social class, disapproving mother...you know how it goes.
|Maggie Smith in Marigold Hotel|
Maggie Smith is delightful as a bigoted Brit who has to travel to India to avoid a six month wait in England for a new hip. I think I loved her story the best and she obviously had fun with the role.
The Squire loved Bill Nighy the best, quite rightly. What a joy to watch. He is such a character!
|Ravla Khempur, the real Marigold Hotel near Udaipur|
The real hotel, called Rayla Khempur is apparently much nicer than it is portrayed in the film and is available for stays if the film made you want to see the beauties of India. Wild Frontiers (wildfrontiers.co.uk) has put together a 10-night Marigold Hotel Rajasthan Tour which takes in locations from the film, as well as Agra, Pushkar and Delhi.
So please go and see the film. Just look at the amazing cast and you know you will love this film. Yes the ending is a bit pat and cliche but you want a happy ending right? If you are like me you will leave the theatre with a smile and a craving for Indian food. If you are like The Squire, you will love the film but shudder and say that you will never ever travel to India (or indeed China he says). :)