The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was the surprise hit of 2012, now it’s sequel-the imaginatively titled The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has been released. Can it repeat the same success again?
With the hotel flourishing under the management of Muriel (Maggie Smith) and Sonny (Dev Patel), they are looking to expand and buy a second hotel. But their future depends on an anonymous company inspector who will evaluate their prospects. Meanwhile the regular guests at the hotel continue with their new lives and loves in India while everything culminates at Sonny and Sunaina’s (Tina Desai) wedding.
It would be easy to make a joke saying that this is the second best film of the two movies, and it is. But it also knows its audience and gives them what they want. I thoroughly enjoyed the first movie, and the sequel doesn’t deviate too much from the winning formula. The majority of the cast are back, with a few new additions, and everything feels comfortable, homely and charming. A lot of it is down to its excellent cast who works their magic on the script and brings their characters to life. At times it can feel a bit predictable but that’s also reassuring in a way. The characters feel like old friends that you’re happy to see again; even the eternally annoying Jean (Penelope Wilton) makes a quick appearance. Although at least she’s meant to be grating.
It’s a film that’s not afraid to move at its own place, and by that I mean it’s rather slow at times. Which is fine, not everything needs to be car chases and explosions, but sometimes you do wish they could move the plot along a bit quicker. Even slower is the relationship between Evelyn (Judi Dench) and Douglas (Bill Nighy), who are still trying to decide if they are more than just friends. Although you want to tell them to hurry it long already there is something quite sweet and gentle about their relationship. Just like the film itself really.
Rating 3/5 – nothing groundbreaking but a reliable comedy-drama all the same