The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – Review by Frank L.
Directed by John Madden
Writer: Ol Parker (screenplay)
Stars: Maggie Smith, Richard Gere, Bill Nighy
This is the sequel to the very successful Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2012). They have gathered together again the same cast of English theatrical giants which include Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Penelope Wilton, and Bill Nighy to whom are now added Richard Gere and Tamsin Greig. The Indian who is the entrepreneurial genius of both hotels remains the youthful Dev Pavel who plays Sonny. As the film progresses for all the wonderful colour of India and the glorious buildings of Jaipur the story line creaks. There is nothing the star studded cast can do to overcome its failings, the joints of the story are just too infirm.
Of course, Maggie Smith and Judi Dench give it their all but, while they both have lines which they can deliver with their usual aplomb, the characters which they are asked to play have little or no depth. There are comic moments, when undoubtedly smiles are in order but the contrivances to keep the show on the road become tiresome. The duration of that road is quite long, namely 122 minutes and it certainly felt that long. Although the end was greatly enlivened by Dev Patel leading the mature cast in an unlikely re-enactment of the final scene of Slumdog Millionaire (2008). It is very much to be hoped that the producers do not locate a third hotel.