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.
A reformed young man with a steady job, Benny, returns to the city of his youth to find the girl he's been in love with since childhood and that's home to his four petty criminal friends, Jacko, Zac, Bisto and Flea.
As the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has only a single remaining vacancy, posing a rooming predicament for two fresh arrivals, Sonny Kapoor (Dev Patel) pursues his expansionist dream of opening a second hotel.
When Sarah Hopson realizes her successful high-rise New York lifestyle is devoid of meaning, she packs her bags and heads for her home town in the Scottish Borders to look for Sam, her ... See full summary »
In Liverpool, twenty-seven-year-old hairdresser Rita (Dame Julie Walters) decides to complete her basic education before having children, as desired by her husband Denny (Malcolm Douglas). ... See full summary »
Queen Victoria (Dame Judi Dench) is deeply depressed after the death of her husband, disappearing from public. Her servant Mr. John Brown (Sir Billy Connolly), who adores her, through caress and admiration brings her back to life, but that relationship creates scandalous situation and is likely to lead to monarchy crisis.
This is a phenomenal movie, but I am rather peeved at the way it has been marketed. When I rented the movie, the blurb on the box luridly touted the "forbidden passion between a rugged Scotsman and the most powerful woman in the world." Other marketing of the film is similar. That's not what the movie is about at all!! It is a very sad commentary on our society if a moving drama about terrible grief being assuaged through loyal friendship cannot be accepted for what it is. Is the American public really that shallow? I don't know whether to blame movie execs for dumbing down the presentation of their product to titillate the lowest common denominator, or the American public for maybe actually being that way.
Diatribes aside, Dench and Connolly are phenomenal. Victoria and Brown are complex characters with conflicting emotions, and one almost feels able to look upon their souls in this portrayal. Antony Sher was delightful as the orator/politician Benjamin Disraeli, at the same time both wise and gently pompous. The makeup job was so good that I actually recognized him as Disraeli before his name was mentioned.
If you are disappointed because this is not a puerile romance, shame on you. These are real people with real emotions. This moving story of grief and friendship is definitely one of the best of the year.
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