The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel differentiates itself by being the first sequel catering to older audiences. Boasting a cache of elderly performers, their experience effectively serves the creaky plot. Although predictable, it is still fun with the actors having a grand time amidst India’s lush vistas.
Evelyn (Judi Dench), Muriel (Maggie Smith) and Douglas (Bill Nighy) are enjoying their Indian stay. Still residing in their favourite hotel, its popularity leads co-owner Sonny (Dev Patel) opening another one. Whilst planning the new venture, he is also preparing to get married. The arrival of Guy (Richard Gere) throws a spanner in the works as the various dilemmas of the hotel’s tenants quickly becomes entwined.
With so many characters The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel could have been a mess. Whilst occasionally the burden of multiple story arcs is apparent, Director John Madden skilfully handles this dilemma. The generous run time allows the script to breathe and add new wrinkles to the formula. There is much that is familiar but the sequel doesn’t just rehash its predecessor. Fans should enjoy the new additions as they effortlessly slot themselves into the bohemian entanglements.
Not much can be said for the performances given the high calibre cast. They all slip into their roles with ease, successfully managing to balance the humour and pathos. Each has their own distinct personality with their quirks adding to the overall joviality. Another plus are the Indian locations which are superb as always. Basically an extended advert for this amazing country, viewers may find the temptation to travel there hard to resist.
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel definitely isn’t second best. Although conventionally corny, fans wouldn’t have expected any less. It is an enjoyable romp to while away the hours in the company of some eccentric and unique ageing rebels.
Reviewed by Patrick Moore
Rating out of 10: 7