The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Blu-ray Review
In 2011, THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL (click the link to read my review) hit the screen. It was a charming, surface level tale of aging adults finding their way to India after various life changing events. Nothing about THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL’s quirky yet safe story made me long for a continuation or the opportunity to catch up with the assorted cast of characters. For some reason, the studio did not seek out my opinion and in 2015, THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL was issued, picking up from where things left off with the guests and eager hotelier, Sonny.
This time around, the struggles that we encounter are not from adapting to a new culture, rather they are self-inflicted; mainly from communication issues. Sonny’s dreams of expanding his hotel to include a second location all while preparing for his upcoming wedding lead to uncommunicative hi-jinks and rash reactions. Just like the first film, we have an ensemble cast and a lot of random sub-stories that do not enhance the picture. And, just like the first film, there are only a small number of these stories that I would have liked to delve into.
Primarily, the “will they, won’t they” tale between Evelyn and Douglas (Judi Dench and Bill Nighy, respectively) was a component that could have been pivotal, but fell short of interesting. The addition of Richard Gere helps spark a frenzy of frustrating actions within the film. However, Gere’s performance feels flat and predictable. I bet you a dozen brightly colored saree’s that if I could have muted the dinner conversation between Gere and Lillete Dubey’s Mrs. Kapoor, I would have been able to provide the general dialogue. Let’s be honest, Gere is not the only predictable piece in this puzzle. Basically, the entire film feels formulaic and lacks any substance.
Not to say that the entire movie was a bore or waste of time. There was one moment that made me laugh out loud (ahem: trying to stop an unintentional hired hitman). Plus, I am a sucker for lavish dancing sequences where everyone happens to know the steps. But, a lavish dance sequence that has nothing to do with the bulk of the main cast or picture seems superfluous and random. With established characters and India’s bright backdrop, there could have been a better plot to put on screen than what we were given. Much like the first film, this is one that I would feel comfortable recommending to my parents, their friends and even grandparents. It’s safe, which isn’t a roaring endorsement. I’m sure they would find the assorted scenarios amusing and could connect with the issues that come with aging. Or at the very least, laugh at the same scene I did and wonder what will come of the intoxicated unintentional hitman request.
Video (2.39:1): Perfect for absorbing all of India’s culture. A sharp & clear picture.
Audio (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1): Clear sound, for all of the annoying communication problems going on within the plot.
Promotional Featurettes: There are six featurettes that run roughly 3-minutes each and boast the standard elements you would find. The six featurettes are Story (3:06), Cast (3:38), Returning to the Marigold Hotel (2:52), Blossoming Romance (2:52), The Marigold Wedding (2:35), and Filming in India (2:34).
Gallery: A series of still images that you can click through manually or automatically. If you choose the auto advance option, it will take approximately 2 minutes to get through the slides.