My mom and I went to this movie. The male lead was the kid from "Slumdog Millionaire." Her friend had heard it wasn't that good and passed. We agreed that she wouldnt have liked it. Mom at 93 yrs old fell asleep half way through but got the gist of it. She woke up to get the end and we hobbled out of the theater with the rest of the white haired people who where there to see the movie.
It is a movie about old people. There are lots of wrinkles and feeble bodies. There is an amazing depth to the movie that is just now hitting me hard as it comes back to my memory. I lived that movie and I still do.
My mom and I went to India in the 50's. I was thirteen. She remembers how handsome the cab driver was who took us on a day tour to the Taj Mahal. I remember the coca colas that were on ice in the trunk. That made me happy. Mom asked today if I remembered a communist giving me his speil until they kind of dragged me off. I remember a ham sandwich that just wasn't the same as the ones I knew in the USA. I remember the tiny tiles on the walls of the Taj and the views.
The movie takes place in Jaipur and Udaipur which is where I lived for seven months with my swedish friend in the 1970's. He had been in the Peace Corp there and went back for a visit. I taught English there to some very unruly students at a private school. I remember turbans and open markets, peacocks and cobras in the backyard and a temple up on the hill that the bats flew over in a long stream every night.
The movie shows that beauty and it also shows the chaos of the streets in India. It is a wild ride when you step outside in India, noisy and scary but full of color and life. It was difficult to find quiet and privacy in India when I was there. Even at a remote lake or temple someone would find you and come up to chat to Americans. "Where do you come from?" "Are you married?"
In the movie some English people are enticed by a website to go to this hotel for their retirement. They arrive in a tussle and the hotel is a mess but the whole story has a happy ending which churns around the personal stories of all the people and you grow close to them all. It isn't easy to be old anywhere.
The women in the movie are magnificent. In old age Judy Desh is wonderful as usual and she is a Blogger. Maggie Smith is fantastic and well, I can't tell you the end. The characters are inside my heart now and I wish them all well. Aren't we all on a journey that is culminating in some sort of time space thingy where our memories are meeting our realities?
Just say "Yes" to life. In all its crazy twists and turns you can only be brave and transform. You can care a little and help a little but in the end it is your journey and whatever you make it affects all the people around you. Be happy.