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MOVIE REVIEW: ‘THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL’ Offers Closure in its Top Form

 

 
Overview
 

Directed by: John Madden
 
Produced by: Graham Broadbent, Peter Czernin, Michael Dreyer and Jonathan King
 
Written By: Ol Parker
 
Starring: Dev Patel, Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Celia Irmie, Penelope Wilton, Richard Gere, Ronald Pickup and Tasmin Greig
 
MTRCB Rating: PG
 
Genre: ,
 
FG RATING
8.5
8.5/ 10


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Cinematography, Production Value and Ensemble

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Episodic Narrative


Making a sequel takes a lot of work – the continuity, filling those unresolved plots or if you’re bringing something new to the story, now that’s a real challenge. But going back from the first film, where we saw our main characters end up in an old, busted hotel in Jaipur, India, wandering of around […]

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Posted March 23, 2015 by

 
FULL REVIEW
 
 

The-Best-Exotic-Marigold-Hotel-2 (3)

Making a sequel takes a lot of work – the continuity, filling those unresolved plots or if you’re bringing something new to the story, now that’s a real challenge. But going back from the first film, where we saw our main characters end up in an old, busted hotel in Jaipur, India, wandering of around of what’s in store for their remaining years.

The second installment follows Sonny’s juggling two turning points of his life: creating a new hotel and preparing his wedding; but handling these two things aren’t easy as it seems.

What I love about The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel that it doesn’t follow the sequel brand, where there’s an all, new story, new characters making their entrance, left and right. Surprisingly, this film expands an olive branch in a way that it takes us deeper on the hotel, the characters and their newfound selves at the end of the first film.

Story wise, the narrative works so well since it manifests with its predecessor’s soul-searching context, we get to see the characters embracing the whole atmosphere of Jaipur, that’s very evident on their arcs.

The ensemble piece always shines in many ways, and the fact that you’ve got seasoned actors and actresses such as Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Celia Irmie and Ronald Pickup, nothing can go wrong. Seeing them act always feels like a masterclass experience and it shows whenever they’ve got moments of their characters. One scene I like in particular would be Judi Dench responded to her client in Hindi after being insulted, she had comedic timing, intonation and that razor sharp delivery.

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Maggie Smith’s performance bought Muriel Donnelly in a higher level, she embodied a strong presence, confidence and that reflects on Muriel’s transition from vulnerable to wise. Ronald Pickup offers more laughs in a wacky way, Bill Nighy brings some suave and charm as Douglas Ainslie, his tour guide scenes were funny and adorable at the same time.

Tena-Desae-and-Dev-Patel-in-The-Second-Best-Exotic-Marigold-Hotel

And this time around, Dev Patel’s Sonny Kapoor gets some good amount of screentime and gives him an advantage to flesh out his acting chops, though there were some parts where he hams in the character’s comedic parts, and not to mention, his exaggerations are a bit cringe-worthy; though on the other hand, Patel does excel in the character’s dramatic side, his mannerisms and non-verbal acting just bring that nuance of human struggle.

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Handling an ensemble can be a challenge as far as the narrative structure is concerned and unfortunately, some subplots felt dragging to your feet, it wasn’t smooth, went sideways, which some didn’t actually connect to the film’s main conflicts. The fact that Richard Geere and Tasmin Greig were a bit out of place, perhaps it’s the fact that they were underdeveloped.

Visually, the glossy shades of yellow, violet and orange just brings out the film’s festive and exciting look (which is looks like a Pedro Almodovar film), as opposed to the first one, which had a mystical, alien look. The cinematography just had that natural eye candy to it, that doesn’t let go off your eyes from the screen and the Kodak film camera just bring that intangible magic.  GWluM

Putting aside some narrative flaws, the sequel is still solid as a first, because it didn’t shy away to try a new approach. It opened it’s arms to a new challenge and still manages to get through with it. And there’s that underlying context of going forward that holds the film together, it tells us that it’s not we’re headed, but wanting it. Kudos for Ben Smithard for such a tremendous job.

 

Special Thanks to 20th Century Fox Philippines for the invites!


Mico Orda

 
A passionate, enthusiastic writer, Mico Orda utilizes his filmmaking skills to keep his writer’s edge. He enjoys a lot of outdoor activities, which juice up his creative juices.


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