The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was a rare gem in itself. A golden year’s ensemble of British thespians lead by the two dames with a script both hilarious and moving. So would the Second be able to live up to the first instalment of good old English delight?
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel brings us back to the vibrant treat of Jaipur in retirement-home India. Set eight months after the first Indian adventure Sonny (Dev Patel) and Muriel (Maggie Smith) are driving down Route 66 to charm the business minds for the financing of Sonny’s expanding empire. The big boss of a chain seems up for their ambitious proposal but says he’ll send ‘his guy’ along, an undercover inspector to see the true best exotic experience first-hand. This is where we all wait with bated breath for it to all go a bit Fawlty Towers… Queue entrance of silver foxed Richard Gere as ‘Guy Chambers,’ aspiring novelist. It’s a beautifully set up farce as Lavinia checks in claiming to be researching a retirement hotel for her mother and the events unfold. Meanwhile the gang are readjusting to life out of blightly as plans are put in place for Sonny’s big fat traditional wedding to the love of his life.
The film as a whole is charming yet cheesey but seems to lack an enticing plot. Unlike its predecessor you can tell where this is going from the outset. Resting on its laurels from an allstar cast and witty one liners it’s certainly a very enjoyable watch but one that lacks the substance of the first. One thing you can count on though is that even as a white haired gent – Richard Gere is still hot! Maggie Smith’s ending monologue as Muriel is well written and tasteful but still lacks the impact the audience are waiting for.
Go see it for a feel good evening full of Indian flavour with a generous helping of British wit- just don’t expect to be as moved as the first time round.
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel hits cinemas Thursday February 26th.