The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

“Sometimes it seems to me that the difference between what we want and what we fear is the width of an eyelash.”

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Does The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel suffer from that oh-so deadly sequel syndrome? Not really. The Second Best Exotic is a sequel worthy of its publically-adored predecessor. The film retains its infectious charm thanks to its wonderfully balanced cast and its ever-intriguing location.

The Second Best Exotic is a nice film. The cast retains its youthful charm, primarily in the ridiculously charismatic Dev Patel who breathes life into the “crumbling ruins”. His portrait in the hotel’s reception never fails to tickle. As far as Patel is an optimistic joy, Maggie Smith makes it her pleasure to be a pessimistic parallel. Her miserly cynicism is as entertaining as Patel’s charisma, making them an excellent pairing. The rest of the cast play their part but nobody else really stands out.

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

A cast of this size however breeds problems. The film features double figures of central characters as several plotlines are twisted around the exotic hotel. These stories don’t always play out their full course however, as some are given too much time, whilst others not enough. There isn’t even any room to remedy this, as the film is already too long. A film of this relaxed nature is better suited to ninety minutes rather than over two hours. There is a definite lull of interest in the middle section which could be streamlined.

This isn’t to say that the stories aren’t enjoyable. The film is on one hand a tale of life and family, and on the other, is the cheeriest film about death I’ve ever seen. The Second Best Exotic is an easy watch, being enjoyable without making you work for it. The stories are tied up by Patel’s smiling face and feature some brilliant dad-dancing from Nighy and Pickup.

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Take your mom, take your dad, take your grandparents. They’ll enjoy it and so will you. If you can get the slight tinge of colonialism out of your mouth, then the charming British collective will warm your heart, without holding a place within it.



5 thoughts on “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

  1. See Jake, this is a really good preview. The thing is, I just wished you had in depth articles about something really interesting/controversial/deep that you can explain to the reader about the films you watched (e.g. how you felt about ‘love transcending time’ in Interstellar). You might have to put a spoiler alert on them but if they were good, I would feel like people would comment more on your website to have discussions thus increase the general popularity of Wilson Reviews.

  2. Pingback: Top 5: February Favourites | Wilson Reviews

  3. I thought it was not a patch on the first film. The plot(s) were predictable and shallow. I was bored by it, to be honest; 1/2 an hour could easily have been shaved off it. I did enjoy the beautiful scenery, lights and architecture, and Bill Nighy, who only has to ‘be’ to make me laugh!

    It was a good film in so far as Bourne 4 was a good action film and not a good ‘Bourne’ film; viewed as a good romcom and not as Marigold 2 it would have faired better, I think. Alas we don’t have the luxury of that kind of objectivity.

    • I didn’t think it was too far off the first. Had most of the charm but i agree it was both predictable and much too long.
      Fair to say I’m not rushing to see it again either!

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