Following on from the first film – The Best Exotic Mariogold Hotel if anyone somehow forgot – this sequel is set a few months after the group first visited India and whilst he should be thinking and preparing for his wedding with Suaina (Tina Desai), Sonny is also trying to buy a hotel to make it The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel with Muriel (Maggie Smith). The first film was about how a group of old people, who may have given up on life wanted a fresh start and still live a life and this sequel focuses on the most of characters now trying to deal with love in different formats. Whilst wanting to expand the hotel business with another big company, Sonny is told a secret hotel inspector will come to visit and feedback to the company. This leads to some funny moments for the audience as Sonny is convinced the inspector is Guy (Richard Gere) and tries to win him over and technically pimps his mum out to him. Although as the film goes, it looks obvious who the real hotel inspector is and yet the film cleverly puts a twist on that predicted twist in order to surprise everyone.
Apart from that plot and the wedding side of the film, one or two of the other subplots are not established or completed well. One moment Norman (Ronald Pickup) thinks he’s accidentally paid someone to kill his girlfriend Carol (Diana Hardcastle) yet he eventually realises he’s got the wrong end of the situation and everything is fine but it was perhaps the script which did not make it clear enough for me when watching it. Saying that, it’s slightly confusing at the time (but clearer at the end of the film) whether Sonny’s mother is actually pimping herself out in order for Guy to write a good review of the hotel – the one Sonny is convinced is the inspector – or if she genuinely likes him when she says they should ‘write the next chapter’ in the hotel room and go off after their date. ‘Hey? Hey? Wink, wink’. Besides, there are couple of scenes when there’s two characters chatting about life or love and it sort of makes me drift away, because they sound like they are describing something very plainly to the other person or saying loads of metaphors that don’t captivate me. And as for what happens with Muriel at the end I have no idea.
Nevertheless, there are some good moments in the film. Fans of the first film will like this one as there are still some funny moments and one-liners – Maggie Smith’s Muriel definitely steals the show – but the plot, or subplots to be exact are a little bit confusingly displayed, perhaps the script’s fault.
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: 6.0/10