The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

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The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

You’ve got to have a lot of guts to put the words “second best” right there in the title of your film. But after the first film was a surprise hit, even a second best Exotic Marigold Hotel is bound to draw a lot of interest. This time around while Sonny (Dev Patel) is looking to expand his horizons both at home (he’s engaged) and at work (he wants to buy up another hotel and start a chain of Exotic Marigold Hotels) – he’s the defacto lead of the film this time – our cast of UK oldies who’ve relocated to India to retire (and take advantage of the favourable exchange rate) have broadened their interests. Evelyn (Judi Dench) is now a freelance fabric buyer, Douglas (Bill Nighy) is a tour guide (who has all his facts fed to him via an earpiece), Madge (Celia Imrie) is torn between two lovers and Norman (Ronald Pickup) is worried that he’s accidentally hired a hitman to kill Carol (Diana Hardcastle). Muriel (Maggie Smith) is still cranky, and with good reason, as Sonny’s efforts to find them a business partner mean a mystery guest is on their way to check out the business, and he’s convinced it’s Guy (Richard Gere).
If all of this sounds a mite complicated, it isn’t. This is the kind of low-key episodic film that demands little of the audience past a willingness to be charmed by a bunch of actors who can do this kind of thing in their sleep. Considering that Bill Nighy can make even a “ladies and germs” joke seem utterly adorable, it’s safe to say the makers have another hit on their hands.