Yesterday afternoon whilst trawling around the local shopping centre (yes, I totally trawl around the shops), I discovered the new Video Ezy Express vending machines. Well, it is and isn't a vending machine. For those of you who haven't seen them, they are similar to an ATM although, money doesn't pop out - a DVD does. So with their $2 opening special for the DVD vending machine I decided to give the machine ago.
Swipe card, select movie, enter email address and mobile phone number, hit 'buy' and out pops a DVD. Done. Easiest trip to hire out a video.
I rented The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, with apprehension that it was probably going to be a movie that my Nanna would love. It starred the likes of Judi Dench (James Bond), Maggie Smith (Harry Potter) and Bill Nighy (The Boat that Rocked), and I got to say, I actually really loved it. Maggie Smith's character was my favourite. I adore her as an actor and love her as Professor McGonogall. In this movie she plays an incredibly racists older English woman who has to have hip surgery. She is brilliant.
Anyway, so the movie is about seven English men and women who are all in the 'golden years' who pack up their lives (in an attempt to escape reality back in England) to move to India to the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. A lot of the movie centres around two things - firstly, they are all trying to find themselves again, each having left their former lives behind in England. Evelyn (Judi Dench) has had to sell her flat that she shared with her late husband in order to pay his debts that he left her when he passed away. Graham (Tom Wilkinson) retired from his job as a judge and went in search of his long lost happiness which he felt he left behind when he was younger living in India. Douglas and Jean (Bill Nighy and Penelope Wilton) have been miserably married for nearly 40 years and have left England as all they can afford is a "cream bungalow" after lending their daughter their retirement savings to invest in a new internet company which flopped. Muriel (Maggie Smith), as I said before, is an incredibly racist woman and spends her life criticising others. She is going to India to have a hip replacement as she cannot afford the cost or time back in England having been let go from her life long role as a nanny to an English family. Norman (Ronald Pickup) is on a quest for love and Madge (Celia Imrie) is escaping the role of nanny to her grandchildren - she is also looking for love.
Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) plays Sonny Kapoor who is trying to resurrect his father's dream - The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Inherited when his father died, Sonny is trying to succeed for the first time in his life with both the hotel and trying to get the guts to tell his mother that he is in love with and wants to marry his girlfriend Suinana (Tena Desae). The story centres around his hotel guests from England and their journeys and the journey of the hotel itself.
I am not going to try and retell the whole story, I just think it is worth while watching. I now have a dream to go to India. It isn't glorified, it is quite raw in terms of how India is represented. But I love the humour and the journey that each of the characters go on.
My favourite line from the movie was when Jean announces that she and Douglas are returning to England. She proclaims "it will be just in time for our 40th wedding anniversary. We haven't even thought how to celebrate it". Madge pipes up and says "perhaps with a minutes silence?".
Anyway, I personally loved the movie. You might now. But it is worth watching, if not just for an experience of India.