The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Might contain spoilers.
Still a lovely film, and far superior to the first one (which is merely good). I must say, much as I dislike Dev Patel and find his accent ridiculous—like most in the series, excepting Lillete Dubey’s and Shazad Latif (Kushal)’s—he truly shines here. His delivery of the constantly hilarious dialogue Sunny spouts is perfect and has me in splits most of the time. Really, many things about the India of the film are silly and exaggerated, but that doesn’t matter in the face of the warmth, affection, and joy it practically overflows with.
The ending remains the highlight, from Sunny’s announcement that the Viceroy is now
second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, to Muriel not being dead, to the dance sequence. Indeed, I’m
relieved I didn’t have to watch Dame Maggie Smith die onscreen a second time in two days; just the
thought had me teary-eyed again. She’s obviously excellent here, and as usual, she gets all the best
lines. After all, one doesn’t ‘cast’ her so much as deploy her.
The only sour note in a delightful movie is that I’m not quite convinced by Madge’s eventual romance with Hari (if I recall correctly). Even within the context of a very optimistic story, the ultimate evolution of this relationship glosses over the details of a situation that’s too complex to ignore.