On the surface, Best Exotic looks like a rehash of several previous movies — comedic, dramatic, and romantic. To oversimplify like that would unfortunately miss the point because it includes all of that and more. What I especially liked about this movie is the way it follows along the transformation of several characters. In looking through others’ eyes, we can see our own shortcomings AND opportunities.
And that’s what this movie is really all about: Perspective. It reminds us what true humility is. Not the kind where we think we’re pretending to be humble, but the kind where we really do bow down to the greatness inherent within others. Best Exotic also reminds us what it’s like to follow our heart’s wishes and dreams, and to recognize through the lens of humility, that what each of us wants in the outer world may look different… but inside… we all all the same.
I frequently found myself (and others in the theater) chuckling at many of the lines in this movie. That lightness helped support the deeper, heartful, challenging messages of the movie. Messages like what it means to live in “integrity,” how to overcome obstacles and challenge our fears, how to live authentically and stop lying to ourselves, and to not repeat the same mistakes from our past.
My primary criticism of the movie is that there were several worn-out cliches that were intending to be funny, but just felt old to me. For those who haven’t heard them before, it’ll be a great laugh. For those familiar with the cliches though, a groanin “That was baaaaaad” is probably more likely.
Regardless, the acting was excellent and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel gets two thumbs up from me. It’s a movie I’m grateful to share with you, and would be delighted to watch again anytime the opportunity arises.