I first saw this movie last summer when it was released in the theaters.  I’m not sure how well it did with the greater theater-going population, but I for one, loved it.  I loved the story lines of the different characters and I found the overall theme of the movie inspiring.  And for those of us with an itch to travel, this movie will let you escape to India if even for a short time.

As I write this I know of three online friends who are, at this very moment, on the journey of a lifetime in India as they run the Rickshaw Run Race.  You can follow Kim, Hannah and Sarah at Rickshaw Run Diaries.  I enjoyed the movie so much I asked Santa to leave the DVD in my Christmas stocking.  After watching the movie for a 2nd time I decided to write a little review of the film and share it with you.

“It will be all right in the end.  If it isn’t all right then it isn’t the end.”  I think this is my new creed to live by.  Directed by John Madden and based on the book “These Foolish Things” by Deborah Moggach, the movie, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is another classic British hit with a keen sense of wit and charm, and with a brilliant cast including Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson and Bill Nighy.

best exotic photo

Arriving, for the first time, at The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Photo credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Seven retirees looking for something better than a retirement home, or living with their children, embark on a journey to a life in India and living at what is advertised as the best exotic hotel.  Each of the seven have their reasons for making the journey to India and that is the crux of the film, how will each of us choose to write the last chapter of our life? Of course when they arrive, the hotel is not quite what was anticipated. The owner of the hotel, Sonny, cleverly played by Dev Patel, does a constant dance to not only keep his guests from leaving, but also to keep his journey, his dream, alive.  His hotel is for the elderly and the beautiful and he believes countries are outsourcing their elderly so he sees a “golden” opportunity.  The story lines of the main characters provide a glimpse into the lives of those who for various reasons find themselves in situations they never dreamed they’d be faced with.  Maggie Smith, a disposed governess and house manager is forced to put aside her prejudices to begin life anew; while Tom Wilkinson, a fed-up judge, returns to India to find his past; and Bill Nighy, the long-suffering husband finds a renewed sense of spirit and self.

There are those who critiqued the film as being enjoyable for just the 60+ audience which I believe to be a serious error in judgement.  Not to sound too philosophical here, but regardless of age, we’re all on a journey and I think we can all take something away from the film.  Maybe it might hit closer to home to those who have reached 60+ years, but we (hopefully) are all moving forward in our lives and it’s sometimes a good thing to do a little planning for future chapters; to look forward if you will.  What do you want to do with that “saving for a rainy day” stash?  Do you even have a stash?  Are you happy?  Are you living life to the fullest?  Do you laugh?  Do you cry?  Do you work to live or live to work?  If you listen closely the answers are all there at The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

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