A film for the ‘elderly and beautiful’

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By Kelly Dolejsi

With Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Tim Wilkinson and Maggie Smith amongst a captivating ensemble cast and the rainbow of Jaipur, India, as its setting, “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” is a wonderful choice for this week’s installment of Mesa Public Library’s Free Film Series.
The film follows seven British senior citizens as they leave everything familiar behind and head to an Indian hotel for the “elderly and beautiful.” Graham (Wilkinson), a high court judge, is the only one who has been to Jaipur previously. The rest are experiencing something completely new, from forms of transportation and rules of the road, to how to digest an Indian diet and the idea that in India, “there is always room.”
Doug (Nighy) and his wife Jean (Penelope Wilton) come to Jaipur after investing most of their retirement savings in their daughter’s Internet start-up. The Marigold is all they can afford. After paying off her husband’s debts, recently widowed Evelyn (Dench) is also short on cash.
Madge (Celia Imrie) has plenty of money, but is alone and hoping to meet someone to grow old with. Norman (Ronald Pickup) is a sly old dog looking not for love, but simply one really excellent night.
Muriel (Smith) is a racist in need of a hip.
What’s nice about this movie is that as the relationships between the characters  grow and deepen throughout the film, the intimacies do not feel forced or rushed. We see well-chosen glimpses into their friendships as they develop and we understand the characters so well by the film’s end that we want to know them forever.
“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” screens at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the upstairs rotunda at Mesa Public Library, as part of the Free Film Series. The showing is made possible of Friends of Mesa Public Library.
For more information, call the library at 662-8240.