Film review | The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – Dame Judi & co enjoy a geriatric jaunt full of Eastern promise

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - Judi Dench

Beguiled by advertisements promising a luxurious refuge for’ the elderly and beautiful’, a motley group of British pensioners move to India for their retirement. But the ‘Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ turns out to be a dilapidated pile that hapless but ever-hopeful young manager Sonny (Dev Patel) is struggling against the odds to maintain. Even so, shared trials bring some of the visitors together, while the magic of teeming, colourful, chaotic India works its magic on the rest.

And so, for its target audience, will director John Madden’s charming comedy drama, thanks to a classy ensemble cast that includes Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Penelope Wilton, Celia Imrie and Ronald Pickup. True, Madden’s movie is very cosy and predictable, and one or two of the performances don’t always hit the right tone, but Dench, Nighy and Smith, in particular, are in fine form and the uplifting story will leave a warm glow.

On general release from Friday 24th February.

To activate the sound in the trailer: hold your cursor over the screen to reveal the control panel and click on the volume control in the bottom right-hand corner.

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