Bismillah ir Rahman ir Raheem
Assalam alaikum wr wb, fellow scribes and cinephiles.
I’ve been advised to watch at least 2 movies a week. I have also realized that lately I’ve been alternately amazed and appalled by what I’ve seen on screen.
I’ve been hearing a lot lately about how the baby boomer crowd is proving to be an untapped market for the movies. How they might revive the flagging industry and how – finally! and not a moment too soon! – the big studios might leave behind their obsession with teenagers and young adults and give us some real stories.
I’m 26, and even I’m insulted by that sugary cereal kinetic crap.
So I thought I’d partake in the forerunner of this so-called ‘old codger’ movement – The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
Here’s what I thought.
It was briskly paced. It had clear characters. As far as screenwriting goes, you could really learn a lot about turning points, in terms of plot, and character motivations in terms of dialogue, by studying this movie.
Why in God’s name do the Indian characters sound like they’ve stepped right off the set of Mind Your Language? I most definitely do not ever talk like that. And there is no way in heck Indian kids born and raised in India, however educated they are, speak English all the time. They are more likely to speak a mixture of English and their mother tongue, whatever that might be.
The brown people of course had traditional brown people problems. As always, it’s the clash between modernity and tradition. Between the will of the parents and the will of the child.
And as usual, white people solve brown people’s problems.
What’s more, an old lady in a wheelchair suddenly starts spouting truisms like being in a wheelchair automatically makes you wiser. My mother’s been in a wheelchair for a couple of months and I can’t see any change.
My final assessment:
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was a good movie with good characters. But the paternalistic tone and poorly crafted Indian characters really ruined it for me.
Out of respect, I wouldn’t recommend it to any baby boomer I know. They deserve better.
I’m going to look for better.
Wassalam and Fee Amanillah,
The Happy Muslimah