“Everything will be okay in the end, and if it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”
It was the oddly comforting refrain made famous by Sonny Kapoor (Dev Patel) as he lurched through one mishap after another in 2011’s The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, in pursuit of his dream to establish a luxury retirement home amidst the bustling tourist hotspot of Jaipur, Rajasthan.
While things at the Marigold Hotel did end on an upward note in the first installment, it looks like it wasn’t the end quite yet: news now emerges of a sequel to director John Madden’s delightful 2011 sleeper hit.
Next March, our favorite bumbling but big-hearted hotelier is back, this time on the cusp of his marriage to sweetheart Sunaina (Tina Desai) and with bigger dreams than ever for the expansion of his beloved resort. As the hotel stands on the brink of full occupancy, Sonny and curmudgeonly new co-manager Muriel (Maggie Smith) must find vacancy for two more arrivals. Meanwhile, the remaining guests navigate their own subplots, whether it’s the blossoming of romances that sprouted in the first film, the struggles (and comedy) of new courtships in old-age, or the squabbly yet steadfast camaraderie between the now well-acquainted residents.
The trailer picks up on where the story last left us; we can’t help but already smile at the familiar colors and catchy theme music, the same magnetic characters that promise the same deliciously dry British wit and feel-good charm that won us over in part one. Cinema favorites Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Celia Imrie, Diana Hardcastle and Ronald Pickup (along with Smith, of course) reprise some unforgettable on-screen personalities as one of the most sparkling star casts we’ve seen recently. Their return is bolstered by the unexpected but intriguing addition of Richard Gere — a rare American among a mostly-English ensemble.
Set against an Indian wedding backdrop and the inherent drama (plus Bollywood-inspired dancing) that accompanies it, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and all who reside in it look poised to enchant, amuse, and endear us once again. March 6, 2015 seems so far away.
Check out the trailer below!
Anisha Jhaveri is a freelance writer and film blogger, and a recent export to Singapore from New York City. Find her on Twitter @jhavanis.