Monday, 26 March 2012


I hope you all had a great weekend….

Here is a glimpse at mine:

On Friday evening my dear friend Tuschka took me out to dinner to celebrate my birthday….Yes I know it was over a week since my birthday but well while not stretch out the celebrations as long as possible!!! 

We went to Karoo Cattle and Land which is a fantastic restaurant which serves the most amazing meat dishes.  I had the ribs which were fantastic….I could not finish them so I took the rest home in a doggy back and had them for breakfast on Saturday.  

YUM-O!!!! It was an awesome evening of good food, good cocktails and the odd shooter or two but the best part was spending time with a very special friend.

On Saturday my fur-babies woke me up early so in an effort to let the rest of the household sleep in I took the dogs outside and messed around with my new camera.  Freak let me tell you this is a very different story from my little point and shoot…..aperture, ISO say what???????????????

Since I was up early I decided to go to my happy place…..YIP the movies!!  I ended up making it a double feature.

The first movie I watched was This means War…….I do like Chris Pine….those blue eyes turn my knees to jelly!!!

So basically the plot is nothing out of the ordinary….two friends who are both prime CIA
 operative are put on desk duty after some covert mission goes awry.  Since the two have plenty of free time on their hands.  Tuck played by the cute Tom Hardy signs up on an online dating site and meets Lauren played by the beautiful Reese Witherpoon (when I grow up I wanna look like her).  
They go on a date and it’s a hit with plenty of chemistry and friendly banter……..but Lauren on her way home from her date with Tuck stops in a video store and lo and behold she meets FDR (played by Chris Pine).  I enjoyed the teasing natural conversation between the two.  Anyway the two friends discover they are dating the same girl but neither is wanting to back down so they pursue the relationship with Lauren. 
This is where it gets funny cause being spies they have access to all kinds of gadgets and spy-ware!!!  This leads to some downright hilarious scenes.

 I am not going to give the plot away but let’s just say I like the way it ends…..a big thumbs up to the screenwriters. The three actors have a very natural rapport with each other and it the scenes seem to flow with ease.  I found it highly entertaining, somewhat witty and just a fun movie.
Next up was the really hilarious, heart-warming and utterly charming The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The cast consists of the who’s who of British acting treasures.  The cast includes Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy and Dev Patel. The cast is awesome and that leads itself to a very well-acted movie.
Judi Dench is the lead character, and plays, Evelyn, a recent widow, and her story sort of ties the film together. Maggie Smith plays Muriel, a kind-of-racist, bitter woman who travelled to India for a fast and cheap hip replacement. Smith is hilarious and has such great comedic timing. To me her physical transformation in itself tells a story as she starts the movie looking like a drab old hag but towards the end she even wears colour. Tom Wilkinson plays Graham, a recently retired judge, who travels back to India to visit his childhood home and past. I think his story is one which touched me most because it is so bitter sweet. Bill Nighy (can I just say that there is something ummmm sexy about him….gosh that sounds perverted but there is…..) and Penelope Wilton play Douglas and Jean, a married couple trying to come to terms with a lost retirement fund. This hit home for me in a big way as my parents face a similar situation in terms of their retirement. Bill Nighy was one of the most surprising things about this film. I’m so used to see him playing a villain, a stern or smarmy character. In this movie, he’s very sweet and kind! Not going to lie, I fell a little in love with him ……there it is again a little gross but????. Ronald Pickup (Norman),  and Celia Imrie (Madge) play two singles looking for love and hopefully some wealth to come with the love. Dev Patel also stars in the film as Sonny, the owner and manager of the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Sonny is a bit in over his head when it comes to “outsourcing” British old people. Patel is funny as Sonny. 

Basic plot: the elderly characters have been seduced by a brochure proclaiming the magisterial and domed raj splendour of the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and Beautiful. Unfortunately, on their arrival, they discover that the hotel has been photoshopped beyond all recognition and reality by its young manager (and a third favourite son) Sonny. But, as the new arrivals come to terms (or not ) with the ‘oddities’ of their accommodation, they each learn something about themselves, each other and the nature of growing old. In India, age is revered and respected, in Britain, it’s inconvenient and can be lonely. While some of the Brits search for friendship or independence, others are after something more immediate, whether it’s an old friend or a new hip. Sonny has his own battles to fight, in love with an unsuitable girl and with a rather intimidating mother. Not to mention a hotel that is falling down around him. But despite the ramshackle shape of the Marigold Hotel, most of the guests are soon discovering the India around them, meeting the locals, experiencing its culture, taboos, religion and its intense busyness.
The plot explores each character’s time in India, either together or apart. Although they do not have the experience they thought they were going to have they are forever transformed by their shared experiences, discovering that life and love can begin again when you let go of the past. It’s all put together nicely. The plot flows well, and we get to know, love and/or dislike each character. On top of that, I enjoyed watching all the characters trying to get accustomed to Indian culture. India was almost another character as the vibrant colours and children playing in cricket in the streets are seen in several scenes.
I particularly liked the film because, there were surprises, little shocks and moments of genuine feeling. It made me laugh repeatedly but it also made me do a fair bit of weeping. I can be a sentimental soul if the mood is right (which it almost always is) and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel hits that mood perfectly. There are a couple of stories here that were much more captivating than I expected. Having them brilliantly acted certainly didn’t hurt.

On Saturday night my asthma started giving me grief and I landed up in the emergency room.  Thankfully I had Sunday to sleep and recover which my fur-babies keeping a watchful eye over me.

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