574. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

574-the-second-best-exotic-marigold-hotelBackground info

Title: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Director: John Madden
Year: 2015
Run time: 2hrs 2m

“Check in again and gear up for more love and laughter as new arrival Richard Gere joins an all-star ensemble cast – including Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel and Maggie Smith – returning for this heart-warming sequel to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel! Now that his first venture is a success, Sonny (Patel) is ready to expand and gets a little help and encouragement from his resident friends.”

Live blog

2:00 – “That’s a great accent, are you from Australia?”
2:11 – Ha, I’d forgotten how fun Sonny’s enthusiasm is.
7:34 – So lovely to see the familiar faces too. Who knew?
14:11 – Tale as old as time, being “catnip to the ladies” in a different country. Like Love Actually!
22:09 – “Well, it made death more tempting.” So harsh!
25:38 – Instinct is the nose of the mind, he says. That’s going to take some thinking about.
27:16 – Almost everything Sonny says is a quotable.
29:39 – Loving the concept of a nemesis tuk-tuk.
39:39 – The fabrics do look lovely in those markets.
44:42 – “Some you win, some you learn.”
51:32 – Oh no, not the ex-wife! Boo.
53:56 – Took me a minute to work out who the market guy was.
1:02:10 – Ohh Judy’s a tricksy businesswoman!
1:03:40 – “What’s the point of worrying if there’s nothing you can do?”
1:10:53 – Actual elephant just wandering the streets. Amazing.
1:31:39 – Surreally haphazard.
1:40:49 – Indian weddings are so beautiful.
1:45:13 – “Everything I said was true, just a few days early.”

Conclusions

The first Marigold Hotel was a surprise success in our household, a film we weren’t expecting much of and were blown away by. That meant expectations were pretty high for the sequel, and thankfully it mostly lived up to the anticipation.

The bad stuff first: I think you’d definitely have to have seen the first for this to make any sense. There’s little character introduction, and you just have to accept the premise that all these older people are making a life for themselves and care that much for Sonny. Also, the sums didn’t really add up to me for the big reveal regarding the second hotel at the end.

However, the good stuff was great. Having seen the first, it was wonderful to catch up with old friends, Sonny’s infectious manner took over once more, and almost every line he came out with should have been on an inspirational poster. The hotel inspector situation was fun, if a little predictable, and Richard Gere and Tamsin Grieg made good additions to the cast. It was also fun to boo the pantomime villain of Nighy’s ex-wife, and watch the burgeoning relationship with Celia Imrie and her driver.

So to sum up, if you saw the first, then there’s plenty to love about the second, but by itself it won’t probably win over any fans.

Rating: 4/5.

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