"The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel"
Venue: Regent Cinema Murwillumbah
Date: 23rd February 2012
Verdict: Sometimes seriously funny, heart wrenching, brilliantly acted, stunning Indian backround.
Judi Dench leads an all-star cast in John Madden’s new British comedy-drama about a group of British retirees of varying class, who travel to Jaipur, India. Their inspiration to leave England vary from person to person, but the final hook is to take up residence is what they believe is a newly restored hotel.
The hotel turns out to be a dilapidated mansion run by the son of an upper-class, over-bearing mother who refuses to accept her son’s relationship with a gorgeous local girl from a call centre.
From the opening sequences of glum and dreary scenes and lives in England to the exotic, colourful ones in India, the 7 main characters have experiences and relationships that change their lives. Judi Dench and Celia Imrie as contrasting widows; Maggie Smith as a dour cockney; Bill Nighy and Penelope Wilton as a bickering couple; Tom Wilkinson as a gay high court judge; and Ron Pickup as an aged lothario; all progress through the chaos to a happy ending, for most, if not a little predictable.
The movie and event was very well presented and executed by the owners of the Regent Cinema in Murwillumbah, as a fundraiser for eradicating polio in India. From the guests being greeted on arrival by Indian hawkers, snake charmers and dancers (played by the local Doublemask Youth Theatre), to lovely nibbles and champagne cocktails on the terrace, a great night was had by all.