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The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel directed by John Madden; released in 2012

I always think about growing up and becoming that person who get’s a free bus pass and a state pension. I think about how my life is going to change, what I’m going to be able to do and what will be hard. Therefore, I am so very glad that I decided to watch this film. Filled with sadness, over-the-moon excitement and a donning of the cap to the elder generation of British actors, ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ is one of the most heart warming tales I’ve seen in recent years. It’s hard to watch this film and not take your eyes off the screen, from the opening monologues, as an audience, you are completely engrossed in each character’s woes and prospects. Contrasting agenda’s such as, boosting your self belief, wanting some affection, rebuilding relationships and finding long-lost one’s, results in each scene being either tinged with close to tears sadness or hand clapping jubilation. You are taken on journey’s that are lifetimes in the making, which when witnessed, taking this into account, make some scenes nearly unbearable to watch, most notably Tom Wilkinson’s character tracking down the man he has loved since he first met him over 30 years earlier. What was great about this film was the on-screen time balance between all the central characters, you are given just enough time to enjoy their individual stories and in the penultimate scene, see them all come together. I also thoroughly enjoyed Dev Patel’s performance as Sonny, the over enthusiastic, young, impressionable owner of the hotel, which in reality is a shell of its former self. He really has come along way since ‘Skins’ and ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and now looks like he will go on to be a great leading man; he is currently appearing in ‘The Newsroom’ which I would highly recommend. As relationship’s blossom, the hotel gains admirers, which was pretty predictable but still highly enjoyable viewing. He pulls off a typical on-screen Indian accent, which sounded pretty generic but still believable. Some films border on racist when having a British Indian actor portray an Indian but in this I’m glad to say this wasn’t the case. Another great part of the film is the setting, the vibrant, loud and colourful Jaipur. It really would be a great escape for anyone wanting to get away from a past life and as the characters realise what they want to do with their lives, they really seem to warm to it, even though from the look of it, this really shouldn’t be difficult. You convince yourself you can feel, smell and taste the environment when you watch it, which enables a great backdrop to any scene, especially those involving happiness. Young actors should watch this film with great appreciation to the people they grew up watching and the people they will become when they have been on our screens for 20-30 years. This film shines a great light for British Cinema and with the recent news that funding may be reduced, I really hope it could be the catalyst for future investments and funding into films based and shot in the United Kingdom, even though this film is shot in India! I really enjoyed this film and would recommend it to fans of the actors, director John Madden and Comedy Drama’s.

8/10

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