When some of the finest actors come together to be a part of a rather weak sequel, you’re not quite sure how to react. If you enjoyed the original film, you might find your heart shriveling during this follow-up.
So Muriel (Maggie Smith) has shed her racism. But her sarcastic remarks are well-timed and comical. Sonny (Dev Patel) is as energetic and enterprising as before. Sonny and Sunaina are getting married, although their journey from engagement to marriage has been paved with glitches. Evelyn (Judi Dench) and Douglas (Bill Nighy) still have that lingering courtship, which is quite charming. So you can see things have changed, while some things never do.
Sonny hopes to acquire another hotel, but is taken aback when he realizes he has a competitor – his friend Kushal (Shazad Latif), who is also getting close to Sonny’s fiance. Although some of you might consider him to be eye-candy, his performance is deplorable. Lillete Dubey plays the role of Sonny’s mother – a resilient and fiercely independent woman, who Guy Chambers (Richard Gere) is attracted to. (And is it just me or is Gere getting exponentially sexier with age?) Guy is just a guest at the hotel, but Sonny is convinced he’s a hotel inspector. We only find out the truth at the end.
There’s something singularly pleasant about watching 60 and 70-year-olds ‘living life to the lees’. We think by the time we reach that age we will have it all figured out. But here’s the deal. Oldies are as confused and erroneous as anyone else. Like it’s said in the movie – ‘There’s no present like the time.’ All we can do is live in the moment and cherish the human connections we make along the way. Yep, that’s one thing you take away from this movie.
The composition is admirable. Although, the better locations of the Pink City could have been used. The film score is easy on the ears and adds to the ethnic tone of the film. There are some endearing scenes and some that will draw a chuckle. The large ensemble cast does add seasoning to the film, but several scenes feel dragged and almost sleep-inducing. Don’t expect much from this film and you won’t be disappointed.
Why you should watch this film?
Richard Gere’s sexuality. Maggie Smith’s sarcasm and wit. And the portrayal of India’s rich culture. The film lacks the essence that was present in the first film. Head down to The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel if you’ve got some time to kill.