|Image from tvguide.com|
I enjoyed watching The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel recently. There are sterling performances from people who I have come to value so much for their other, consistent, sterling performances: Penelope Winton, Bill Nighy, Dame Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson and Celia Imrie, with relative newcomers Tena Desae and Dev Patel.
I always think it's a bit of a cop-out to resort to voice-over for the-book-of-the-movie, and some of the script was a little obvious or cliché*. But that aside I thoroughly enjoyed the imagery, pace, direction, and the development of the characters as they react and adapt (or not) in their own ways to India, and what life offers them.
Although the theme was ostensibly one of retirement, I felt it was actually about adaption to change, a theme that is worth revisiting at any stage of our lives.
The last words of this movie:
"The only real failure is the failure to try. And the measure of success is how we cope with disappointment, as we always must. Can we be blamed for feeling that we're too old to change? Too scared of disappointment to start it all again? We get up in the morning, and we do our best. Nothing else matters.
But it's also true that the person who risks nothing does nothing, has nothing.
All we know about the future is that it will be different. Perhaps what we fear is that it will be the same. So we celebrate the changes, because as someone once said; 'everything will be alright in the end. And if it's not alright, it isn't the end.'"
I've made this sound depressing. It is not. It's vibrant, colourful, optimistic and - a well-worn movie description - uplifting. It seems to me a very good sort of movie to watch at the start of a new calendar.
* Clichés, like proverbs, are often revisited frequently because they are so often true.