EVERYONE is talking about The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - the film with a cast list that reads like a BAFTA awards seating plan, and a title that challenges the tongue like a vindaloo ice-pop.
This colourful and poignant movie tells the tale of a disparate group of UK pensioners, who decide to "outsource" their retirement to the cheaper, and more adventurous Jaipur, India.
On arrival at the eponymous Hotel, our star-studded cast of characters meet the wide-boy-with-a-heart hotel owner Sonny (Dev Patel). Despite Sonny's enthusiasm for his crumbling hotel, it soon becomes clear to the Brits abroad that, much like themselves, the hotel's heyday is very much in the past.
As the bustle and chaos of India starts to effect the lives of the merry band, we see how their prejudices are challenged, and their long-held asssumptions about their lives are so easily unravelled. Racism, love, marriage and social expectations are all examined, with a light and intriguing touch from a stellar cast of superb actors.
Old and new
The storyline is not action packed, and trips along at a sedate pace. But the momentum of the movie builds up to a great set of denouments, and a satisfying if unexpected conclusion for all involved.
The India portrayed in the movie is both old and new, modern (phone call centres) and ancient (temples and the Untouchables). All this is seen through the prism of the elderly British person's experience, of feeling outdated, unloved and "past it".
Special mentions must go to the incredible Dame Maggie Smith, whose performance steals every scene she's in. And also kudos to the young Slumdog Millionaire star Dev Patel, whose confident and rounded performance is never once over-shadowed by the actors around him - who boast CVs which are taller than he is.
We left the screening feeling touched by the soft-hearted storyline, and blown away by the crazy, colourful world of Jaipur - and wondering how come Britain can produce so many great thespians?
Must be something in the water.
4/5 Recommended by Justin Webb
You can book tickets to see this movie at the Trafford Centre ODEON Cinema - click here for details.
Why not enter our competition to win a trip to India? Or watch the movie trailer online here?