The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Parent Review
It is good to see a movie that addresses the need for companionship and affection in the golden years. Unfortunately, the characters in this movie, as in the first, too often confuse libido with love.
In movie time, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has been operating successfully for eight months. Now the proprietor, Sonny Kapoor (Dev Patel) is ready to expand his Indian-based hospitality empire by purchasing another rundown building to renovate.
Traveling to America with his mentor and front desk manager, Muriel Donnelly (Maggie Smith), Sonny peddles his plans to a large hotel chain in hopes of getting some capital for his new venture. Ty Burley (David Strathairn) doesn’t give Sonny a definite yes or no, but agrees to send an undercover inspector to check out the current facility.
When Guy Chambers (Richard Gere) arrives without a reservation, Sonny suspects he is the man. Eager to make a good impression, the young entrepreneur goes out of his way to ensure Guy has a pleasant stay—even if it comes at the expense of another guest Lavinia Beech (Tamsin Greig). Yet trying to get funding isn’t the only thing on Sonny’s mind. His wedding to Sunaina (Tina Desai) is only days away and an old childhood rival (Shazad Latif) has shown up for the festivities.
Review continues after the break...
Meanwhile the regular guests at the Marigold Hotel continue to deal with the realities of their advanced years, such as deteriorating health, loneliness, insecurities and unexpected opportunities. Their approaches to aging range from embracing second chances and building deep friendships to wallowing in self-pity and even stooping in spiteful acts. Some of them, including Norman Cousins (Ronald Pickup) and Madge Hardcastle (Celia Imrie), are still on the prowl for sexual adventures. Despite the fact that Norman is in a committed relationship with Carol (Diana Hardcastle), he can’t keep his eyes from scanning every room for possible conquests. And Madge is busy trying to keep two elderly Indian men satisfied. (Of course each of them is unaware of the other. Only her driver knows what is up.)
It is good to see a storyline that addresses the need for companionship and affection in the golden years. Unfortunately, the characters in this movie, as in the first film, too often confuse libido with love. Sex is a frequent topic of discussion. And while everyone manages to keep their clothes on, at least on screen, they rarely take the opportunity to discuss anything but the physical aspect of their lives.
Sonny’s character provides the same comedic relief he did in the first story. And the production’s colorful setting, the Bollywood-style dance numbers and a large cast of interesting and endearing secondary characters give audiences a sense of the vivid culture in this Indian city. The concept of outsourcing the care of the elderly also raises some valid questions about providing senior services at home.
However, the real message of The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel may be that while people can’t always choose the circumstances of life, they can choose their attitude. And what they decide to focus on seems to make all the difference. Some guests are still trying to sow their wild oats. Some insist on rehashing the wrongs they’ve endured. And some, looking to the happiness of others in the future, are content to plant trees they will never sit under.Directed by John Madden. Starring Dev Patel, Maggie Smith, Richard Gere, Bill Nighy . Running time: 122 minutes. Updated May 18, 2016
Get details on profanity, sex and violence in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel here.
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Parents Guide
From The Studio: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is the expansionist dream of Sonny (Dev Patel), and it’s making more claims on his time than he has available, considering his imminent marriage to the love of his life, Sunaina (Tina Desai). Sonny has his eye on a promising property now that his first venture, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and Beautiful, has only a single remaining vacancy - posing a rooming predicament for fresh arrivals Guy (Richard Gere) and Lavinia (Tamsin Greig). Evelyn and Douglas (Judi Dench and Bill Nighy) have now joined the Jaipur workforce, and are wondering where their regular dates for Chilla pancakes will lead, while Norman and Carol (Ronald Pickup and Diana Hardcastle) are negotiating the tricky waters of an exclusive relationship, as Madge (Celia Imrie) juggles two eligible and very wealthy suitors. Perhaps the only one who may know the answers is newly installed co-manager of the hotel, Muriel (Maggie Smith), the keeper of everyone’s secrets. As the demands of a traditional Indian wedding threaten to engulf them all, an unexpected way forward presents itself. - Written by Fox Searchlight
Talk about the movie with your family… Jean Ainslie says that good things don’t fall in her lap, so she must make them. Does she appear to be a woman who is trying to make good things happen? Why has she let bitterness and anger take over her life? How does that impact those around her? Would she be an easy person to befriend?
After an argument Sonny promises Sunaina three things, including that he will be a better husband than fiancé. What pressures distract him from the wedding? Why does Muriel warn him about messing things up? How does she mentor him?
Evelyn is nervous about taking a new opportunity. How can fear keep us from taking chances? How do you overcome that fear?