SYNOPSIS: Check in again and gear up for more love and laughter as new arrival Richard Gere joins an all-star ensemble cast — including Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel and Maggie Smith — returning for this heartwarming sequel to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel! Now that his first venture is a success, Sonny (Patel) is ready to expand and gets a little help and encouragement from his resident friends.


Is The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the elderly and beautiful crowd or for those who loved the first? No not really, it’s a heartwarming sequel for those who love a decent mature movie.  

Director John Madden, screenwriter Ol Parker and most of the original cast members returned for a visit to the Best Exotic Marigold hotel. The sequel simply continues the story threads from the first. Juggling too much subplots and characters, the movie is too bloated for its own good but there’s never a problem a pumping song-and-dance segment can’t solve. 

Our young entrepreneur Sonny (Dev Patel) is on the verge of getting married to his sweetheart, Sunaina (Tina Desai). At the same time, he is faced with a possible love rival, a potential business plan being sabotaged and a visit by a secret hotel inspector. His elderly occupants on the other hand are not having an easy life either. Evelyn (Judi Dench) has yet accepted Douglas’ (Bill Nighy) love for her. Muriel’s (Maggie Smith) health is on the decline. Norman (Ronald Pickup) and Carol (Diana Hardcastle) are having relationship problems. Madge (Celia Imrie) is finding hard to choose between two suitors and the highlight of all, the supposedly hotel inspector Guy Chambers (Richard Gere) is smitten with Sonny’s mum, Mrs Kapoor (Lillete Dubey).  

The entire movie is watchable mainly because of people liked Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Bill Nighy. Because whenever they appear on the screen spouting clever lines and philosophies about life, death and love, you just can’t bear to fault the end product for being too pointless and familiar. Although that can’t be said of Dev Patel’s overly enthusiastic performance, he is one character I don’t want to see if there’s a third.

As far as sequels go, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is liked visiting old friends who lived in a faraway exotic place. Indian culture might not be that unfamiliar to audiences in this part of the world but they are something exhilarating to Hollywood not mentioning the first movie made Fox millions of dollars in excess. Besides the wonderful old thespians, the gorgeous sight and sound of India is also beautifully captured on screen in addition to rousing Bollywood dance numbers.       

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel might not have much to offer but sometimes all you need is some familiar fare to warm the hungry stomach.  


Story has the principal cast and filmmakers talk about the story of course. The returning cast from the original share their feelings in Cast. Returning to the Marigold Hotel has the cast and filmmakers talk about how the story and characters have evolved. Blossoming Romance talks about the continued romance among the characters. The shooting and creation of the beautiful traditional Indian wedding is discussed in The Marigold Wedding. It’s a relaxed set and eye-opening experience as the talents talk about Filming In India. Extras also include a photo Gallery and Theatrical Trailers.


The score and music by Thomas Newman (and you thought it's A.R. Rahman) deserves a compliment for its exotic sounding tunes. Dialogue is excellent and so are the ambient sound effects. Shot on digital, imaging and colors are vibrant and dynamic. Truly an enriching experience for the eyes and ears.      



Review by Linus Tee



Genre: Drama/Comedy
Starring: Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, Penelope Wilton, Celia Imrie, Ronald Pickup, Diana Hardcastle, Tamsin Greig, Tina Desai, Lillete Dubey with David Strathairn, Richard Gere
Director: John Madden
Rating: PG
Year Made: 2015


- Story
- Cast
- Returning to the Marigold Hotel
- Filming In India
- Blossoming Romance
- The Marigold Wedding
- Gallery


Languages: English/Spanish/Portuguese/Thai
Aspect Ratio: 16x9 Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Running Time:  2 hrs 3 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: HVN Singapore