The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 

As with Potiche and Something Gotta Give, I am at the moment desperately impatient and bored with this film. I cannot even bring myself to read the reviews,  or consider it seriously. I just think it is a waste of my time although I do admit that a detailed study of the film and the reviews is always useful when a film elicits such polarised reactions.

I know that no amount of debate is going to change the opinions of people I respect who enjoyed the film. I realise that one of its pleasures is of seeing famous film stars ‘acting their socks off’ in their stereotype roles, another the visual pleasure of the travelogue cinematography of a foreign country, and occasionally a witty line or two.

However as an old woman, supposedly the target audience, I feel patronised. The view of India is of a tourist’s abroad. The characters are stereotyped. Their stories are arranged to touch superficially on too many issues of ageing and provided with neat feel-good closures.

The shallow film simplifies, trivialises, dare I say dumbs down? Not that issues of ageing should always be treated in a serious way but the comedy here, and it is described as a comedy, has no bite or truth. I do not think that we should accept that it is enough to put a bunch of excellent ageing actors on-screen to challenge the ageist representation of old people.

What does the ageist Peter Bradshaw say about it? “Theoretically we are in Rajasthan, but really we are off on a Saga holiday…. ” I have news for you Mr. Bradshaw, on a Saga holiday there are laughs and drama that many a dramatist would die for.

About rinaross

Born in 1935. MA in Film and Television Studies at the University of Westminster 1998. Studying the representation of older women in film since then.
This entry was posted in Ageing, Ageism and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

  1. judith says:

    I so agree with you…..although I’m told the book has real bite. It appears that young people love this film – wonder why!

  2. rinaross says:

    Thanks Judith for commenting. Is it only young people who love the film.? Feel good films are so seducing…

  3. Joan Padro says:

    Rina, I loved ‘Marigold’ (at the ripe old age of 69) for exactly the same reasons as you objected to it. I feel that it is a relief every once in a while to have a ‘feel good’ film, stereotypes and all and in this one, the acting was wonderful. Sometimes I get fed up with all these films with a ‘message’ or that are socially concerned, involved, committed and just want something fun, frothy and with a minimum of angst. Life has enough angst without paying to see more all the time.

  4. rhabadnam says:

    It is the nature of formulaic multiplex aimed cinema to work in a shorthand. Depth is generally not a requirement whether the actors in question can manage it or not. I am just about to watch Potiche. I’ll let you know if it ploughs the same furrow for me.

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