‘TheBestExoticMarigoldHotel’IsMyFavoriteMovieOf?

2012

byBobby?

Finger

“Everythingwillbeallrightintheend。

Soifitisnotallright,itisnotyetthe?

end。



SomepeoplethinkofthatquoteasbelongingtoPauloCoelho。

OtherstoJohnLennon。

Aspecialfew,however,knowitastheoft-spokenadageofSonnyPatel,ownerofafictionalhotelinJaipur,India。

AssomeonewhobelievesTheBestExoticMarigoldHoteltobethebestmovieof2012,thefactthatIfallintothelattercategoryshouldbenosurprise。

ItshouldalsobenosurprisethatmanypeoplechoosenottobelievethatI’mseriousaboutlovingitasmuchasIdo。

Seeingandenjoyingpoorlyreviewedmoviesisahobby?

—?

orperhapscondition?

—?

ofmine(IsawSafeHavenlastweekendonmydayofffromwork),soIdon’thavethebesttrack?

record。

AstheOscarsdrawnear,thenextinaseriesaboutourstrongmovieopinions,pastand?

present。

I’mawarethatamovieaboutsevenelderlyBritswhomoveintoanIndianhotelsoundslikearedflagtomanypeople,soIunderstandwhyyouthinkI’mjokingorperverseorwronginlikingTheBestExoticMarigoldHotelasmuchasIdo。

ButI’mnot。

Andit’smygoaltomakeyoubelieve?

me。

ThoughOscarnomineesforBestPicturearebynomeansadefinitivelistofagivenyear’sbestmovies,thespotlightplaceduponthemduringawardsseasonprovidesthekindofwidespreadfamiliaritythatshouldhelpwithmyupcomingcomparisons。

EventhoughIloathedeveryspeaksongysecondofLesMisandwasgenuinelyshockedbyjusthowgenericArgoendedupbeing,ifIweretoreplaceasingleBestPicturenomineewithTBEMH,I’dgowithSilverLiningsPlaybook。

Thetwofilmshavelargecastsfilledwithtremendouslytalentedactors。

Theybothhaveasimilarlyfence-hoppingtonethatjuggleslaughsandtears。

Theyalsosharethemeslikestartingover,growingold,movingonfromformerloves,dealingwithnewones,andseekingapurposeinone’slife。

But!

SilverLiningsPlaybookattemptedtotacklealloftheabovebyaddingarose-coloredlayerofsuper-cutementalillnesstoitslens,butmentalillnessisn’tallthatcute。

Withthoseconstantviolentoutbursts,BradleyCooper’sPathadnobusinessbeingoutofthehospital。

Heneededtogetbetter。

ButSilverLiningsPlaybookhadnointentionofpresentingcharacterswhobehavethewayrealpeoplebehaveinsituationswhererealpeopleoftenfindthemselves。

TBEMH?

did。

EarlierIdescribeditasamovieabout“sevenelderlyBritswhomoveintoanIndianhotel。

”Andbecauseit’sveryeasyforamoviethatcanbeexplainedinsofewwordstocreateanequallysimplisticfinalproduct,anyofyouwhoscoffedatthepremisewereentirelyjustified。

ItwasadaptedfromabookIhaven’tread,butpeopleI’vetalkedtowhohavesaythetwoworkshavelittleincommonasidefrommyinitialnine-worddescription。

Butthefilmadaptation,atleast,deservessomespinningout。

Somethinglike:amovieaboutsevenBritishcitizensintheirtwilightyearswho,foranumberofreasonsincludinghealthcare,squanderedsavings,pastloves,andnewones,movetoanIndianhoteltobettertheirlives。

Yes。

That’s?

better。

ThereisahumanityinTheBestExoticMarigoldHotelthatisn’tevidentinitsmarketing,orevenitstitle。

Bothsuggestasimplerompaboutnervous(andpossiblyxenophobic)Brits,butwhatwefindinsteadisathoughtful,funny,andoccasionallyprofoundstoryaboutgettingolderthatdoesn’tpatronizeitsaudienceorreduceitscharacterstostereotypes。

Evelyn(JudiDench)isintroducedwhilesettinguphernewinternetserviceafterthedeathofherhusbandhavelefttheutilitiesindisarray。

Anoldpersonbeingoverwhelmedbynewtechnologyisaneasyjoke,butTBEMHtreatsherassomeoneconfusedbutcapable;andherphoneconversationwithanIndiancustomerserviceagentisn’tusedasapunchline,butasthebeginningofalargersubplot。

Evelyngetsajob(herfirstever)asaconsultantatanIndiancallcenterinaseriesofscenesthatbothsurpriseuswiththeirheartandimpressuswiththeirconstruction。

Also,thedeathofMinSkyfallcoupledwithaTBEMHsequelindevelopmentmeansJudiDenchhasfoundanewfranchisetopreside?

over。

She’llgettowearsomuchlineninthisfranchise。

Muriel(MaggieSmith)istheoldestandmostcrotchetyofthebunch,havingcometoIndiabecauseitwasthecheapestandmostimmediateoptionforherhipsurgery。

She’sanangry,intolerantoldwomanwho,atthemovie’sstart,findsIndiaanditsresidentsappalling,butsheeventuallychangesherattitude。

Andthoughhereventual180isexpected,ittakestime。

It’searned。

TBEMHunderstandsthatwedon’tchangeatthedropofahatorsimplybecauseit’sthethirdact,andMurielisgivenareasontodecideit’stimeto?

change。

AnneHathawaycouldnevermakethis?

face。

TheonlymarriedcoupleinresidenceareDouglasandJean(BillNighyandPenelopeWilton),whocametoTheBestExoticMarigoldHotelafterabadinvestmentleftthemwithnothingbutdreary,panicbutton-filledretirementoptionsinLondon。

Theirmarriagehasdevolvedintoarelationshipfilledwithtensionanddevoidoflove,andwhileNighyandWiltonarearguablythefilm’smostexperiencedcomedicactors,theyturnwhatcouldhaveeasilybeenArchieandEdithintoaheartbreakingandhonestportrayalofamarriagethat’srunits?

course。

ThisisnotascreencapfromTheBestExoticMarigold?

Hotel。

SinglesMadgeandNorman(CeliaImrieandRonaldPickup)arethehorniestoftheresidents,decidingtoleaveEnglandafterfeelinglikethey’dexhausteditspoolofpotentialpartners。

Botharelookingforsexandareoutwardlyconfidentabouttheirprospects,buttheyhaveanunshakable,privatefearofdyingalone。

AnymoviecanthrowinaViagrajoke,butTBEMHturnswhatcouldhavebeenaneasyjokeaboutthatfunnybluepillintosomethingsweetand,tosomeextent?

hopeful。

Canyouhandlehowwonderfulthis?

is?

EvenSonny(DevPatel),theownerofthehotel,getsasubplot。

Whenhismotherarrivesunannounced,shemakesherdisapprovalofhispersonalandprofessionalchoicesloudandclear。

Andthoughitcouldhavebeenwrittenasacliche-filledthrowawaystoryaboutarrangedmarriages,it’sgiventhetimetobecomeassatisfyingasthe?

others。

DevPatelisin“TheNewsroom。

”Ihate“TheNewsroom。



ThefinalresidentisGraham(TomWilkinson)andhe’sgiventhebestsubplotandyou’llbeintearsbecauseTomWilkinsonisperfectandthat’sallI’llsayabout?

him。

Tome,heis?

perfect。

Perhapsitisn’thardtoconvinceallofyouthatanoctetofrespectedBritishthespiansmakesamovieworthwatching,butIthinkthemovie’ssettingmaybeholdingyouback。

I’vebeenaskedonmorethanoneoccasionwhetherornotthefilmhasaxenophobicoroutrightracistrepresentationofIndia,andmyanswerisaveryconfident“No。

”Thisisastorycouldhavebeensetinanyplaceitscentralcharactersconsiderunfamiliar。

ThoughtheelderlyBritsareinitiallyoverwhelmedbytheculturaldifferences,thesettingisneverpresentedasbackwardsorundesirable。

Thoughhesitantatfirst,everyonegetsusedtothefood。

Tothetransportation。

Tothecustoms。

TheresidentsofTheBestExoticMarigoldHoteldotheirbesttonotonlyadapttotheirsurroundings,buttoacceptandfindcomfortin?

them。

Becausenoteveryoneinthemoviesgoesabroadtoeat,pray,andloveforaholiday。

Noteveryoneinthemoviesexperiencessomethingdifferentonlytoreturnhomeandpatthemselvesonthebackforsurvivingitall。

ThecharactersofTBEMHareinIndiatostay,andbytheenditbecomestheir?

home。

Sowhatdoyouthink?

Areyouconvinced?

AreyouwillingtotakeachanceonJudiDench?

MaybeIwastoocomplimentary。

Ifso,Ishouldgrounditwithsomecriticism。

Here?

goes。

MyonecomplaintwithTheBestExoticMarigoldHotelistheinaccuracyofthatsaying,soallowmetooffendPaulo,John,andSonnybyofferingarevisedversion:Everythingwillbeallrightintheend。

Soifitisnotallright,it’sbecauseit’sthe?

Oscars。

Previouslyinseries:HowDid‘ForrestGump’EverBeatOut‘PulpFiction’ForBestPicture?

BobbyFingerwillberootingforAmouronSunday。