THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL  [Blu-ray + Digital Copy] [UK Release] The Feel Good Film Of The Year! Hilarious and Moving . . . A Joy To Watch! Seven Tickets to India, and Your Reservations for an Adventure!
An award-winning film, with an all-star cast, led by Dame Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, and Dame Maggie Smith, who lights up this "buoyant comedy laced with genuine emotion" from the director of ‘Shakespeare in Love.’ When seven cash-strapped seniors decide to "outsource" their retirement to a resort in far-off India, friendship and romance blossom in the most unexpected ways. Smart, life-affirming and genuinely charming, ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ is a "true classic that reminds us that it's never too late to find love and a fresh beginning at any age."
FILM FACT: At the Cinema Scapes Awards, organised on the sidelines of the 2012 Mumbai Film Festival, the film was honoured with the Best International Film accolade for showcasing Indian filming locations. The film and its cast earned five nominations from the Film Awards. Here are the following Nominations: ALFS Awards for Dame Judi Dench. British Academy Film Awards: BAFTA Award for Outstanding British Film for John Madden. British Independent Film Awards: Best British Independent Film for Graham Broadbent and Peter Czernin. Best Director of a British Independent Film for John Madden. Best Performance by an Actress in a British Independent Film for Dame Judi Dench. Best Supporting Actor for Tom Wilkinson. Best Supporting Actress for Dame Maggie Smith. Critics' Choice Awards for Best Cast [Ensemble]. Costume Designers Guild Awards: Excellence in Contemporary Film for Louise Stjernsward.
Cast: Dame Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Patrick Pearson, Hugh Dickson, James Rawlings, Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton, Dame Maggie Smith, Liza Tarbuck, Paul Bhattacharjee, Lucy Robinson, Ronald Pickup, Celia Imrie, Simon Wilson, Sara Stewart, Ramona Marquez, Raoul Marquez, Glen Davies, Jay Villiers, Paul Bentall, Louise Brealey, Catherine Terris, Richard Cubison, Josh Cohen, Josh Cole, Dev Patel, Bhuvnesh Shetty, Honey Chhaya, Shubraojyoti Barat, N. Kumar, Hem Acharya, Kailash Vijay, Tina Desai, Sid Makkar, Seema Azmi, Vishnu Sharma, Lillete Dubey, Denzil Smith, Jagdish Sharma, Sandeep Lele, Diana Hardcastle, Neeraj Kadela, S.N. Purohit, Shiv Palawat, Mahesh Udeshi, Neena Kulkarni, Rajendra Gupta, Gagan Mishra and A.R. Rama
Director: John Madden
Producer: Graham Broadbent and Peter Czernin
Screenplay: Ol Parker and “These Foolish Things” by Deborah Moggach (novel)
Composer: Thomas Newman
Cinematography: Ben Davis
Video Resolution: 1080p
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; French: 5.1 DTS-HD, Spanish: 5.1 DTS-HD, German: 5.1 DTS-HD, Italian: 5.1 DTS-HD and Russian: 5.1 DTS-HD
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Turkish and Ukrainian
Running Time: 118 minutes
Region: All Regions
Number of discs: 1
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: Dame Judi Dench leads an all-star cast in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a sweet-natured film about British seniors in India, which falls down on some wince-inducing clichés and British retirees travel to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel. Less luxurious than its advertisements, the Marigold Hotel nevertheless slowly begins to charm in very unexpected and lovely ways, as we find out about a disparate group of elderly Londoners find themselves ready to start a new phase of their lives and after reading a brochure for “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” in Jaipur which caters to the elderly, they all book passage especially since the hotel also pays for their travel expenses there. Newly widowed Evelyn Greenslade [Dame Judi Dench] is on her own for the first time in forty-one years; high judge Graham Dashwood [Tom Wilkinson] abruptly quits his firm to return to the place where he spent his memorable early years; Douglas [Bill Nighy] and Jean [Penelope Wilton] Ainslie can’t afford to live on pensions in England but hope a fresh start in India will mend their lifeless marriage; Madge Hardcastle [Celia Imrie] is on the lookout for rich, available men; her male counterpart Norman Cousins [Ronald Pickup] wants desperately to recapture some of his lost youth; and bigoted Muriel Donnelly [Dame Maggie Smith] needs a hip replacement but can only afford one performed in India and of course as usual, gets all the best lines. Greeted by the affable but hopelessly over-his-head proprietor Sonny Kapoor [Dev Patel], the Britishers are shocked by their less than luxurious accommodations but are soon off on their own individual adventures.
Ol Parker’s screenplay, which was based on the novel by Deborah Moggach, and is full of nice predictable characters and situations, but its familiarity doesn’t really matter when in the hands of such a talented cast of star character actors, and the Jaipur location adds colour and vivacity to their own discoveries about the country and about themselves. The film is barely long enough to give each of these marvellous talents their own individual stories, and some, like Tom Wilkinson’s Graham and his sad search for a lost love or Bill Nighy’s Douglas and his yearning for Evelyn, could have used more fleshing out to have increased the audience’s emotional responses to their ultimate fates. Even so, the film delivers in spades as director John Madden manages just enough slice-of-life touches to buoy up the screenplay’s expected twists and turns. At first, the younger generation’s subplot, represented by Dev Patel’s Sonny and his sweetheart Sunaina played by Tena Desae, and seems trite and uninteresting, but even its banal resolution is rather joyous and fitting in context of the other stories going on around it. Throughout, director John Madden instils a joyous sense of discovery about the movie that makes one eager to jump from story to story to see how each is progressing.
How can one single out any of these great actors for individual praise? Yes, Dame Maggie Smith as usual steals every scene she’s given, and her character’s transformation as she finds a purpose for her life is truly the film’s most rewarding story, but that’s not to slight Judi Dench’s no nonsense handling of Evelyn’s first taste of rather terrifying freedom or Penelope Wilton’s continual harangues about the unsightly conditions and the deplorable differences between India and England. The men are wonderful, too, as Tom Wilkinson and Bill Nighy individually find some peace for their lives. Among this celebrated company, Dev Patel might seem a bit overwhelmed at the stars around him, but he gives an ingratiating performance that will likely be much admired.
Blu-ray Video Quality – The film’s 2.35:1 theatrical aspect ratio is faithfully reproduced in a stunning 1080p encoded image transfer. It’s an absolutely scrumptious transfer filled with gorgeous colour that’s deeply saturated but never overdone, and contrast that has been brought to perfection. Flesh tones look natural and are extremely appealing. There really isn’t anything negative to say about this sterling transfer.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio sound mix gives a full rich and awesome aural experience to the listener especially for a film with somewhat small intentions. There are several wonderfully entertaining uses of ambient sounds in the fronts and rears, especially finding birds flocking and flittering in one of the hotel rooms is a great aural joke, and care has been taken to give the entire soundstage the feel of crowded, busy Indian streets. Dialogue is always easily discernible and is mostly located in the centre channel, plus there’s a bit of directional dialogue near the end of the film.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
Special Feature: Welcome to the “Real” Best Exotic Marigold Hotel  [1080p] [3:00] Watching John Madden describe how they cast the hotel and hear the actors explain how great a location it was to shoot at. We also hear brief interviews with writer Ol Parker, and stars Dev Patel, Bill Nighy, Celia Imrie, and Ronald Pickup about their characters and how they fit into the films story.
Special Feature: Casting Legends  [1080p] [4:00] The director and the younger cast kick off this feature by explaining how great it was to work with such well-known and seasoned theatrical cast, followed by the older actors praising the relatively new actors. It also allows Dev Patel to enthuse about the living legends in the cast, seconded by director John Madden and writer Ol Parker. Dame Judi Dench praises Dev Patel in return and also gives credit to John Madden’s direction in this 4minute piece.
Special Feature: Trekking to India: Life is Never the Same  [1080p] [3:00] No, this feature which is not about how the cast and crew made their way to India, it quickly features the actors explaining the beautiful culture shock of going to India for the first time. We also get featured stars like Dame Judi Dench and Dame Maggie Smith praising production designer Alan Macdonald who took the dilapidated hotel in Jaipur and added touches to make it another character in the fantastic brilliant film.
Special Feature: Behind the Story: Lights, Colours and Smiles  [1080p] [3:00] Let the footage begin. This one analytically breaks down the themes of the film via cast and crew interviews and clips. It also features brief interviews with director John Madden, writer Ol Parker, and stars Dev Patel, Bill Nighy, Celia Imrie, and Ronald Pickup about their characters and how they fit into the films story.
Special Feature: Tuk Tuk Travels  [1080p] [1:00] No, this feature is not filled with anecdotes about the cast and crew's Tuk Tuk travels while in India for the 2012 film. Instead, it features the director briefly explaining how efficient the Tuk Tuks are in the packed Indian city streets.
Finally, there is something satisfying and refreshing about little films like this, that don't focus so much on a complex plot, but tell an emotional and genuinely heartfelt story about likeable characters that are easy to connect with. That's exactly the type of film that 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' is. You will not only walk away entertained with a warm smile on your face, but you'll actually have an upbeat and positive perspective on life. I dare say that no geriatric comedy has ever been this entertaining. The video and audio qualities of this release are strong, but could have used a little push toward perfection. Sadly, it falls victim to the Indie Gods and only features a handful of very generic extras. Luckily, experiencing the movie itself is more than satisfying enough. Special features would not have been a crucial selling point on a film like this. If you need a breath of fresh, so look no further, 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' is in my mind the most have Blu-ray as it is such a beautiful fantastic film that is character driven, which makes for a totally brilliant film and was robbed of any kind of OSCAR® for everyone involved with this film. A lovely, life-affirming film that proves it’s never too late for a fresh start in life. Very Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom