Jaipur, India: What I was thinking after seeing The Most Exotic Marigold Hotel
I finally saw the movie the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel at a NJ art house last week. I had just planted my marigold seeds on the northern side of my house. Â Last Fall they gave me such long lasting pleasure and reminded me to smile. And here is a movie mentioning marigolds that also made me smile.
The movie centers on a group of aging Brits. Â I am not sure how youâ€™d describe them: Â midlifers, baby boomers, seniors or elderly. Â The subcategories of aging seem to merge in people’s understanding. Â For different reasons the characters are all seeking to escape their circumstances in England. Â Based upon a beautiful brochure and with no prior knowledge of each other, they travel to the best Exotic Marigold Hotel in Jaipur, Â India.
The characters include a husband and wife of 30 years, a many-times-over unmarried woman in search of a wealthy new husband; a retired judge with a secret; a single elderly male wanting just one more hot fling; Â Judi Dench, a recent widow on her own for the first time and Maggie Smith who is in search of an inexpensive hip replacement. Â I will henceforth remember each of the fine character actors (I knew Dench and Maggie Smith before) who I do not know because each has an unforgettable tick they use to make the viewer understand and see that life had left its imprint on them.
The movie is a comedy. Â We are carried away by the dreams ofÂ Dev Patel, from Salaam Bombay, who is the owner of the most Exotic Marigold Hotel. Â His dream is to make the most Exotic Marigold Hotel for the elderly and satisfied a world renown destination targeting British citizens with whom India has a long history.
For me, the film was a 2 hour trip to Jaipur. The Jaipur Tourist Office in New York, if one exists, should thank the film makers. Â I laughed so much. And as Oprah said in an interview with Deepak Chopra on a balcony overlooking the city of Jaipur, Â I too was assaulted by the scents and sounds of India so carefully rendered in this movie. You will feel as if you are there. Â I can’t wait to visit the city myself.
But as it is not clear whether the characters are running from or to something, here is my question for you dear reader: Can you tell if you are running “to” some place rather than “from” something? Â And does it matter.