As the lights went down and I shoved my hand into the seemingly never ending bucket of popcorn the lady behind the candy counter had given me, I still couldn't remember the name of the movie I was about to see. All the way home on the bus tonight, I certainly couldn't remember it. And when I got to the cinema, the only reason I knew the movie is because it was the first option on the automatic ticket machine. By the time I sat down in the theatre, it had gone again.
And then the opening credits and there it was, the title of the movie in letters at least a foot tall: "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" and it stars the most adorable bunch of old British codgers you're ever likely to see on film, including my favourite Dames - Judy Dench and Maggie Smith. Sigh those women are forces of nature on screen. Even Dev Patel, who was nigh on adorable in "Slumdog Millionaire", is equally so here. The story is fast-moving, funny and very light.
And much like when I saw "Monsoon Wedding", I was so close to leaving the cinema tonight and booking a flight to Jaipur. The movie was that sensual - I could almost feel the oppressive heat and the people; smell the unusual blend of pleasant (and not so pleasant) smells; and hear the non-stop sounds of vehicular and human traffic.
I've never been to India but I think seeing the country through the eyes of older, lilly white British characters made the country even more relatable, if that's even possible. I was frustrated with the character who couldn't appreciate the colours around her - I gasped at the gorgeous sparkly scarves and saris that the women wore, and the bowl after bowl of goat curry that came out from the kitchens. I laughed at the fact that everyone lived on top of everyone else, with no personal space to speak of at all. But I also felt for the travellers who had come all that way, to such a foreign land in every sense of the word, and how their hearts broke when they spoke to (or about) their families.
The best lines and scenes are reserved for the Grand Dames, as far as I am concerned. And that has made me more resolved than ever to befriend them, drink lots of champagne with them, and talk about boys. I reckon they'd totally be up for that. Bill Nighy can come to drinks too, now that I think about it. He is simply too awesome to be left at home and besides, we can talk about "Love Actually" and how I need to watch it every Christmas, if not before. He'd probably hate that, but I would just have to say it once to clear the air. There, done.