Wednesday, 18 April 2012

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

I find the fact that the film companies are deliberately making certain types of films for an audience of over sixties, quite patronising, does it mean that the grey pound, as the media so delicately puts it, should only be spent on mediocre films like War Horse (2011) The Artist (2011) The Descendants (2011) and of course Calendar Girls (2003) and it’s like, and that a certain age group is unable to enjoy a film that’s demanding and graphic in its contents, which completely rules out anything really decent? Ok maybe I’m generalising but it just annoys me to think that when a certain age is reached your neatly pigeon holed. Mind you with our government giving away pension money to shore up the rich maybe there will not be quite as many ‘grey pounds’ around to spend at the cinema?

What brings this rant up? Well last nights Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre Film Club film was The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2012) another example of what I am talking about. Sure enough the cinema was almost full of the older demographic and mainly female.

Rachel Findlay was our host for the evening and gave a mouth-watering introduction to the evenings entertainment. Informing us that the story was about outsourcing retirement to India and based on Deborah Moggach’s 2004 novel These Foolish Things. The films director is John Madden, who is best known for Mrs Brown (1997), Shakespeare in Love (1998) and Captain Corillis Mandolin (2001), and the screenplay was written by Ol Parker. Rachel went on to tell us that the films main attraction was its ensemble cast, which includes the cream of British screen and television, Judi Dench (77) (who is always guaranteed to sell out the RBC), Tom Wilkinson (63), Celia Imrie (59), Ronald Pickup (71), Maggie Smith (77), Penelope Wilton (65) and Bill Nighy (62) as a group of retirees who all go off to India, for various reasons, to stay in a run down dilapidated retirement hotel for the ‘elderly and beautiful’ run by a young Indian boy played by Slumdog Millionaire ( 2008) star Dev Patel.

A dole queue following the end of the Harry Potter franchise!

The discussion following the film did not last long because a great many of the film club ‘members’ were unable to get tickets, but what was agreed was this lightweight fantasy drama was another example of a movie unsuitable for a Monday night. We are all aware of the financial implications of running the cinema but this movie would have sold out on any night. The best way to sum up the film is pleasantly undemanding. Not a bad film, and one that could be enjoyed by all ages! Personally I found the first 45 minutes very funny with the middle section loosing its way a wee bit and the final part of the film predictable. The one-liners would have had more impact if they were not coming at such a fast and furious rate. I must admit to liking Peter Bradshaw’s comment ‘it’s a film that looks as if it has been conceived to be shown on a continuous loop in a Post Office Queue’.[1]

[1] The Guardian 24/02/2012.

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