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The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 2:35: 1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Spanish, French, English 5.1 Dolby Digital
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: R
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • Blu-ray Release Date: September 18, 2012
  • List Price: $39.99

Overall
[Rating:4.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:4.5/5]

Contemporary films are frequently released with one or two marquee names, a cut-and-paste script with few vestiges of real forethought, phoned-in direction, and, like the proverbial Chinese dinner, leave the audience hungry moments after the end credits are over. I am delighted to report that The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel vigorously swims against this current and does so quite successfully. A group of English seniors (Dames Judy Dench and Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Celia Imrie, Ronald Pickup, and Penelope Wilson) decide to find their retirement haven in India, a place that only one of them has previously visited.  They hit the beaches running and come ashore in Jaipur at the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel “for the elderly and the beautiful,” an aging ramshackle of an Indian palace that is being run by an energetic young man, Sonny (Dev Patel). Sonny, as it turns out, is long on ambition and dreams and short on know how. Viewers are treated to a very different “coming of age” journey where this disparate group of elders begins to discover their inner beings as they never were able to do in England. Each personal story has its own poignancy and, thanks to the scriptwriters, is well told.         

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The cinematography is topnotch with gorgeous close ups and scenic panoramas. Detail is excellent and the sense of location is well conveyed. From the crowded markets to the long stretches of bare countryside, viewers get a travelogue presentation of real India.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The soundtrack of Indian-themed music is absolutely perfect for this film, transporting the viewers to Jaipur without needing to leave their home theaters. Dialogue absolutely vital to English films is clear as well.  The surround channels in the DTS-HD Master Audio version offer discrete ambience. The 2-channel soundtrack is just fine.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

There is a package of brief extras:

  • Behind the Story: Lights, Colors, and Smiles: the behind the scenes interviews with the cast and crew.
  • “Welcome to the Real Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”: an on-location featurette.
  • Casting Legends: presenting the distinguished cast of the film
  • Trekking in India: Life is never the same
  • Tuk Tuk Travels

All in all, about 15 minutes worth of mildly interesting stuff that is more padding than pudding.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4.5/5]

Hopefully, at least every so often, the film-going public gets a cinematic shot in the arm—a shot that will invigorate even the hardest hearts. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is that very inoculation and then some. Unlike previous English imports, Love, Actually or Four Weddings and a Funeral, this one is blessed with brilliance in all of the critical aspects of film-making: script, casting, directing, and cinematography. As the cast is a bunch of old friends, the ensemble performance is seamless and natural in the shifting sands of the evolving interrelationships. To crib a recurring line from this film, “everything will be all right in the end, and, if it is not all right, this is not the end.” Be assured, everything is absolutely all right with this movie, and, not only is it a must-see but a must-see twice.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel on Blu-ray at CD Universe

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Purchase The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel on Blu-ray at CD Universe

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Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]


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