The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a British comedy-drama film by John Madden. It is a wonderful watch, an entertainer. It is a sequel to 2012 superhit movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Shot mostly in Jaipur, it projects various philosophies of life, people’s search for their soul-mates, people seeking happiness, confusions in decision making, romance etc. There are so many moments of joy, thoughtfulness, emotions. Storyline also incorporate the pain of the people getting old, calling off relationships, issues of commitment, complicated pasts, desire for freedom etc. There is a whole amount of sweetness in the movie.
Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionnaire and Chappie fame) plays a vibrant role of Sonny Kapoor, who is in the process of expansion of his business and for that he has to buy another hotel. His successful hotel – ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ has senior citizens as inhabitants who would go ‘only when they go’. It is hilarious, since everyday morning, Dev moves around with attendance register and takes role call, just in case, someone unintentionally passes away during the night. Tena Desae as Sunaina – Dev’s fiancée takes care of the reception and the guests. Dev chooses to call his mother – Lillette Dubey (Chandrima Kapoor) – Mummyji. All at the hotel are looking forward to Dev and Tena’s marriage. A home away from home for everybody who are staying there.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is filled to capacity, so Sonny Kapoor and Muriel Donnelly (Maggie Smith) fly to America in search of a partner for their expansion idea. Sonny has already selected the potential property for his second hotel, but he needs Hotel Mogul Burley’s (David Strathairn) money for the purchase. This meeting scene is hilarious, where Burley is left intrigued, when Muriel Donnelly gives a lecture on brewing tea to his young staff waiter. Sonny is being told that Burley will send an agent to inspect the two properties.
So, when Richard Gere (who plays author Guy Chambers) reaches the hotel, Sonny misunderstands him to be the hotel inspector sent by Burley. Sunaina asks Sonny that how does he know, Guy Chambers is the inspector, Sonny says: “Instinct is the nose of the mind and I have a big nose.”
Parallel to the storyline of Sonny-Sunaina’s marriage and hotel expansion plan, there are other stories as well. There is Kushal (Shazad Latif), with whom Sonny is envious since at times he feels that Kushal is trying to woo Sunaina. This movie celebrates old age as well. Evelyn Greenslade (Judi Dench) gets an offer at the age of 79 to design for a brand. She puts up a brave front and ‘I don’t want anyone’ attitude, but actually is very soft from within and has a soul craving for affection for Douglas (Bill Nighy). Douglas’ public speaking attempts with somebody reading out script to him is also an interesting scene.
Donnelley’s friendship with Sonny is paramount to the center of this film. Guy Chambers is smitten by Chandrima Kapoor.