The plot of the movie is such that these British retirees have outsourced their retirement to India because it is less expensive to stay there and the land itself is quite exotic, beautiful and a get-away from the humdrum of the city life in England. There is a newly restored Marigold Hotel in India and the retired people are enamored by the advertisements which hype the stay to a great extent. Once these people come to the Marigold Hotel, they see that the hotel is far from the luxury factor highlighted in the advertisement. But gradually, the retirees are transformed by the sheer experience and warmth they find in the hotel. The retirees mingle among themselves and the native folks, share their experiences in lives and discover new meaning and purpose to life and believe that they can cherish the present instead of drowning in the miseries of the past.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is based on the novel ‘These Foolish Things’ wrote by Deborah Moggach, who has also written the screenplay of the film along with OI Parker. Deborah has written 16 novels till now, of which most have been adapted into TV dramas and film screenplays She has also written the screenplay of Pride and Prejudice. Moggach says that she had a clear reason about writing the novel to pinpoint the fact that the elderly have an uncertain future in the UK, being relegated to the life of abject compromise and neglect in a British care home. By the book and the movie, she says, she wants to show that there is always the power of choice to the veterans to have a great life of their own.
The music of the movie is by Thomas Newman, the cinematography is by Ben Davis. The director John Madden’s best work so far has been ‘Shakespeare in Love’ which won him the Academy Award for the Best Picture in 1998. He was also quite close to winning the Best Director for the same movie, which Steven Spielberg ultimately won for Saving Private Ryan. John, according to reports, has done exceptional work in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
Most portions of the movie have been shot in Jaipur and Udaipur, in India, cities in North India known for its vibrant culture, forts and archaic buildings. The cinematography of the film has been the highlight as it has pleasantly captured the old town beauty of forts, lakes and jewelry markets. Moggach says ‘India has a lot to teach us.
They have respect for their elders and do not treat them as someone with sell-by-date.” However, she laments the fact that India is also fast moving towards the lifestyle of the west, and the elders are being shifted to new retirement homes due to the emergence of nuclear families.