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Review: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

20th Century Fox: (L-r) Celia Imrie, Ronald Pickup, Diana Hardcastle, Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Bill Nighy star in "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel"

On the surface, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel doesn’t appear to be the kind of film that had the potential to bring in a large profit. However, it certainly stunned a large chunk of people when it was met with an audience large enough to make it one of the most successful films in Fox Searchlight Pictures‘ first twenty years of existence. With that level of success, it shouldn’t have shocked anyone when a sequel was announced.

For someone as driven as Sonny (Dev Patel), having accomplished a specific feat isn’t enough to keep them satisfied. After creating a successful hotel for the elderly, his primary focus at this time remains on expanding. In order to do that, he sets forth a goal of adding a second exotic hotel that’s just as glamorous and beautiful as his first.

With business picking up, it’s important that he executes this plan as fast as he can since the number of rooms that are available for new arrivals are dwindling quickly. By the looks of things, his elderly guests don’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. As a matter of fact, they’re settling in quite nicely and are looking rather comfortable with the arrangement.

Throughout The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, the Sonny is dealing with his many issues including attempting to open another hotel and planning a marriage, but everyone else is also going through their own problems that are causing trouble in their respective love lives. As you’ll quickly come to understand, these dilemmas prove to be the primary focal points of the film.

During all of this, the audience witnesses a positive, light-heated affair that has the ability to amuse large numbers of them. In order to accomplish that, all of the actors with significant roles play their part as they each get time to put the personalities of their characters on display. To make this better for us, they all appear to have a good time doing so. This is always important when talking about films that rely on their actors as much as this one does.

One feature that comes naturally with The Second Best Marigold Hotel comes in the form of the visuals. With it being filmed in India, it lends itself to the beautiful scenery that the land has to offer. For me, this is a part of film that I enjoy whenever it’s given to us in this fashion. The environment becomes a part of the cast as you get to lose yourself in a world that’s unique and captivating for people who aren’t as familiar with that world.

My only complaint with this film is that it’s extended a little bit farther than it should have been. Later on in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, there are a few scenes that could have been shortened up to an extent. Doing so would have probably made what we’re viewing more fluid and natural in those scenes that ultimately bring us to the movies culmination.

In the end, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is simply about people having a good time while make the most of the life they have and the opportunities that they are presented with. It’s hard not to have fun with a film with that premise. Thankfully, it’s done well enough to satisfy the people interested unless you want to watch something less cheerful and positive.

While I don’t believe The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel will win over too many new fans, I do believe that it will entertain the people who enjoyed the original. I’m sure that’s all that the creators are hoping for. With that, they may find themselves with another success on their hands. If it works out exactly like they want it to, maybe there will be enough room for a Third Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in the near future.

Rating: PG

Director: John Madden

Cast:
Judi Dench
Bill Nighy
Dev Patel
Maggie Smith
Ronald Pickup
Penelope Winton
Celia Imrie
Richard Gere
Rajesh Tailang
Celia Imrie
Tina Desai
Tamsin Greig
Lillete Dubey
Diana Hardcastle

Film Length: 122 minutes

Release Date: March 6, 2015

Distributor: Fox Searchlight Pictures

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