British retirees travel to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel. Less luxurious than advertised, the Marigold Hotel nevertheless slowly begins to charm in unexpected ways.
Seven elderly Britons, for a variety of reasons, respond to an online ad and travel to Jaipur, India, where they find run-down hotel with a young, exuberant, and optimistic host. Evelyn, newly widowed, wants low-cost experience, Graham seeks a long-ago love, Douglas and Jean have lost their pension in a family investment, Muriel needs cheap hip surgery, Madge seeks a rich husband, and Norman is chasing women. India affects each in different ways, enchanting Douglas and Evelyn while driving Jean deeper into bitterness. Their host, young Sonny, has dreams but little cash or skill; he also has a girlfriend whom his mother dismisses. Stories cross and discoveries await each one. Written by
When they arrive at the airport all the members of the group already have a heavy sun tan, even though they have only just arrived in India and they did not have these tans when they were in England. See more »
[about their new environment]
Initially you're overwhelmed. But gradually you realize it's like a wave. Resist, and you'll be knocked over. Dive into it, and you'll swim out the other side.
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Admit it: when was the last time you saw a film in which the seven lead roles are taken by British actors in their 60s and 70s? Never - right? So this is a movie aiming at a very different demographic than the usual teenage-targeted Hollywood fare and it is a refreshing and welcome change that will delight young as well as old.
The doyennes of the cast are Judi Dench and Maggie Smith who are both now in their late 70s but sparkle here as very different lonely singletons. Bill Nighy and Penelope Wilton play a sweet and sour couple in the thespian menu. Tom Wilkinson is a retired judge with a secret. Finally Celia Imrie and Ronald Pickup are two more sad souls who might or might not find solace together. All of the seven find that retirement can be 'outsourced' to an Indian hotel that certainly looks exotic in the (photoshopped) brochure, but actually needs somewhat more than the enthusiasm of its young manager (Dev Patel with romantic problems of his own).
The location of the hotel is Jaipur in northern India which is a character in itself and, since I have visited the city, I can attest to the wonderful vibrancy and colour of this extraordinary metropolis. But,as our seven intrepid Brits learn, India requires some adjustment to one's expectations and lifestyle and some make the adjustment sooner or better than others. A cynic might dub this multiple storyline of comedy and romance as "Love Geriatrically" and the characters are rather stereotypical, but this is a delightful movie that makes the viewer feel good about life.
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