Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - Review

The old British birds living out their final years in a rundown but luscious Indian hotel return in this generically satisfying sequel. This time around, director John Madden and his crew strangely decided to put more of the focus on Dev Patel's Sonny, as he tries to juggle his upcoming wedding, a rivalry with a more economically stable friend, and a sudden visit from a possible hotel investigator (Richard Gere) in the span of a few days. It's an odd misdirection for the film, especially since it causes the former film's main characters to receive paltry sitcom-like subplots this time around: Judi Dench's new job may interfere with her new relationship with Bill Nighy; Ronald Pickup's struggles with monogamy leads to a deadly running gag; and Celia Imrie flip-flops between two admirers, both of whom of course arrive at the same party at the same time. The much publicized reemergence of Penelope Wilton's character also ends up being dipped heavily in weak sauce, as she proceeds to bring little to no abrasion to her former lover and friends. Only Maggie Smith and Lillete Dubey get any significance besides Patel's plight, and that's mainly because the former is a mother figure to Patel and the latter is his real mother. Despite these many misgivings, the film is at least adequate and serviceable for an afternoon watch, preferably when it arrives on video. You won't get the same meat and potatoes from the first one but you will once again be swayed by Thomas Newman's lovely score and the pleasing, melancholic tone of the picture.


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