26 May 2012

"Everything Will Come Out All Right In The End . . . ."

Just saw The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (For The Elderly and Beautiful), a movie about changes in old folks and old societies. The old folks are English character actors like Maggie Smith, Dame Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson and others equally good. The old society, of course, is India, or at least parts of that bewildering, chaotic, amazingly rich and incredibly poor country, which owes at least some of its variety to several hundred years under British colonial rule. My guess is that there were allusions to many parts of British society that are changing as well. One of the ideas made fun of was the idea of out-sourcing from rich Western countries to poor third world countries, even such stuff as medical care and taking care of the elderly.

There are many ironies in the fire in this surprisingly cheap movie.There are a lot of good Indian actors too. Including Dev Patel and others too numerous to mention. Much of this movie must have been filmed on location in India as the sensory input could only be found in the major cities.

Lots of old jokes, visual and auditory: "if she dies, she dies" referring to geriatric sex; many caricatures of course because after all they are British and Indian aren't they. So the uncomfortable trains of India, and the inevitable head wobbles, saying whatever is necessary, and the Brits putting down their Indian caretakers, and yet deciding to stick it out with stiff upper lip in the end. The story lines are fairly predictable but even so, it was an enjoyable afternoon for us old folks.

 ". . . And if it's not all right, then it is obviously not the end." Repeated several times so we wouldn't miss the significance.
I couldn't resist digging out a few old photographs of the splendid five days I spent in Chennai and on the train to Kerala and back a few years ago. If you are going, watch out for the little cabs and the scams they will inevitably try.

[Added later to the title "in the end" Sorry]

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