Last night I had an opportunity to attend the screening of the movie, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel at the Glenwood Arts Theater in Leawood, Kansas. You can read my review about the theater here.
I received the passes the night prior and did not know anything about the movie. I invited a friend to go with me and as we were sitting, waiting for the movie to start, I asked her if she had looked the movie up? She had, but only briefly and was surprised I had not. I quickly googled it from my phone and saw, what appeared to be a strong cast, a very British cast, and they were older. Richard Gere was in it, Maggie Smith, Judy Dench. It shouldn’t be bad, I thought. Probably won’t be an award winner from the plot outline, but not bad.
As I was listening to the other movie goers around me, I heard one talk about the first one. Oh no! It’s a sequel and I have no idea what happened in the first one! Fun! The other thing I noticed about the group around me was that I felt young. It was quite packed with an older crowd.
The movie starts and right away, Maggie Smith is winning with her lines. She quips a few lines and everyone laughs. A great way to start a movie when I have no clue what to expect.
While Smith’s character continues to win you over throughout the movie, both with her lines, her personality, and her delivery, I cannot say the same for the rest of the movie. It was confusing in parts, but kept your attention. It moved from character to character rather quickly. Most of the story was quite predictable from beginning to end, with only one or two surprises. The characters won you over though. They were charming, and you felt like you were part of the movie, not just an outsider watching it.
I loved Judy Dench’s character, Evelyn in as much as she admitted she was older, but she was embracing a new career doing something she loved to do. What started as a hobby for her evolved into something so much more. I think it reminded everyone to never stop doing what you love and follow the path it leads you.
As Sonny (Dev Patel) bumbly (yes, not sure if that is a word, but I’m using it!) goes between trying to make his dream of expansion a reality and prepare for his wedding, you cannot help but like him and it makes it believable why all of the characters formed a family here at the Marigold Hotel.
Speaking of weddings…..I LOVED LOVED LOVED the wedding scene. I think Indian weddings are so beautiful and I hope to go to at least one in my lifetime. The director and actors did a wonderful job portraying it and you couldn’t help but be happy and celebratory during the scene. I had watched a documentary on Indian weddings and preparations once and was fascinated by it. It was a great “feel good” part of the movie.
Overall, did I love it? No. Did I like it? Yes. I can see why it would be liked by those categorized as “active boomers”. It was filled with love, life, romance, and clear to all that age really is JUST a number!