I guess I just have a soft spot for cliched, generic charming movies like this sequel, I tend to overlook its flaws when it’s outweighed by the film’s stellar performances and wonderful themes, but this doesn’t happen all the time, THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL does feel like second rate in almost all of its aspects, but whenever the great Judi Dench and the great Maggie Smith take the screen and do their thing, all those other weak links seem to fade away.
If you were a fan of the first film, you might want to take your expectation down a notch just a tiny bit just so you don’t yourself up for disappointment, only because screenwriter Ol Parker basically imagined what the next chapter would be like and he focused it on Sonny’s (Dev Patel) engagement and upcoming wedding with the beautiful Sunaina (Tina Desai) The Marigold hotel is doing well, the elderly residents seem content and happy but they all have their own separate romantic dilemmas, meanwhile, Sonny has a vision of expanding the hotel by acquiring another building, but when a certain competitor comes to town and even gets in the middle of his and Sunaina’s dancing arrangement, Sonny starts losing sight on what’s really importance, he’s losing sight on his priorities.
It’s always pleasant to see the hard-to-please but irresistible Muriel (Maggie Smith) once again, she’s one of those who you think couldn’t care less but they actually do and dame Maggie just plays it effortlessly. And at the same time you get to see some kind of puppy crush between Judi Dench’s Evelyn and Bill Nighy’s Douglas, the kind that you’d expect high schoolers would express, but apparently love knows no old age. A certain stranger enters the picture, Richard Gere’s character, conveniently named Guy, who claims to be an aspiring author, but superstitious Sonny thinks Guy is secretly the person that one of his potential investors sent over to see about the place For the most part, as a romantic comedy, I think THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL suffers from all these insignificant subplots that are just all over the place, you badly want to gather them all together but they just don’t want to. This is a movie that would’ve worked much better as episodic series instead. There’s hardly anything cinematic about it, and the conclusion is Sonny’s entrepreneurial venture is abrupt and hardly inspiring. But as I said earlier, the priorities about putting the one you love first and foremost can make you not want to completely trash this film, you’d file it under adorable. Plus I enjoy how this franchise makes death as something we shouldn't necessarily fear, we can even laugh about it.
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