Arthouse Reviews: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

By ArtHouse Crouch End, 15 Mar 2015

SecondBest
It’s films like this that make you think it must be so much fun being an actor. You get to go to exciting locations and lounge around luxury hotels, spend time amongst other entertaining national treasures like yourself, no doubt have a good laugh and go home with a nice tan and an extra pot for your pension.
 
At least it’s hard to believe there wasn’t a lot fun involved in the making of The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. On the other hand, there could have been lots of tantrums, rivalries and competition for the best lines or a dance with Richard Gere. Perhaps the film about the making of the film would have been more interesting than the film itself. At least you might have been able to make sense of the sub plots.
 
As it was, a lot of the time was spent hammering home the message that getting old doesn’t mean the end of your life, while at the same time rather worryingly talking an awful lot about death. The message began to disturb rather than uplift. And there are times when you might wonder if the film had confused Indian with idiotic, particularly in the case of some of the male characters. But then would you want to miss Maggie Smith, Celia Imrie, Penelope Wilton and Bill Nighy doing Bollywood with Dev Patel and Shazad Latif? And who else but the best of British acting talent could actually deliver those lines? Judy Dench can make any old empty cliché sound like an ancient Indian pearl of wisdom.