I watched “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and the sequel “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and like most movies with sequels, the first one was better than the sequel.
I remember when I saw the trailer for this movie a few years ago and wanting to see it. How refreshing it was to see something about old British people going to a new place in the golden years of life. It would be an adventure for a twenty-something, but how much more for a senior citizen? It was a sweet and charming movie, and for some reason I wanted to cry in certain parts. Not because it was a moving scene…well, maybe it was moving, but it was so subtle I didn’t know it was deep until I felt the verge of tears. No tears were ultimately shed but heartstrings were pulled.
So of course I want to see the sequel and see what happens to this group of elderly and hodgepodge mix of personalities. It wasn’t too bad because they added in a few Americans, most notably Richard Gere, who happens to still be handsome at his age? How is that possible?
What stood out immediately was when you heard an American accent in the midst of the variety of British and Indian accents. It cuts through and it can sound really abrasive. Not to say the American cast had unappealing voices; they actually had great voices. It’s the contrast that really stood out and once you heard a few lines by Gere or the other Americans it settled into the soundscape and the story carried on.
The biggest disappointment was in plot holes. It never explains how the second hotel was ultimately acquired. It was hinted at but it was such a leap and the wedding scene at the end seemed to take over the last act of the movie. The festivities had one scene addressing it but it was a stretch in itself. I sigh a big sigh because it would’ve tied up that story a lot better.
Other little things were not as strong but perhaps because there were more characters in this film than the first it had difficulty wrapping up everything in a timely manner. It’s possible that in being a British film it was being so subtle and indirect that in their eyes it was complete but to me it wasn’t enough.
The film does show India in it’s vibrant colors so it does make me want to go visit someday. I mostly just want to eat all the food there.