The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel


The Film

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a 2012 British comedy-drama directed by John Madden and written by Ol Parker. It is based on the 2004 novel, These Foolish Things, by Deborah Moggach. The film stars an ensemble cast, consisting of Judi Dench, Celia Imrie, Bill Nighy, Ronald Pickup, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson and Penelope Wilton.


A desperate group of British pensioners travels to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel, a seemingly luxurious sanctuary for ‘the elderly and beautiful’ in Jaipur.

Less luxurious than its advertisements, the Marigold Hotel nevertheless slowly begins to charm in unexpected ways.


Judi Dench as Evelyn

Evelyn is a newly widowed housewife, her home is being sold to pay off her husband's debts and, despite her son's protestations, decides to make her home in India, in Sonny's home for the "elderly and beautiful". She keeps a blog to inform her family of all she does and encounters.

Bill Nighy and Penelope Wilton as Douglas and as Jean

Douglas and Jean have been married for 39 years, and since Douglas invested, and seemingly lost, all their savings in their daughter's internet business the two find themselves unable to afford any kind of home, except for retirement bungalows installed with panic buttons and hand rails "for the future"; unable to face a future in such a place the couple make the move to Sonny's hotel.

Maggie Smith as Muriel

Muriel, an ex-housekeeper with a head for figures, is deemed surplus to requirements by her lifelong employers after she unwittingly trains her own replacement. She finds herself without a family of her own, having devoted her life to the care of another family. Living in a flat alone she is bitter and racist, and, when her doctor tells her that the only alternative to a six-month wait for a hip replacement is to be "outsourced" to India where her hip can be replaced almost immediately, she is sent to Sonny's hotel.

Tom Wilkinson as Graham

Graham, a high court judge, has, for many years, been retiring "any day now". And it is during the retirement speech of a colleague that he decides that "today's the day". He grew up in India until he was 18, and for him, returning to India is the way to put to sleep part of his life that he has ignored.

Ronald Pickup as Norman

Norman is an aged lothario, constantly on the look-out for a new woman and unable to face up to his own age and consequent undesirability for young women. He seeks a new start with new possibilities in India.

Celia Imrie as Madge

Madge has had many unsuccessful marriages and, like Norman, wants fun, adventure and a new man. Tired of her daughter's attempts to keep her at home she flees the house and leaves for India.

Dev Patel as Sonny

Diana Hardcastle as Carol

Ramona Marquez as Grandchild

Liza Tarbuck as Head Nurse Karen

Lillete Dubey as Mrs. Kapoor

Tena Desae as Sunaina