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Invitation to India – The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Invitation to India – The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel movie, written by Ol Parker and directed by John Madden, is a 2015 British comedy-drama project.  It was produced as a sequel to the 2012 hit film, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

While the first film is more refreshing than the sequel, the movie offers a clearer picture on the lives of the characters who keep working despite their age. These people see that they will be facing the problem of poverty when they retire.

The film has successfully assembled an all-star cast of veteran British actors and actresses who played roles of people who want to find the new lease on life in India. The old gang from the original movie was rounded up again for the Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and added some American names that include Richard Gere and David Strathairn, keeping the film’s international marketing in mind.

After the first hotel, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, turned out to be a success, co-managers Sonny Kapoor (Dev Patel) and Muriel Donnelly (Maggie Smith) planned for expansion.  They found a financier in the person of Ty Burley (Strathairn).  A hotel inspector is coming over to inspect the hotel, but he’s incognito and the inspector needs to be impressed.  Two guests come at the same time; the roles are played by Richard Gere and Tamsen Greig.  The latter’s character, Lavinia Beech, has come at her mother’s request to inspect the hotel.

While plans are underway, life goes on for the residents of the hotel. A couple venture into the workforce in Jaipur, while maintaining their breakfast dates.  Another couple continues their swirling relationship, and a lady finds it hard to choose between 2 rich local suitors. A newcomer gets inspiration from Sonny’s mother for his next story.

Sonny’s wedding to Sunaina (Tena Desae) is fast approaching, but most of his time is spent working for the acquisition of the second hotel. However, as the big day comes nearer, the guests and family feel swept up by the preparations for the Indian wedding.

The movie was filmed in Jaipur, India and during the process, none of the actors proved difficult to handle, even during the 12-night shooting in the ice-cold Indian river. This contentment of actors was credited to India by the director, Madden. The people are warm, non-assuming and have a sense of positive thoughts regarding life.

In the movie, India was featured in two contrasting descriptions – splendor side by side with squalor. The region was shown in a state of being unpleasant resulting from neglect or poverty, but the wedding scene from the preparation up to the dance in the end has proved its splendor. There were scenic bits in the movie; however, those who watched it would want to see more.

The visuals of India are as exotic as the Marigold Hotel.  These will make you want to someday visit Mumbai and Jaipur and stay at the hotel. It’s certain that The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel movie was made eyeing the Indian art house market.  The Indian characters Sonny and Sunaina, as well as his mother, Mrs. Kapoor, have stronger story lines.

All the elements of the movie seemed to make the viewers have a feel of the Indian culture by getting inside it, rather than just viewing it from the outside. The final wedding scene showed the country’s audacious approach to colors, as you can see in the red sari of Sunaina. Similarly, the Indian interior design is all about celebrating imperfections, designs that are intricately patterned, and vibrant colors. All these are rooted deeply in Indian culture and have become inspirations to people visiting the country.

It can be said that the city and its picturesque-shabby prettiness was overstated in the cinematography and production design by Ben Smithards and Martin Childs respectively. Maybe the movie will boost tourism in the country, as it was purposely aimed.

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