The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

A review of the follow up to the 2011 film, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

In the second marigold film (you can see my review of the first film here), it was nice to see the sparkling original cast return to be re-united, with the exception of Tom Wilkinson whose character, former judge Graham Dashwood, met his demise in the first movie. Equally welcome was the bigger role given to Lillete Dubey, who deserved the additional screen time she was given in this film, reprising her role as Mrs Kapoor, Sonny’s mother.

The hotel is now up and running as a successful business, with its loyal clientèle and Sonny’s fiancée Sunaina having joined the staff. Sonny’s plans to expand the business with another establishment do not, predictably, go smoothly and neither do the his and Sunaina’s wedding preparations.

The hotel’s guests have settled into the different way of life they have chosen to lead, and it is now not only Judi Dench’s Evelyn Greenslade that has taken up some local employment. Madge and Norman are working at the Viceroy club and Douglas has taken a position as a, fairly inept, tour guide.

New cast members Tamsin Grieg and Richard Gere are clearly not who they claim to be which is evident to everyone except, it seems, Sonny. Gere’s character Guy Chambers does however manage to spring a small surprise later in the film.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel film is a bit bigger, a bit brighter and a bit more brash than the first, original film. It has some laugh out loud moments, rather than the pleasant easy humour of the first film. I should also add that it’s a bit louder too with a sound track that in my opinion struck a couple of loud, discordant notes.

It is a good film, well worth seeing and one that I was happy to watch and enjoyed. Unfortunately though it manages to live up to two of the words in its title, “second best”. It lacks the warmth and gentle charm of its predecessor.

If like me you loved The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, you will probably like The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. If you only liked the first film, this might leave you nonplussed.

There is never an ending but some players must leave
the story. (paraphrased):   Maggie Smith as Muriel Donelly.

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