Weekend Round-Up – The 84th Academy Awards, Sunshine and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Review
This weekend was a busy one for film lovers, The Oscars finally graces us with it’s presence… For Scott it signals the start of 2012.
I have been looking forward to this weekend for a long time. And not for the reasons that you would expect a film blogger to. I really couldn’t care less who wins a little golden statue, or who is wearing the best dress. I am so over award season now. OK I am being a little of a grumpy old man (no change there) here, but I just want 2012 to start already.
You see we are already nearly into March, the sun has been shining down here in Brighton all weekend and it feels like spring is on it’s way. In fact I even had a small stirring in my BBQ gland yesterday. I nearly got some charcoal out and burnt some meat! OK this was probably too far, but it was a lovely weekend. But when it comes to 2012 and film releases I honestly feel like I have been a little in limbo waiting for something to happen. I am hoping that now The Oscars are done, we can finally move on with some cinematic loveliness. There are so many delights coming up in the future months that I am doing a little dance here in my office…. Yes it is Dad dancing, and yes it is embarrassing!
ENOUGH MOANING LAWLOR, What did you watch this weekend?
Well actually nothing. I had a film free weekend. This wan’t out of choice, or selection. It just happened. I got home Friday night, and then in a blink of an eye and a few bike rides, roast dinners and family games, it was Sunday night. It felt like the quickest weekend EVER. This is what happens when the sun comes out down here in the south! So as I have nothing for you in the way of a film review, I am afraid I am having to lean on my good friend and great writer Tom Bielby to give us a review. Tom was lucky enough to go to a preview screening of ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’, and he seemed to enjoy it more than he thought he was going to. Here is his review…
THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL
It is often the films that we least expect to enjoy that make the biggest impression on us, and whilst The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is not a film I would usually consider watching, I was pleasantly surprised by its effortless charm, touching story, and (mostly) inoffensive humour and the two hours seemed to fly by as fast as the chaotic traffic on the Indian roads. Much like the introduction to gangs we often seen in crime flicks, the pensioners are introduced one bye one at the start of the film, giving us an insight into each individual character and setting up the story for their eventual relocation to India. All of the characters have very different reasons for visiting the country and the interweaving stories are handled adeptly considering the size of the cast, although there are occasions when some of the more interesting characters – Norman the promiscuous old man to name one – are left by the wayside. On the group’s arrival in India it soon becomes apparent that their chosen destination does not live up to their expectations and this leads to the inevitable comical moments as a bunch of pensioners struggle to adapt to their new surroundings. Not all of them are hoping for a new life, with one old lady choosing to head to India to undertake an operation, and whilst some relish the changes thrust upon them, others are for more distressed by the exotic surroundings.The variety of trials and tribulations that the cast encounter is such that I imagine older generations of viewers will be able to relate to at least one of the character’s story-lines, if not more, and I cannot help but imagining that if the cast of Skins were to relocate to India in fifty years time it could well pan out like The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. When considering the recent revelation that Judi Dench is having problems with her vision it is amazing to see that her ability as an actress has not diminished a single iota as she takes on the role of widower Evelyn with ease, as do the majority of the cast who all adapted to their roles in such a way that their performances all feel very natural, almost as if they aren’t acting at all. Bill Nighy and Tom Wilkinson are ever watchable as a husband struggling to keep his marriage afloat and a man whose past is shrouded in mystery respectively, but it is Ronald Pickup who steals the show as cheeky chappy Norman, whose endless sleazy chat up lines fail to impress the women he encounters. Visually, the film is stunning, with the exotic locations and colourful surroundings used to great effect, and it is easy to see why certain hotel residents were as equally taken with their new environment as I was. The inevitable comparisons to Slumdog Millionaire are bound to surface; Dev Patel’s against all odds romance may still be here along with some similarly affecting story-lines but apart from being set in India the films have little in common, and this is far from being Slumdog Pensioner. Overall I was very pleasantly surprised by The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, the advertising led me to believe that this was a film strictly for older generations but it is a charming movie for both the young and the young at heart. Whilst it is not in the same league as British classics such as The Full Monty or Billy Elliot, it certainly has the same distinctly British heart running through it, with the touching storylines accompanied by comedic elements to ensure that this feel good movie will delight viewers of all ages.
About The Author – Tom Bielby
Long time film fan and aspiring film writer, Tom is a horror fanatic who wasted far too much time at University sitting through every film in the IMDB Top 250. He is partial to foreign films and cult cinema and would love to rid the world of people who rustle their popcorn during important scenes. He can be found on Twitter under the alias @filmbantha
Does The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel sound like a place that you would like to stay or would you rather visit a more reputable destination? Let me know your thoughts below…