Wednesday, June 13, 2012
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
The good news is that, unlike most first dates, the movie lived up to my initial excitement. I walked into the theater expecting to see mostly older people - after all, the movie is all about retirees - but was pleasantly surprised to see about a 50/50 mix. Obviously, not every person under 30 wants to see a superhero movie this summer and that gives me hope for the future.
The movie is funny, and smart, and sweet, and sad. It's deeply emotional and absolutely gorgeous. The writing is terrific - kudos to Deborah Moggach (who wrote the book which I have just bought) and to Ol Parker for the screenplay. I love the way the stories intertwine, the way we see the characters learn to live in a different world, the way they accept (or not) the change in their circumstances. And - as they're all much older than the usual movie characters - it's wonderful to see them falling in love. That, too, gives me hope for the future.
The way the colors and sound and light all change as they travel from England to India must reflect how people feel getting on a plane at Heathrow, where it's likely to be cold and grey, and getting off in Mumbai or Jaipur, where it's almost always going to be sunny and hot. People don't wear black or brown or beige there, they wear brilliant shades of orange and yellow and turqoise and green. It is a completely different world.
And of course, the cast. Because every one of them was brilliant. The fact that three of my favorite actors, Bill Nighy, Judi Dench and Tom Wilkinson, were members of the ensemble just made it even more glorious.
This is a movie that I'll watch over and over again, a movie that inspired me, that made me laugh and made me cry, made me aspire to write a story as good as this one. I loved it.