Everything will be alright in the end. If it is not all right, then it is not the end.” – Sonny Kapoor

A ‘Failure Club’ of a more fictional variety is the subject of the feature film ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’. A film seemingly written for this blog covering the all the themes I focus on (which is not overly surprising since they are all united by a common thread)…

  • Death of Dreams“I don’t want to see this dream destroyed” (Evelyn) The core theme of the film. It underscores the notion that ‘-Life Crises’ can happen at any time including the ‘Late-Life’ (not just Mid-Life). As noted in my first piece on this topic, one of the best remedies for a dying dream is replacing it with a new one. These characters have done so by uprooting their life, moving to another culture on the opposite site of the world…and more.
  • Embracing Failure – A wealth of choice quotes and scenes covering all sorts of failure from business, to family, to love. A richly written screenplay with a multitude of apt lines…
    • “The only real failure is the failure to try. And the measure of success is how we cope with disappointment.”
    • The person who risks nothing, does nothing. Has nothing.”
    • “When one does adapt, my God, the riches that are available.”
    • “Evelyn: Nothing here has worked out quite as I expected.
      Muriel: Most things don’t. But sometimes what happens instead is the good stuff.”
  • ·Leadership and Management – “The manager needs no help…Ah, the manager needs a little help.” (Sonny) Actually, in this case, the ‘manager’ is the ‘Leader’. Sonny Kapoor is the visionary of potential, but woefully unable to avert the inevitable downsides of business (and life). The partnership with Muriel’s sceptical and cautious persona is a partnership made in heaven.

The whole film with all the themes are summarised one of the final scene’s lines. Sonny speaks them, but really they could have come from the mouth of any of the characters…

“Nothing happens until first we dream. I have dreamt, and like [my father], I have failed. The old hotel is crumbling to dust. And it turns out that I can live with that.”

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