Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
India is the land of colours, sound, and call centres — or at least, that is what Western popular culture has been trying to reinforce over the past few years. “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel“, starring Judi Dench, is Hollywood’s most recent expedition to India, and it sticks to the formula.
They are lured to Jaipur, the city of palaces, with an online advertisement of a hotel that promises a life of leisure to the elderly — only to find themselves in a building on its last legs, run by an incompetent, hyperactive Sonny, played by Dev Patel of “Slumdog Millionaire“. Patel’s love interest is a modern young girl who works at a call centre.
Made on a modest budget, the film is a commercial success and is inching towards the $100 million mark in ticket sales — a remarkable run for a movie that has senior citizens as its main cast.