The Second-Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a comedy drama film directed by John Madden. The plot this time around is far more centric to Sonny (Dev Patel), seeing him and Muriel (Maggie Smith), attempt to secure finance to build a second hotel.
I enjoyed this film more than the first, there was an air of finality to it that I thought worked well. The spectre of death hung over the characters, but rather than be depressing it felt real and earned. It furthers the idea that we have to enjoy the time we have while we have it, which is the philosophy these films seem to live by.
Judi Dench takes a backseat, really only having a b side plot, with Smith taking centre stage, I believe this is for the best as of the two Smith delivers a better more nuanced performance in both films. As Judi Dench is just playing Judy Dench.
I enjoyed see Dev Patel getting more of the centre stage, he is a very likeable lead and an enjoyable on-screen presences; the first film wasted him, but he is given time to shine here. The new additions to the cast are okay, they don’t bring much to the dynamic and fail to match the energy of some of the actors that didn’t return.
Overall, a better more thought out film.
Giving Patel centre stage
Feeling like the end
The new characters don’t add much
Some of the drama feels a little clunky and forced
Reviewed by Luke