As a travel writer, I have come to enjoy the liberties I can take with this genre, including doing what I am going to do, and that is, recommend a movie~ The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
I’m not sure if suggesting a movie set in a distant country (Jaipur, India) qualifies as travel writing, but here goes. My husband, who accompanied me to this film, was in Kolkota this past fall for two weeks as part of a photo/journalist workshop. Instantly, the film’s visual backdrop and realities of daily life in India… sights, sounds and even smells of the city enveloped him, bringing back memories. Although I had not accompanied him on that trip, I immediately wanted us both to pack our bags and run off for another adventure, together …while we still can.
Aside from the cultural and visual setting, this is one of those rare movies that, we who are aging…can relate to. Outsourcing old people? What a hoot! And besides, Judy Dench, Maggie Smith and a host of others will not let you down. I laughed and I cried and that’s a good sign for me. Yes, the movie deals with realistic topics that include mortality, change, loneliness, finances, etc. in a humorous, sentimental, not sappy, and often times in a predictable manner. At least, it’s a movie just for us seniors.
I reflected on the film’s obvious truths:
~Life is a personal journey regardless of age.
~Change is inevitable, whether one seeks it or it’s forced on you.
~We are never too old to learn something new.
~We are never too old to pass on what we have learned about life. Wisdom matters.
~Don’t put off the important things.
~Assume responsibility for your own decisions or indecision.
~When out of your comfort zone, embrace it and learn from it. Cope and thrive or you will remain miserable and make those around you miserable.
~Sometimes we create our own personal prisons and aren’t even aware of them.
~We are never too old to love…again.
The film is well scripted with numerous “one liners” that are worth noting. They sum up the experience of journeying to and living at the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
Evelyn: Nothing here has worked out quite as I expected.
Muriel: Most things don’t. But sometimes what happens instead is the good stuff.
Sonny: Everything will be all right in the end. So if it is not all right, then it is not yet the end.
I plan to keep my cup half-full….to the end!!
The Portuguese discovered them in Mexico and Central America, introducing them to Europe and India in the 16th century. The Calcutta (Kolkata) region of India is predominately the flower growing region. Marigolds are strung into garlands and primarily used in religious and daily ceremonies. Dignitaries and guests are presented with them.
For more great photography see Ron Mayhew Photography.