The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel…a movie review by Roz Tarszisz

February 23, 2015 by Roz Tarszisz
Read on for article

There are expectations that come with the follow-up to a successful movie.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (for the Elderly and Beautiful) has now been operating for eight months.  The new story opens in California where owner, Sonny (Dev Patel) and co-manager, Muriel (Maggie Smith) are trying to raise funds to expand the brand across India.  The potential backers indicate they may send a hotel inspector to check them out.

What gives this outing its focus are preparations for the imminent wedding of  irrepressible Sonny to his beloved Sunaina (Tena Desae).   But the course of true love does not run smoothly.

The residents are more settled and confident in their exotic setting.   Muriel seems much happier and delivers her acerbic and pithy comments with great relish. If Douglas’ (Bill Nighy) rather doughy turn as a man afraid to grasp what he wants and Madge’s (Celia Imrie) deliciously flighty good sort are repeat performances, that’s just what is expected.

Evelyn (Judi Dench) and Douglas have jobs and when Evelyn is offered a big work opportunity, she needs to find courage to seize it. Norman (Ronald Pickup) is aghast when he realises that he may have inadvertently organised a hit on his girlfriend Carol (Diana Hardcastle). There’s plenty going on at the now – slightly less decrepit – Marigold Hotel.

Sonny decides that handsome newcomer, Guy (Richard Gere), is the undercover hotel inspector and sets out to impress him while unsuccessfully juggling his pre-wedding commitments.

Guy maintains he is only in Jaipur to write a novel but soon takes a shine to Sonny’s mother, Mrs Kapoor (Lillete Dubey), a less frosty presence this time around.

Mistaken identities, a jealous turn or two and Douglas’ returned wife Jean (Penelope Wilson) get chucked in the curry (sorry) and the resulting mix is great fun, even if a trifle schmaltzy on occasion. It may not be high art but it is assured film making.

The joyful and energetic dance sequences are a delight.  If you were charmed first time around, you won’t be disappointed. It’s nice when you get more than anticipated.

4/5 Rated  PG  Released February 26

Starring Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Celia Imrie, Penelope Wilton, Ronald Pickup, Dev Patel and Richard Gere

Directed by John Madden

Screenplay by Ol Parker

 

 

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