November 27, 2014
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The Great Exotic Marigold Hotel
Don Fowler
5 stars
Reviewer's Rating:

(Delightful comedy of self-discovery)

Attention: All you senior citizens out there who have given up on the movies. Get over to Warwick Showcase or the Avon and see The Great Exotic Marigold Hotel. In fact, you younger folks might enjoy and learn something from this delightful comedy about self-discovery and coping with change at any age.

The star-studded British cast includes Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Maggie Smith and other wonderful senior actors, in addition to Indian actor Dev Patel, who came to fame in Slumdog Millionaire.

Five senior singles and a married couple from various backgrounds read a luring brochure about a great exotic hotel for the elderly and beautiful and head off to India, only to discover that the hotel is anything but. They all bring their own baggage, prejudices and life stories with them, reacting differently to their surroundings and the very different Indian culture.

Patel is great as the "dreamer” who sees the glass half full, when it is obviously half empty.

Each of the seven guests has his or her own story, and each reacts differently to the surroundings, culture, sights and sounds of this very different culture.

There are some very funny lines that had the huge Avon audience laughing out loud. There are also a few poignant situations that will make you care for these people, even the ones who have difficulty communicating and accepting the beautiful but different Indian people.

We won't tell you about the characters, because the joy of this film is discovering each of them as they are at the beginning and how they have changed after an extended stay in this strange culture.

The sights and sounds of the crowded city, the wealthy and poor sections, the music, the food, the smiles on children's faces, and the bright colors of the dress and flowers of the area all enhance the story, which takes two hours to tell and leaves you wanting more.

Everything wraps up nicely in the end, with each character changing and discovering things about themselves. We love it when people clap at the end of the movie and then take their time leaving as the credits roll by.

This is a movie to savor, whether you are a senior citizen or not. Don't miss it. It carries a PG-13 rating, containing some very funny sexual references and minor profanity.


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