The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

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The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel once again teams up Dev Patel (The Last Airbender, Slumdog Millionaire, About Cherry) and Maggie Smith (Hook, The Last September, From Time to Time) in a surprising duo followed by an incredible cast in this exotic dramady.

Dev stars as Sonny Kapoor an ambitious soon to be married young man with the dream of expanding his hotel The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel into a chain. The film starts with him and Ms. Muriel Donnelly headed for a big meeting in America to get the approval needed to open a second hotel. However an investigation of just how well the first hotel is doing is required in the form of a secret hotel guest, the head of the meeting specifically tells them ‘I’ll send a guy to see how things are doing.’

They return back to India to Sonny’s now fiance Sunaina played by Tina Desai (Table No. 21, Yeh Faasley, Dussehra) and the rest of the tenants at the beautiful hotel, Evelyn Greenslade played by Judi Dench (Skyfall, J. Edgar, Rage), Douglas Ainslie played by Bill Nighy (Jack the Giant Slayer, Still Crazy, Hot Fuzz), Madge Hardcastle played by Celia Imrie (The Love Punch, What We Did on our Holiday, Nanny McPhee), Norman Cousins played by Ronald Pickup (Dark Floors, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, A Life in Suitcases), and Carol Parr played by Diana Hardcastle (If Only, Chromophobia, A Good Woman).

Soon we have a couple of new tenants show up at the Marigold and one of them happens to go by the name Guy Chambers; Richard Gere (Amelia, Shall We Dance, Unfaithful) and Sonny instantly see’s the signs! Remember they were going to send a ‘guy’ out to see how things are going? Guy Chambers, ‘guy’! Get it!? That must be the secret hotel guest come to see if the Marigold Hotel deserves another hotel! Ignoring his wedding plans and all his other tenants Sonny flies through hoops and back again to make sure Guy gets the ultimate experience…even against his will.

But wait there’s more!

Each of the characters has their own struggles and stories that build up to Sonny and Sunaina’s big wedding night. Evelyn and Douglas’s difficult relationship. Norman accidentally puts a hit out on his girlfriend Carol only to find out she’s been having an affair. Madge who is caught up with two suitors and is not sure who to go with when both ask for her hand in marriage. You may think it’ll get confusing, with all the stories and who’s doing what again. Like Love Actually. But it’s not. Everyone is involved in each other’s story in one way or another if only just to give advice, the wonderful thing about this is the family environment that you’re given by the hotel guests. As a Drama/Comedy the laughs are plenty yet subtle and the film does a good job of balancing both genres perfectly so there’s just the right amount of sentiment for each of the characters portrayed. Not to mention you’ll get an eyeful of all the beautiful scenery India has to offer.

You wanna know something? I did not know this was a sequel until I did my research to write this review. That being said, you don’t have to see the first film to follow along with the second. But now I’m only inspired to look for the first film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel which follows the story on how the tenants came to India in the first place.

Rated PG for some language and suggestive comments.

Rotten Tomatoes has this film at a 64% fresh. Well worth your time.

So, Dev Patel may not know this, but he’s been my boyfriend for a good few years now. Take note; that this weekend not only did he come out with The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel he also came out with Chappie which I will also be seeing if only to stalk him through the big screen. But that’s not to say that this film is only for the eye candy. It’s really good in an inspiring way. Maggie Smith is phenomenal like always and you really have to appreciate the films many messages it has to offer. One of the main one’s being: You’re never too old to start living. And what’s a better way to start than with a good film like this?