The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
As with Potiche and Something Gotta Give, I am at the moment desperately impatient and bored with this film. I cannot even bring myself to read the reviews, or consider it seriously. I just think it is a waste of my time although I do admit that a detailed study of the film and the reviews is always useful when a film elicits such polarised reactions.
I know that no amount of debate is going to change the opinions of people I respect who enjoyed the film. I realise that one of its pleasures is of seeing famous film stars ‘acting their socks off’ in their stereotype roles, another the visual pleasure of the travelogue cinematography of a foreign country, and occasionally a witty line or two.
However as an old woman, supposedly the target audience, I feel patronised. The view of India is of a tourist’s abroad. The characters are stereotyped. Their stories are arranged to touch superficially on too many issues of ageing and provided with neat feel-good closures.
The shallow film simplifies, trivialises, dare I say dumbs down? Not that issues of ageing should always be treated in a serious way but the comedy here, and it is described as a comedy, has no bite or truth. I do not think that we should accept that it is enough to put a bunch of excellent ageing actors on-screen to challenge the ageist representation of old people.
What does the ageist Peter Bradshaw say about it? “Theoretically we are in Rajasthan, but really we are off on a Saga holiday…. ” I have news for you Mr. Bradshaw, on a Saga holiday there are laughs and drama that many a dramatist would die for.